2017 Slam Poetry Diversity Competition

March 28, 2017

I, Too, Am America

This year's Slam Poetry Competition was a terrific success! This event was hosted in the Art Barn. Our theme this year was "I,Too,Am,America" and a big congratulations to our winners: The first place were Stephanie Ngo and Jane Gu. 2nd place is Carolyn Nguyen and Colton Hattersley. 3rd Place is Katherine Mayfield and Adelaide Kwon.

Special thanks to our host and workshop leader Joaquín Zihuatanejo, spoken word artist, and award-winning teacher, also to SUAAB, The School of Arts and Humanities and Jonathan (GNO) White.

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Stephanie Ngo & Jane Gu

Stephanie Ngo

Stephanie Ngo is a second year student at UTD, with aspirations to the medical field alongside her passion for art. She is an avid hobbyist, dabbling in knitting, playing various instruments, drawing, dancing, readings, and writing fiction and poetry. When not discussing herself in the third person, she can often be found playing with her cat, Viktor.

Jane Gu

Jane Gu is currently in her second year at UTD as a biology major in the UT-PACT program, where she pursues a future in health care. As a student columnist for the Dallas Morning News, Gu discovered her passion for writing. Along with writing poetry, she also loves playing piano, fencing and laughing at her own jokes.


Joaquín Zihuatanejo

Joaquín Zihuatanejo

Joaquín Zihuatanejo is a poet, spoken word artist, and award-winning teacher. Born and raised in the barrio of East Dallas, in his work Joaquín strives to capture the duality of the Chicano culture. Sometimes brutal, but always honest his work depicts the essence of barrio life, writing about a youth that existed somewhere between the streets of the barrio and the dream wanderings of a boy who found refuge in a world of stories and poems. Joaquín has been called by critics, “one of the most dynamic and passionate performance poets in the country, melding equal parts comedy, poetry, and dramatic monologue into a crowd-pleasing display of verbal fireworks…always thrilling, Joaquín’s hilariously manic presentation is full of compassion and nuance, never sacrificing substance for style, leading many to call him poetry slam’s answer to John Leguizamo.” A National Poetry Slam Finalist, Grand Slam Spoken Word Champion, and HBO Def Poet, Joaquín has performed his poetry at universities, conferences and poetry slams all over the Unites States, Canada, Mexico and Europe. In 2005, Joaquin was featured on season five of Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry for HBO. Joaquín was the poet chosen to represent the U.S. at the 2009 World Cup of Poetry Slam in Paris, France, a competition that he won besting 13 poets from 13 different nations making him the number one ranked slam poet in the world on both sides of the Atlantic. He currently lives just north of his hometown of Dallas with his wife and two daughters. Joaquín has two passions in his life, his wife, Aída, and poetry, always in that order.