Kevin W. Burke was born and raised in the aged suburban stretch, industrial parks, and haunted forests of the Chicago Southland. He has found work in a grocery store, animal shelter, power plants, scaffold yard, coffee shop, windshield warehouse, film studio, bar, classrooms, the back of an ambulance, a fire engine, and the poetry of the homemade flyers, frayed cables, and broken nosed laughter between punk-rock and hip-hop. When he's not doing poety things, he is working as a firefighter (back in an academy currently) and resides in South Austin with a wonderful lady and their three big dogs.
Here's some other stuff Kevin's done:
2011 Austin Poetry Slam Champion, 2011 Austin Poetry Slam Team, 2011 Southwest Shootout Individual Slam Champion, 2011 Texas Grand Slam Poetry Festival Champion, 2012 Austin Poetry Slam Team, 2013 Austin Poetry Slam Team, 2013 Texas Grand Slam Poetry Festival Champion, Collaborated with Grammy winning Conspirare, shared stages with fancy people like Derrick Brown, Anis Mojgani, Buddy Wakefield, and Cristin O'keefe Aptowicz. Also, he has upcoming work published in Into Quarterly and Freeze Ray Press.
Jamar Valentin - events coordinator
Jomar Valentin is the current Slam Master of Austin Poetry Slam. In over 20 years since Austin Poetry Slam was established, Jomar is the first ever POC to hold the title of Slam Master as well as the first queer person to be named into the position.
Jomar's slam roots were planted in 2009 as a member of the Austin Neo Soul National Poetry Slam Team with Ebony Stewart, Tova Charles, & Sarah Uphoff. He was a returning member in 2010 when Neo Soul finished in the Top 4 of that year's Nationals. He was on Neo's team again in 2015 finishing in 3rd place at National Group Piece finals in Oakland, CA.
Jomar crossed over to the Austin Poetry Slam team in 2011 with Zachary Caballero, Kevin Burke, Lacey Roop, Good Ghost Bill. Jomar was the 2014 Austin Poetry Slam Grand Slam Champion, and is the 2015 APS Individual World Poetry Slam Champion. He was also a member of the 2016 Austin Poetry Slam Team.
Jomar is a naturalized American citizen from the Philippines. In 2001, at a time of political unrest in the Philippines, Jomar's family moved to the US in the middle of the EDSA II Revolution. This story comes out of some of his poetry.
Jomar is a 2nd Degree Black Belt, the father of two dogs, and is a proud member of Team Instinct.
Matt Brosseau was raised in Chicagoland and then fell, stumbled, and otherwise awkwardly plodded into adulthood. No matter where his professional life has taken him, he has always been curious about what makes people tick and how that tick-tock manifests itself on screen, page, and verse. This curiosity led him to partner with his lifelong friend, Kevin W. Burke, to assist in managing the business-y business of Timber Mouse Publishing. When he's not elbow deep in spreadsheets and internet, Matt takes the stage to try and incite some laughter out of his fellow humans.
Ebony Stewart is a writer, spoken-word artist, and has been an active part of the Central Texas slam poetry scene and arts community for over ten years. In 2012, Ebony coached the Neo-Soul slam team finishing 1st place in Group Piece Finals. In 2013, she coached the Austin Poetry Slam team leading them to 5th place at the National Poetry Slam and coached the TheySpeak Poetry Slam team finishing top 8 in the world at Brave New Voices in 2014. She is the only adult female three-time Slam Champion in Austin Texas and has shared stages with Buddy Wakefield and the late Amri Baraka. As an author, Ebony Stewart published The Queen’s Glory & The Pussy’s Box with the Weekly Weird Monthly and Love Letters To Balled Fists with Timber Mouse Publishing. Ebony Stewart has been featured in “For Harriet”, “The Agenda: working for LGBT economic equality”, and Perry-Castaῆeda Library at University of Texas. In 2011, she was voted MUST SEE and 2012 Poet of the Year. She is a former Sexual Health Educator and an aspiring comedian when allowed. Sometimes known as The Peoples Poet and The Gully Princess, Ebony Stewart writes because she has too and eats cupcakes for fun.
Texas raised, “the South in her.”
Rachel Wiley is known for her honest, witty, and sometimes sassy poetry that touches body image, romance, and feminism. From Columbus, Ohio, she attended the Theatre Studies program at Capital University. She tours colleges and slam venues nationwide. Her work has been featured by the Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, Frigg Magazine, Drunken Boat, and Nailed Magazine. Her first full length poetry collection "Fat Girl Finishing School " was published by Timber Mouse Publishing in October 2014. You can gind out more by visiting her at wileypoery.weebly.com
Ronnie K. Stephens is a full-time English teacher and the father of identical twins. His poems often explore vulnerability in its many facets.
His first collection, Universe in the Key of Matryoshka, was published by Timber Mouse Publishing in 2014. Individual poems have previously appeared in Rattle, Paper Darts, Weave Magazine, DASH, and PANK, among others.
William James is a poet, punk rocker, and train enthusiast from Manchester, NH. He has featured or competed at poetry slams, readings, music venues, and basements in almost every state east of the Mississippi, touring both as a solo artist and in support of musical acts ranging from hardcore bands to folk singers.
He's a contributing editor for Drunk In A Midnight Choir, a facilitator with the Slam Free Or Die writing workshop, and a frequent host at the weekly Slam Free Or Die reading in Manchester. Various works have appeared or are forthcoming in SOFTBLOW, the Emerson Review, Atticus Review, Word Riot, and Radius Lit. He can be found online at http://williamjamespoetry.com
Lacey Roop has a kaleidoscope of work that is sure to make the heart shout, stomp, and stutter. As a slam poet, Lacey has previously placed 6th at the Women of the World Poetry Slam, been a two-time member of the renowned Austin Poetry Slam team, and ranked several times as a top-scoring poet at the Individual World Poetry Slam. Lacey has also opened for the Grammy Award winning band, The Wailers, performed her poetry with the Grammy Award winning and transformative musical group Conspirare, and been a featured performer at the sold-out Desert Rocks Musical Festival. Lacey was also featured on PBS's highly acclaimed show, Roadtrip Nation.
Lacey's work has also been published by A Light, Ascent Aspirations Magazine, and The Sunday Poem. She is also the author of a full-length book of poetry, And Then Came The Flood. In addition to sharing stages with bands, Lacey has performed alongside acclaimed poets such as Derrick Brown, Andrea Gibson, Staceyann Chin, Anis Mojgani, Ebony Stewart, and Lauren Zuniga. As an advocate and ally, Lacey's work discusses gender & sexuality, marginalized voices, and women-empowerment. Lacey's work also focuses on soaking up and sharing the hope and magic that exists all around us every day. She writes because it hurts not to, and greets life with a high-five, a pen, and a key that unlocks the bottom of the ocean (really, it does). She also gives the most incredible hugs. Ever.