11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Poetry Slam Workshops March 2023

Would you like to compete in this year's Diversity Festival Poetry Slam? This March, we are hosting four poetry slam workshops via Zoom to help prepare our students and staff to compete in the Poetry Slam on April 12 at Oxnard College. Prepare to compete and have some fun. There are prizes for the winners! Attend one workshop or all four.  Workshops will be on Thursdays, March 2, 9, 16 and 23. 

Thursday, March 2 | 11 a.m. - Noon

Personal is Political with Matt Sedillo

Zoom Meeting Link

Meeting ID: 878 8158 1514  & Passcode: 290964

Matt Sedillo has been described as the "best political poet in America" as well as "the poet laureate of the struggle" by academics, poets, and journalists alike. He has appeared on CSPAN and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, among other publications. He has spoken at Casa de las Americas in Havana, Cuba, at numerous conferences and forums such as the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education, National Association of Chicana/Chicano Studies, The Left Forum, The US Social Forum, and at over a hundred universities and colleges, including the University of Cambridge, among many others. He is the current writer in residence at Re/arte and author of Mowing Leaves of Grass (FlowerSong Press, 2019) and City on the Second Floor( FlowerSong Press, 2022).


Thursday, March 9 | 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Making the Words Move with Brennan DeFrisco

Zoom Meeting Link

Meeting ID: 819 3724 9133 & Passcode: 936316

Brennan DeFrisco is a poet, teaching artist, editor & program coordinator living in Portland, Oregon by way of the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s been a National Poetry Slam finalist, a Pushcart Prize nominee, 2017 Grand Slam Champion of the Oakland Poetry Slam, & a county arts coordinator for California Poets in the Schools, Poetry Out Loud, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. He’s the author of A Heart With No Scars, published by Nomadic Press & has served as poetry editor on the mastheads of Lunch Ticket, Caesura & Meow Meow Pow Pow. Brennan facilitates creative writing and performance workshops, serving K-12 classrooms, incarcerated youth, adults, seniors, and various arts education programs. His work has been published in Red Wheelbarrow, Words Dance, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Collective Unrest, & elsewhere. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles.


Thursday, March 16 | 11 a.m. - Noon

Writing Identity with Milani Pelley

Zoom Meeting Link 

Meeting ID: 878 8158 1514 & Passcode: 290964

Milani Pelley is a forever changing being, probably not initially from this earth. An advocate of children, families, art, spirituality and freedom for all people, Milani was born and raised and gave birth in Berkeley; She believes Black people belong in Berkeley. Milani believes in Matriarchy and Divine Love and uses her gifts as an educator, healer, poet, and facilitator of self expression and healing to create this in the world.

Milani has performed at the Opera House in San Francisco and for activists Will i.am, Saul Williams, Jesse Jackson and Angela Davis. Milani solely represented Oakland in the Women of the World Poetry Slam in 2010. Milani was a part of Team Oakland in 2010, placing top four in group piece finals, and was a member of Team Oakland 2011, ranking top ten in the nation. To hear, read and speak Milani’s words is truly an unforgettable experience. To participate in her workshops is transformative.


Thursday, March 23 | 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Mic Control with David A. Romero

Zoom Meeting Link 

Meeting ID: 819 3724 9133

Passcode: 936316


David A. Romero is a Mexican-American spoken word artist from Diamond Bar, CA. Romero is the author of My Name Is Romero (FlowerSong Press), a book reviewed by Gustavo Arellano (¡Ask a Mexican!), Curtis Marez (University Babylon), and founding member of Ozomatli, Ulises Bella. Romero has appeared at over seventy-five colleges and universities in thirty different states in the USA. Romero's work has been published in literary magazines in the United States, England, and Canada.

Romero has opened for Latin Grammy winning bands Ozomatli and La Santa Cecilia. Romero's work has been published in anthologies alongside poets laureate Joy Harjo, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Luis J. Rodriguez, Jack Hirschman, and Tongo Eisen-Martin. Romero has won the Uptown Slam at the historic Green Mill in Chicago; the birthplace of slam poetry. Romero's poetry deals with family, identity, social justice, and Latinx issues.


Diversity in Culture Festival Poetry Slam Workshop