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.

Lizz Straight

Lizz Straight

Former Individual World Poetry Slam finalist (2008), Lizz Straight was the top ranked female poet at the Southern Fried Regional Poetry Slam from 2005 – 2009, the largest invitational poetry slam in the world. As her career as a professional spoken word artist blossomed, Lizz created "Poetry Is...", one of the most successful poetry themed radio programs in the nation. She is also the founder of The Lizz Straight Prison Ministries, a non profit organization that hosts poetry performances and spoken word pedagogy in prisons all over the state of Florida. A former correspondent for Story Corps, Lizz now lives in in Florida and with her fiance and newborn daughter.

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.

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.

Carlos Robson

Carlos Robson

Carlos Robson took the poetry circuit by surprise in 2006, where he was a few ranks away from making finals at the Individual World Poetry Slam, his first major event. Since then, Carlos has been a Southern Fried Regional Poetry Slam Champion in 2009, and a National Poetry Slam Champion with Slam Charlotte in 2008. Carlos is now one of the most successfully booked poets on the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) circuit and tours around the globe. He is known for his narrative driven performances, which he has showcased at colleges, schools, and poetry venues all over the country and abroad. Carlos lives in Charlotte, NC and works full time as a poet and teaching artist.

Carlos Robson

Khary Jackson

A former forensics competitor for Bowling Green University in Ohio, Khary Jackson has become one of the most successful slam competitors in the past decade, winning the National Poetry Slam two years in a row (2009 and 2010) with the Soapbox Poetry Slam team, and appearing in three different Individual World Poetry Slam finals in the past 6 years. Along with his work as an accomplished playwright, Khary's name has become synonymous with the persona poem, and his passionate performances have been seen all over the country. Khary works as an educator and mentor in the Minnesota twin cities.

Boris Rogers

Boris "Bluz" Rogers

Boris "Bluz" Rogers is the Slammaster of the Slam Charlotte organization, perhaps the most winning slam team in the past 10 years on the Poetry Slam circuit. Bluz led Slam Charlotte to back-to-back National Poetry Slam victories in 2007 and 2008, helped them to several other NPS final appearances, was a Individual World Slam finalist in 2004 and 2007, led his team to a Southern Fried Regional team championship in 2009, and was the 2010 individual Southern Fried champion. He is also the poet laureate for Nascar's Speed Channel, which he won an Emmy for in 2010. Bluz lives in Charlotte, NC.