Instructor Biographies

Slam Poetry Camp

Adam Henze

Adam "Henzbo" Henze

A former national championship forensics competitor at Western Kentucky University, Adam "Henzbo" Henze competed in his first National Poetry Slam in 2005. Despite the fact that he wrote his second poem in the car on the way to the Albuquerque tournament, Adam placed 15th in the nation out of over 500 poets. In 2006 Adam competed at the historic Southern Fried Poetry Slam in Birmingham Alabama, where he achieved the rank of the second best poet in the southeast region of the country. Adam's poetry has appeared on PBS' award winning program Mainstreet and on National Public Radio. Adam recently received his Masters Degree in Secondary Education and makes his living as a teaching artist and advocate for Spoken Word Pedagogy. He is very excited to be the curriculum director for the Gustavus Adolphus College Institute for Spoken Word and Poetry Slam. Adam lives in Indianapolis.

Matthew Hernandez

Matthew "Cuban" Hernandez

Matthew "Cuban" Hernandez started slamming on the Brave New Voices circuit at the age of 15 years old, often needing to be escorted by his mother at the adult venues. In the past 7 years Cuban has grown from a poetry wunderkind to a 2-time Southern Fried Regional Poetry Slam champion (2006, individual; 2008 team), has been seen on HBO's Brave New Voices, and is the CEO of Shattered Thought Inc, which successfully coached a youth team to Brave New Voices finals in 2009. When he isn't on the road touring, Cuban lives in Jacksonville, FL as a full-time poet, organizer, and youth mentor.

Neil Hilborn

Neil Hilborn

Neil Hilborn is a College National Poetry Slam champion and a 2011 graduate with honors from Macalester College. He was a member of the Minneapolis National Poetry Slam teams in 2011 and 2013, which placed 5th and 6th respectively out of 80 teams. In 2013 his poem OCD went viral, being featured on Huffington Post, NPR, and other news outlets. It has garnered almost eight million views, making it the most-viewed slam poem on YouTube.

ierra DeMulder

Sierra DeMulder

Minnesota poet Sierra DeMulder exploded on the scene in 2009 by winning the rank of best female poet at the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational, winning the 2009 National Poetry Slam with the Soapbox Poetry Slam Team, and receiving a publishing deal from Write Bloody Publishing with her award-winning book The Bones Below. In 2010, Sierra was an Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist, A Women of the World Slam Finalist, and repeated as National Poetry Slam Champ with the Soapboxing team, making her one of the only poets to ever touch every Poetry Slam, Inc sanctioned stage in the span of a year. She has started her own teaching initiative and coached the Manchester College slam team to third place at the 2010 College Union Poetry Slam Invitational. Her second Write Bloody Book "New Shoes on a Dead Horse" releases this year.