Kelly Harris-DeBerry earned her MFA in poetry from Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass. She has been awarded fellowships by Cave Canem and the Fine Arts Work Center and won a Wendy L. Moore Emerging Artists Award from the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. Her poems have appeared in Say It Loud: Poems for James Brown, Yale University's Caduceus, PMS, The Southern Women's Review, PLUCK Magazine, DrumVoices Revue and publications. She serves on the board of STAIR, (Start the Adventure) in Reading and is the editor/founder of brassybrown.com
Kysha Brown Robinson
Kysha Brown Robinson is a publisher, poet and author of the collection “Spherical Woman.” She is co-founder and president of Runagate, an independent, New Orleans-based press that specializes in books on New Orleans culture and African heritage cultures worldwide. Runagate has published and Brown has co-edited (with Kalamu ya Salaam) the anthology Fertile Ground: Memories & Visions (1996), which includes noted writers from the Caribbean, Africa, England and important African-American writers such as Amiri Baraka, Kathleen Neal Cleaver, the late Stephen Henderson, Haki Madhubuti, and Sonia Sanchez. Runagate’s second publication is the critically acclaimed anthology From A Bend In The River: 100 New Orleans Poets (1998).
Gian Smith is also well known locally for his community organization including NOYOpresents: Pass It On open mic. His craft spans over several media including writing, acting, and video production, but he is probably most notably recognized as a spoken word poet. Gian has made several television appearances, some on local New Orleans stations, some international including VH1 and HBO. His poem ‘O Beautiful Storm’ was featured in a preview for season 2 of HBO’s Treme which resulted in an interview on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition. The three commercials Smith featured in ran over the course of about four months on HBO.