Friday June 26th @ 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM EDT | RSVP HERE
The Candela Literary Pride Festival opens on the hot and sultry virtual carpet with PARIS IS STILL BURNING, a reading featuring queer poets voicing work born out of protest and the queer experience. Virtual doors open at 7:30 for pre-performance cocktail experience.
CONFIRMED PERFORMERS: Regie Cabico, Mia S. Willis, Liv Mammone, Legna Rodriguez Iglesias, Rogelio Orizondo , Michah Powell, SoFla Protest Poets Rosen T. Gordon, Amelia Maria Leon & Titi, Farah Yamini, Rachel Komich, Jae Escoto and more.
Regie Cabico is a spoken word pioneer having won The Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam and later taking top prizes in three National Poetry Slams. Television credits include 2 seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, NPR’s Snap Judgement, TEDx Talk & MTV’s Free Your Mind. His work appears in Poetry, American Academy of Poets, Pine Hills Review & Beltway Poetry Quarterly, among others. He is the recipient of several fellowships from The New York Foundation for the Arts and The DC Commission for the Arts. As a theater artist he received three New York Innovative Theater Award Nominations for his work in Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind with a win for Best Performance Art Production The Kenyon Review recently named Regie Cabico the “Lady Gaga of Poetry” and he has been listed in BUST magazine’s 100 Men We Love. Mr. Cabico is the publisher and founder of Capturing Fire Press and Slam and co-founder of Split This Rock in Washington, DC.
Jae Escoto has been a spoken word performer for over a decade. He was on the 2010, 2013, and 2015 San Diego Slam Team. Jae has used his poetry to mentor youth and facilitate workshops for young women in community schools and juvenile hall. In 2014, he released his first book of poetry with fellow poet, Gill Sotu, entitled How to Love Gods and Acrobats. Jae holds a Masters degree in Women’s Studies and has taught at both SDSU and CSUSM. His professional career in content and creative strategy started when he served as a Creative Content Specialist for celebrity life-coach, Tony Robbins. Jae’s latest book, The Woman Inside of Me was released by Capturing Fire Press.
Liv Mammone is an editor and poet from Long Island, New York. Her poetry has appeared in wordgathering, monstering, Wicked Banshee, The Medical Journal of Australia, and others. In 2017, she competed for Union Square Slam as the first disabled woman to be on a New York national poetry slam team and appeared in the play The Fall of All Atomic Angels as part of a festival that was named Best of Off Off Broadway by Time Out Magazine. She was also a finalist in the Capturing Fire National Poetry Slam in Washington DC. Her editorial job on Uma Dwivedi’s poetry collection They Called her Goddess; We Named her Girl, was nominated for a Write Bloody book award. She is also the editor of the speculative fiction series Margins and Murmurations by author and activist, Otter Lieffe. Currently, she works as an editor at Game Over Books and a reader for the literary magazine Anomaly.
Micah Powell is an orator, writer, poet, DJ and community activist. Though a native hailing from the small town of Upper Marlboro Maryland , he has DJ(ed) events for the Bias family, other family events and many parties for the Makers Lab crew. He has been featured in the Washington Post, multiple anthologies, and magazines. Micah has performed with internationally known slam poets and musicians as well as mentored young powers and artists, worked with politicians, religious and government orgs in addition to the community to create programs and spaces that empower the everyday person. He has captivated audiences with his colorful combination of words and music, intriguing monologues about civil rights, passionate please for peas, and respect and appreciation for black women. Micah is a true charismatic duality of the sane and insane. His eccentric nature entraps audiences to listen and just maybe feel a little something…
Mia S. Willis is a 23-year-old Black poet and teaching artist from Charlotte, North Carolina. Their work has been featured by or is forthcoming in Curating Alexandria, WORDPEACE, Peculiar, Foothill, Button Poetry, and Slamfind. Mia is a recipient of the 2018 Foothill Editors’ Prize for their poem “hecatomb,” which was also nominated for a Pushcart Prize. They ranked fourth out of 96 femme poets at the 2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam, placed fifth out of 150 poets at the 2018 Southern Fried Poetry Slam, and won the 2018 Capturing Fire Slam. Mia was also a member of Tender Bitch, the winning team at the 2018 Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam Tournament. Thus far in 2019, they have served as the Tournament Director for the inaugural New South Poetry Conference, a regional slam tournament and workshop series sponsored by Agnes Scott College for collegiate teams. Mia was recently named the Tournament Coordinator for the 2019 Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam Tournament, a community- run poetry competition and festival curated for feminine folx. Their debut poetry collection, monster house., was the 2018 winner of the Cave Canem Foundation’s Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize and will be published by Jai Alai Books in April 2019. Connect with Mia on Facebook and Twitter (@poetinthehat).
Farah C Yamini is a non-binary Miami-based poet, cultural worker, and scholar. Their poetry has appeared in Anhinga Press’ Poetry Anthology Reading Queer: Poetry in a Time of Chaos and in University of Wynwood’s Press literary magazine, Jai Alai. With a deeply rooted belief that poetry, literacy and cultural programming work for youth is urgent and necessary for a better tomorrow, they have led individually curated Storytelling & Poetry classes to K-3 programs through O, Miami’s Sunroom & through Burlington Kids. Since 2018, they have been contributing storytelling work for Climates of Inequality, Humanities Action Lab’s coalition, a community curated public humanities project in 40 cities led from Rutgers University-Newark. Through Reading Queer, as the programming director, Farah is ensuring that important literary cultural events are being programmed for the TLGBQAI Community. Currently, Farah is mentoring the SoFla Protest Poets, exploring what virtual theatre looks like with Miami Queer Theatre Collective’s Queerantine Theatre collaborations and pursuing interdisciplinary graduate work in the English and Sociology department at Florida International University with a focus on activist poetics that addresses all types of violence-from cultural to environmental.
Rachel Komich(they/them) is a queer, nonbinary poet from Ohio currently living in Miami, Florida. They recently earned their masters in Library Science through Syracuse University’s iSchool. They are one of two founders and editors of Butter Press, a literary magazine centering queer, trans, and non-binary voices. They are also a project coordinator with Women Artist Archive Miami. You can find them on twitter @rachelkomich.
Legna Rodríguez Iglesias (born 1984) is an award-winning Cuban poet, playwright, and short story writer. Her work is often characterized by absurdist humor and playfully perverse observations of everyday life in contemporary Cuba and Miami, as well as cross-genre experimentation with prose poetry and narrative poetry.] Four of her poems, in the original Spanish and in English translation, were featured in The Kenyon Review’s 2018 special issue on new Cuban poetry.
Rogelio Orizondo is one of Cuba’s most daring contemporary playwrights. A graduate from Cuba’s University of the Arts, he also studied at the famous International School of Film and TV (San Antonio de los Baños) at their Advanced Screenwriter’s Workshop. He has participated in various international collaborations through Havana’s Week of German Theater and projects sponsored by the Embassy of Norway as well as in many formal and informal exchanges with young Latin American and European directors. In 2011, he won a fellowship from the Goethe Institute, the Maxim Gorki Theater, and the Schauspiel award (Stuttgart). As a result, his plays have been translated to German and French, have been read in Germany and New York, and have been presented in Germany, France, Argentina, Uruguay, and the United States. His writings have premiered in Cuba in the hands of directors such as Carlos Díaz and Juan Carlos Cremata. As a director, he has staged his own Porque los no nacidos también son personas (Because the unborn are people too, based on The Name by Jon Fosse) which was performed at the Bergen International Festival in 2012, and Perros que jamás ladraron (Dogs that never barked) which received the 2012 Aire Frío award for best art direction.
SoFla Proest Poets:
Rosen T. Gordon (zhe, zhir, and zhirs pronouns) is an activist, student, and poet. Zhe utilizes the intersectionality framework coined by Professor Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in zhir fight for the rights of people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, people with disabilities, and various marginalized communities. In the community, zhe is the administrator of the Rainbow Rights PAC. At Florida International University (FIU), Rosen is the president of the Honors College Pride Club, room manager of Pride Space, and the president of the Pride Student Union Formation Committee. Rosen is going into zhir third year at FIU, double majoring in (1) Women’s and Gender studies and (2) Latin American and Caribbean studies. Zhe is minoring in History and Anthropology / Sociology and receiving undergraduate certificates in Queer Studies, Afro Latin American Studies, and Global Black Studies. Rosen writes, publishes, and performs slam poetry centering zhir identities, oppression, and liberation. Rosen fights for social justice through direct action, education, social media, and poetry.
Amelia María León (all pronouns welcome with love) is a recent FIU Worlds Ahead, Honors College, Global Medallion, Biology Bachelor’s graduate with a European and Eurasian Certificate. They have an interest in Immunology and Microbiology and would like to pursue a Masters in Epidemiology before applying to medical school to serve the LGBTQA community. They participated in several summer research internships in Harvard, FIU, and SCRIPPS where they conducted research on topics in Neuroscience, Tropical Conservation, Microbiology and Immunology. As an LGBTQA individual themselves, they partook in many LGBTQA related projects, like REFLECT which uplifted LGBTQA sexual assault survivors through a benefit concert, and Simple Pleaasures, a club formed to educate people on queer centered sex and gender education. They also attended the Creating Change conference where they learned how to be a better activist for the LGBTQA community. In addition, Amelia is extremely passionate about the environment and has interned at the Office of University Sustainability where they are in the process of creating an arboretum for FIU. They were also the Student Government Association Chair of Sustainability where they hosted many educational events about the environment and passed an FIU Arboretum resolution to forward its progress. Currently, Amelia is running a vegan, allergen friendly, sustainable business named No Nut Vegan Sweets and is also a drag king by the name of Bad Papi who aims to increase visibility of the Latine community in the LGBTQA community. Amelia also writes songs on their free time, as well as poetry. Amelia has proven to be extremely passionate for change and will do whatever it takes to get there.
Thuy-Thoung “Ti Ti” Nguyen (she / they pronouns) is an emerging leader in the LGBTQIA+ community. She is the Director of Membership and Community Engagement in the Rainbow Rights PAC and the president of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) at Florida International University (FIU). They are the 2020 MLK peace award recipient for their amazing work in the LGBTQIA+ community. At FIU, Ti Ti is going into their senior year studying Health Services Administration. Currently, they work as a student assistant for FIU Multicultural Programs and Services (MPAS). Her career goal is to become a doctor specializing in LGBTQIA+ responsive and centered health care. Ti Ti is highly ambitious and passionate about BIPOC LGBTQIA+ issues, which they intend to address as a physician and healthcare administrator.
Sponsors & Funders: Poets & Writers, Capfire Spoken Word Arts, Wild & Precious Life Series, Alternate Roots & The Knight Foundation.