Power Poetry Mentors

Every serious poet, somewhere along the line, needs someone whom they trust and respect to give them detailed guidance and feedback on their work as Rainer Maria Rilke did in his Letters to a Young Poet: "I can't give you any advice but this: to go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows." Our mentors are here to help, so feel free to read their bios, their poetry, and reach out to any number of them with whom you would like to share your work.



Cynthia is a writer, public speaker, and spoken word artist. She believes in using poetry to stand for justice, educate others, celebrate life, open the heart, and create beauty. She graduated from Kennesaw State University with a bachelor’s degree in Integrative Studies, with concentrations in English and Writing. Although Cynthia writes in various styles, spoken word poetry opened the door to many opportunities. Cynthia was the Master of Ceremonies at Carnegie Hall and a guest speaker and poet at cafes, theaters, schools, open mics, and
churches. She was the opening act for Emmy award winning journalist, as well as solo-award winning actor Anita Woodley, in her show Mama Juggs. She performed in honor of the Justice Conference, a conference that
features internationally acclaimed speakers who are dedicated to inspiring a movement for justice. She recently published her poetry in Share, an art and literary magazine. She is humbled and exhilarated for
the chance to use her knowledge of written and performance poetry to inspire and empower young poets. Cynthia joined Power Poetry to combine
her passions for writing and helping others in a creative way. You can see some of her works on her website: cynthiasinspirations.com on YouTube, and her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.inspirations/ page.



Hamza began writing poetry during the summer after his Junior year in high school. After listening to Hip Hop for nearly his entire life, he stumbled upon the realization that Hip Hop, in all of its shapes and sizes, is poetry. The artists that had taught him lessons through their work inspired him to do the same for others. As Hamza immersed himself in lyrics, styles, and flows of his favorite artists, he developed his own style—an outgrowth of the same messages his hero’s preached through his headphones. "When God Calls" is an example of his work. Hamza is currently an active member in his community and has performed Spoken Word for numerous organizations and events. He updates his blog, ThisIsPoetryProject, with a new poem each week and records his poems whenever he has the time. His best advice for any poet is to write from their heart because, he believes, everything else will follow.



Jan is a poet who hails from Louisiana but currently lives in L.A. She loves the sunny weather but also desperately misses Southern thunderstorms and people who say "y'all." Her poetry and reviews have been published in Weave Magazine, McSweeney's, The Rio Grande Review, The Raven Chronicles, and The Exquisite Corpse. Jan holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from New York University and a B.A. in English from Louisiana State University. She has worked with youth in various capacities for over fourteen years, as a camp counselor, writing and English tutor, and creative writing instructor. Jan is so excited about being a Power Poetry mentor because she knows how integral one-on-one feedback is to helping young poets develop their unique voices. Her own work often deals with difficult or socially unacceptable subject matter, and she wishes she'd had someone tell her sooner that that was not only okay but important! She believes in the power of your words, too.



Nida is currently studying English at Hunter College. Her favorite author is Agatha Christie and her favorite band is Awkwarium. She's been writing since she could celebrate double-digit birthdays and hasn't stopped since. After a rap battle a year ago she had an epiphany and has been focusing on rapping as a medium to write through. She plans on gathering enough to courage to perform at open mics soon but for now, she's sticking to the art of written word. Check out her blog, lemonsandrhymes, for updates on new work.



Nikki holds an M.A. in creative writing from New York University, an M.F.A. in creative writing from Indiana University, and an M.F.A. in creative writing from NYU. She taught creative writing at several universities for 10 years, including NYU and IU, as well as The New School in New York City. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant in poetry, and has been awarded many national prizes and honors for her writing, including two Pushcart Press nominations. Nikki's poetry and essays have appeared in anthologies and college textbooks, including Poetry After 9-11: An Anthology of New York Poets, and America Now. Her memoir, The Bird Market of Paris, is due out from Henry Holt in Spring 2014.


Rae Ann

Rae Ann is a communications and public affairs professional. She managed communications for The Port Authority of NY& NJ, and for nonprofit organizations. Her love of poetry emerged in her early teens, and she took as many poetry courses as she could as part of her majors in psychology and fine arts in college. Several of her poems were published in Georgetown University's literary journals. She is a mentor for Power Poetry because of her belief that words are important, that what people say to each other does not evaporate, and that there should always be a free, open, welcoming space for people--especially young people--to speak from their hearts.




Robert (a.k.a. "M.V.P". or "Most Valuable Poet") is a taino black puerto rican man of God who loves The Lord. Everything he does in life is to make God proud by fulfilling His prophesies . As a counselor, Robert focuses on helping young people strive to achieve goals both in and out of school. Robert has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Certificate in Education. As an educator, he believes in a philosophy of "don't be comfortable, be uncomfortable because everyday, there is urgency in being the absolute best". Robert dedicates himself to helping young people master English literacy, and encourages these people to write poetry. He likes to remind students to challenge themselves and to not be afraid to fail, for that is the only way they will succeed. Robert performs weekly at poetry open mic events throughout NYC.


Tyree is a poet and activist. He holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College with a focus in social psychology, migration studies, and creative writing (fiction and poetry). During college he studied poetry with his academic adviser Kevin Pilkington, renowned poet and novelist. He also studied poetry for a semester at Eugene Lang College The New School For Liberal Arts where he was taught by Professor Mark Statman, son-in-law to the renowned American poet Kenneth Koch. He has performed at numerous Spoken Word Collectives and Open Mic nights and enjoys having his voice heard through poetry. He was awarded a Citation of Excellence Poetry Prize Award [2011] for his performance at the 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides of 1961 event at Sarah Lawrence College. He has two collections of poetry: Black Body Queer Spirit: A Collection of Poems and Broken Dreams: A Collection of Poems. Tyree also has a profound love for photography and recently released his first photo gallery titled Unearthing The Art Of Graffiti. His poetry can be found on Power Poetry, Poetry Soup, Voices In Space, The New York State Youth Leadership Council's Poetry Forum, Gay Literature, Black-Listed Magazine: An Online Poetry Magazine, Dark Phrases Volume 22 Literary Publication, DAPS Zine, and on his website Words of Wisdom: Poetry In Motion.


Love poetry and want to inspire young poets? Apply to be a Power Poetry mentor today.