Brian Sonia-Wallace (alias Rent Poet) makes poetry and live art, and is interested in community development, cultural literacy, and people talking to each other. His first book of poems, I Sold These Poems, Now I Want Them Back, was published by Yak Press in 2016. As a theatre maker, Brian has been nominated for the 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award, received NEA funding for his Bike Odyssey LA, and served as Artistic Director of Tabula Rasa Productions in Scotland from 2008-2011. Other poetry publications may be found in The Poetry Circus (2015), Fools Guild Quarterly (2012), New York Academy of Medicine (2012), and Inklight Journal (2011). Past accomplishments include residencies with the National Parks System, LACMA, Shuar Nation (Ecuador), Gallerie Ulrike Petschelt (Germany), and Dollar Shave Club. Brian has an MA in Sustainable Development from the University of St Andrews, Scotland.
Nayeli Knudsen is a Los Angeles based poet, actor, & educator with a B.A. in Theater from UC Berkeley and an M.Ed in Educational Policy from University of Washington. She has appeared on Season 5 of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, NPR, & KPFA broadcasts. She has been featured alongside such notable artists/writers as Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Wyclef Jean.
Nayeli played the principal role in the critically acclaimed film Opal (2011) – winner of the Directors Circle Award at Cannes Film Festival . She was additionally featured in the Magic Mirror Theater’s Production of Marry, F***, or Kill (2012) where she received acclaim from critics as one of the “best performances to hit the Los Angeles theater scene”.
Bobby Gordon is a Los Angeles based poet, participatory arts practitioner, lecturer, and performance artist with an M.A in Applied Theater Arts from USC and a B.A in World Arts and Cultures from UCLA. He has conducted workshops at the 2013 International Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed Conference and the 2013 Imagining America Conference. Gordon has also led other around the U.S., in Mexico, India, and South Africa about everything from image theater techniques to performance poetry strategies.
His original one-man show, Debbie Does My Dad, was featured for a 23-night run at the Bedlam Theater at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and also had runs at Highways Performance Space and the Drama For Life Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa. Fringe Review gave Debbie four stars and called it a “Highly Recommended Show.”
Jessica Payo is a quadruple threat: singer, actress, dancer, and poet extraordinaire. Having just launched her solo career, Ms. Payo is proving to be a sweet sounding force to be reckoned with. Known for her brilliant vocal ability and poetic songwriting savvy, she can write and wail everything from Top-40 Pop to gritty rock & roll. She's proof that incredible things come in fierce and poetic packages.
Jessie has opened for such world renowned entertainers as Eric Hutchinson, The Black Eyed Peas, Jason Mraz, Lauryn Hill, Lupe Fiasco, Etta James, and Boyz II Men.
Linda Ravenswood is a writer, artist, and vocalist who currently resides in Los Angeles. Her play (with Brian Sonia Wallace) Bike Odyssey L.A. won The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant in 2014. Bike Odyssey L.A. has also been awarded a Producer's Encore Award at The Hollywood Fringe Festival where it premiered. Her first book Hymnal from Mouthfeel Press (2012) and short story The Infant Golem of Prague (2012) were finalists for the Pushcart Prize. The poem "The Peas" from Hymnal received a Pushcart Prize nomination for Poetry in 2013. Her work has been awarded by The City of Los Angeles, The City of West Hollywood, The Los Angeles Library Foundation and The Metropolitan Transit Authority for Bike Odyssey L.A.
Tammy Infusino Has been writing and singing since before she can remember. It started as poems and short stories and quickly expanded to songs. She would love to write a novel, screenplay, and maybe even a memoir once she has lived a little more. She has got a lot to say. Tammy was blessed with a voice that she finds super annoying but other people (thankfully) really like. She’ll sing anything she can gether hands on, which to date, has included solo material, songs for other artists, children’s albums, and music for film, TV, and commercials. She not-so-secretly dreams of voicing a Disney princess/cartoon character.
Carolina Gamero is a Long Angeles-based writer and poet. Carolina has written in Lunas Locas, an LA all womens writing circle centering voices of color. Carolina uses her creative writer in broad ways that engage community. Whether it is preparing for a MicHikem-an outdoor hike that culmintates in a spoken word open mic at the summit- or creating impromptu poetry on typewriters at neighborhood health fairs, Carolina enjoys using spoken word, writing, and poetry to facilitate storytelling with communities of color.