Team San Francisco is more than a radically diverse collection of passionate and strikingly talented performers–we are hard-working educators, social workers, activists, and mentors. Though we hail from remarkably different backgrounds, we share the desire to make great art (and a better world through it).
Queen D (Danee Black)
From Oakland, CA by way of Sacramento, Danee Black (aka Queen D) is an artist and poet attempting to navigate through life using spoken word and her dedication to truth. With poems that explore mother/daughter relationships, abuse, self-discovery, grief and love, Queen D’s honest dialogue and passionate performance transcends barriers and appeals to the human in us all. She was a member of the 2007 Oakland Slam Team and is currently on the 2010 San Francisco Slam Team. She has featured at poetry venues and universities all over the bay area including: Mouth Off at Air Lounge (Oakland), Golden Gate Slam (Oakland), Berkeley Slam, Talkback Tuesdays (Sac), Blue Candle (Oakland), Mics & Moods (Sac), Poetically Speaking (San Jose), Moody Blues Poetry Series (Sac) San Francisco State University, CSU East Bay, Radio stations: KPOO and BlogTalk Radio and shared the stage with the likes of Def Poet’s Black Ice and Georgia Me. Outside of being a poet, Danee is a full time special education teacher with a knack for making learning interesting for the disinterested. She enjoys drawing, dancing and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Sam Sax is six months new to the bay area after a ten month tour throughout the United States and Canada. Featuring at poetry slams (the Green Mill, Slam Nuba, Portland Slam, Van Slam, among others), open mics, college campuses (Oberlin College, Brown University, University of Maryland, UT Austin, etc.), basements, and street corners. He has worked with queer youth across the country as well, from Chicago to Portland (About Face, SMYRC, Homo A Go Go, etc) and is interested in cultivating community and identity through spoken poetics. He’s hella geeked to be a part of the 2010 SF Slam Team and is currently doing shows in the Bay Area, working on a manuscript, and serving people coffee.
Tatyana Brown is a writer, educator, and community organizer based in San Francisco. She has read poems to teenagers on the mountaintops of British Columbia, told stories to captivated, pervy Bay Area audiences, and sold instant literature ranging from short stories to wedding vows as a street vending freelance writer in New York City. Tatyana is an associate editor for the second volume of The Open Face Sandwich, a journal of uncommon prose, and a member of the 2009 Life Sentence Slam Team (5th place in group piece finals at NPS). She has featured throughout the Bay Area and served as the Development Director at the 2009 Individual World Poetry Slam in Berkeley, CA.
The Saint (Anthony Lemuel Gonsalves)
Saint hails from Stockton, CA. His writing journey began in high school constructing love poems to girls he was afraid to talk to. He is the 2009 “Ill-List” Champion and 2010 “King of the Mic” Champion. He currently hosts two open mic/slam venues; The Pierced Ear Poetry Series in Stockton, CA and the Sonoma County Poetry Slam in Sonoma County. He most recently made the 2010 San Francisco Slam Team which will compete at the National Slam Competition this August in St. Paul, Minnesota. His style infuses humor, passion, and ideals which inspire as well as entertain. He has opened for hip-hop artists Talib Kweli and Lupe Fiasco and has shared the stage with the likes of Buddy Wakefield and Sonya Renee. One of his greatest joys has been teaching in writing workshops for young people in high schools and youth centers.
Terry Taplin is Bay Area native and Berkeley based Spoken Word artist and educator. He has been on 3 national poetry slam teams at the youth and collegiate levels. In 2006 Terry represented the Bay Area as a member of the Youthspeaks Nation Youth Championship team and went on to become the Bay Area Teen Poetry Grand Slam Co-Champion the following year and is a member of the 2009 UC Berkeley Slam Team that placed third at the annual College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. In Terry’s work he aims to demystify and expand masculinity, maleness and what it means to be both powerful and human at once. By illuminating and navigating the ever exponential intersections of race, gender and sexual orientation he hopes to empower others to embrace their own humanity in its entirety. He is currently a poet mentor with Youth Speaks and is the 2010 coach for the Bay Area Youth Speaks Brave New Voices Team, having successfully coached them to the BNV Finals Stage in 2009.