Meet the 2016 POL Judges and Emcee

By Dani Brown, Arts Education Special Project Coordinator –

POL2016graphicRGBMark your calendars to attend the Tennessee State Poetry Out Loud Competition held Saturday, March 19 at the Nashville Children’s Theatre. We are honored to introduce our four notable artists who will be judging the contest:

Ethan Castelo teaches Literature and Composition at Middle Tennessee State University. His fiction has appeared in Prairie Fire and The Journal and has also been honored by Glimmer Train.

Thandiwe Shiphrah is a multidisciplinary artist and a practitioner of arts-based learning and community building. She is passionate about poetry and dedicated to raising awareness of its personal and social relevance.

Christian J. Collier is a 2015 Loft Spoken Word Immersion Fellow. He is an accomplished artist and educator who has shared the stage with several members of HBO’s Def Poetry cast, legendary poet and activist Ishmael Reed, Grammy-nominated artist Minton Sparks, etc. and has repeatedly been featured on the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel

Rafael Figueroa Salgado was born in Cuernavac, Mexico. He’s a cartoonist, photographer, videographer, actor and artivist from Memphis Tennessee.

(Click here for more information about our judges)

The Commission is also thrilled to introduce our wonderful Emcee for the day, Stephanie Pruitt. She is a poet and social practice artist who has taught arts education and creative writing at Vanderbilt University, Sewanee Young Writers Conference, and as a visiting artist in over one hundred K-12 and community settings. Stephanie is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize and Essence Magazine named her one of their “40 Favorite Poets.”

(Click here for more information about Stephanie)

The competition starts at 10:00 am. For questions and more information, please contact Danielle Brown.