Mike Taylor, Executive Director
Mike Taylor started out as the only male in his middle school poetry club. Years later he’d win the San Francisco Teen Slam, and then go on to compete all over the globe. He says “Teaching poetry is way more rewarding than anything I’ve done in a competition. I’m sharing my passion.” With 16 classes a week, and three clubs under his instruction; he has lots of passion to share.
Mike likes to vary his subject matter writing about things that people can relate to; from sending out cover letters to future employers, to making impossible New Year’s resolutions. He says “what’s important is that you bring a story audiences haven’t heard before, and if they have heard it you’d better find a brand new way to tell it.”
Now Mike is in front of classrooms every day. He’s designed all his own lesson plans, created games that keep the kids on their toes, and built a slam community in Pacifica, California. He teaches slam poetry in a way that kids forget they’re learning English. At the end of the day he has one goal for all of his students. He says “People should be comfortable speaking in front of an audience.” It’s something everybody does, but not everyone does well. Mike wants his program to be as practical as it is creative. The skill will help them in high school, college, and life. Hopefully your school can get a spot in his schedule.
// Three-time Nationalist
// Founded SPARC Poetry to introduce slam poetry to elementary students
SPARC Poetry teachers are some of the best poets in the country. Courses are always taught by individuals that compete on the national level.
Jamey Williams, Poetry Facilitator
Jamey Williams is the outspoken poet representing Richmond, California. After winning the Compliment Death Match at the 2017 National Poetry Slam he was dubbed “the nicest poet in the country.” He co-founded both the Rich Oak Alchemy Slam & California State University East Bay Slam Fam. Not only has he toured internationally, but he has also performed at Twitter Headquarters. When he isn’t competing, Jamey spends his time watching anime, reading books, and educating the youth.
// 1 time Nationalist
// Co founded Rich Oak Alchemy Slam
Patrick Ohslund, Poetry Facilitator
Patrick Ohslund is an internationally touring artist and the Executive Director of the spoken word poetry focused non-profit Bay Area Creative. His work with this 501(c)(3) encompasses writing workshops with under-served youth from grades 1st-12th, therapeutic arts work with caregivers and people currently involved in cycles of abuse, professional development with educators that focuses on creating culturally relevant curriculum and supporting social emotional learning, and team building workshops with companies for providing cultural sensitivity and equity training.
// 5 time Nationalist
// Co founded Digital Storytellers
// Founded Bay Area Creative