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Jason Carney


Jason Carney, an author activist and educator from Dallas, Texas, is a four-time National Poetry Slam Finalist, honored as a Legend of the Slam in 2007. He appeared on three seasons of the HBO television series Russell Simmons’ Def Poets. Jason has performed and lectured at some of our nation’s finest colleges and universities as well as high schools and juvenile detention centers from California to Maine. A graduate of Wilkes University MFA Program for Creative Writing, where he was an honored winner of the Etruscan Prize, the Bergman Foundation Scholarship, and the Norris Church-Mailer Scholarship. He is Co-founder and Artistic Director of the non-profit Young DFW Writers. His memoir, Starve the Vulture, has been optioned for film with Storefront Pictures. 

Cher Musico


CHER MUSICO is a queer Filipina-American visual storyteller from Dallas, Texas. Focusing on photography, painting, spoken word, and video interview shorts, her background in graphic design, as well as marketing and branding, has helped fuse both administrative and creative aspects to help embody her visual artistry through a variety of avenues.

Diagnosed in 2010 at the age of 34, with Asperger’s, an autism spectrum disorder that can best be described as emotionally living in a different culture, artistic expression has become an even more important collaboration of conversation, spoken and unspoken.

She holds her BFA thru the Art Institute of Dallas in Advertising Design & is starting her MFA in Visual Communication, focusing on graphic design, the Fall of 2017. Currently, she is working on "Esteemed," a body positive and acceptance photo series, in addition to incorporating her paintings and spoken word into future projects. She aspires to continue capturing individual stories and hopes to find ways to convey what others sometimes have difficulty communicating.

You can find out more about Esteemed at:



Sherrie Zantea (Candy) has been writing and performing poetry for over 20 years.  Candy made the 2007 Dallas Poetry Slam Team, and to date has been on 10 teams, the first woman to coach 4 and she is the current Slammaster/Executive Director of the Dallas Poetry Slam Organization

For most poets their gifts of writing and performing are left on the stage, but Candy has collaborated with several celebrities, organizations and fortune 500 companies throughout her career. She has also added to her resume, her DVD, “Candy Unplugged” two CDs, “Conviction” and “Candy Unplugged Erotica” and her latest project  “Heirlooms” a poetry/recipe book.

Candy is a current teaching artist for Young DFW Writers, where she teaches curriculum based poetry techniques to students at Ranchview High School

Candy is the Founder of CandyWorld Productions, where she writes, directs and produces various plays, musicals and events; “Sherrie’s Sanctuary” an organization that promotes self healing for women and co founder of the Dallas Literary Arts Organization a new program helping artist live their dreams through literary devices.

She continues to perform throughout the country.


Javon Rustin


Javon is a poet from North Carolina. He started writing in church and has been writing for the past ten years. He moved to Dallas immediately after graduating college in 2013. In the time he's been in Dallas, Javon has become national semi-finalist in California after making the 2015 Dallas Slam Team and a Win-You-In Regional Champ in Austin with Fort Worth Slam in 2014. He has had the honor of opening up for renowned poets such as Sunni Patterson. He has been published in an erotic poetry book and has a new CD out entitled "Bleeding Spirits". He has performed, featured, and competed in many cities across Texas as well as in Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and California. When he is not in a notebook or on a stage, Javon is a teaching artist who enjoys working with kids in educational settings. With a mix of entertainment and knowledge, Javon's goal with poetry is to improve the standard of living beyond the idea of material "wealth". He tries to paint a smile and expose anything that hinders them.



Rage Almighty is a Boston native and current Dallas resident who has successfully mastered the craft of poetry, hosting and acting. He has made a reputable name for himself through travel and social media evident in the video for his poem “Depression” reaching over 100,000 views on YouTube, for example. Some of his greatest accomplishments include being the opening act for hip hop artists Brand Nubian, T.I., and Dead Prez, soul singers Kindred the Family Soul, Chrisette Michelle, Urban Mystic and the Punany Poets as well as world renowned poets Saul Williams and Nikki Giovanni. Rage is the 2013 Dallas Grand Slam Champion, a 4x Dallas Slam Team member, Inkwell Slam Team member, and top 20 finalist at the 2012 Individual World Poetry Slam. His performance credits have earned him two 2014 North Texas Spoken Word Awards for Poet of the Year, as well as 2014 National Poetry Award for Best Spoken Word Album. Rage is also very much a social activist who focuses on helping young people to express themselves positively through art. Above that, one of his most shining achievement was appearing on national TV in Season 4 of Lexus’ Verses and Flow on TV One. When it comes to creativity, Rage is among one of the best utilizing satire to comment on social issues. He is one of a kind and a legend in the making.

Tara Humphrey


Tara studied Anthropology and Philosophy at Wichita State University, however, dreaming of being a writer she began with the Dallas Poetry Slam community in 1998. She went on tour as a spoken word artist with Jason Carney and won spots on the Dallas Slam 1999 and 2000 slam teams. She began her first novel, God's Last Name is Zilla, in 2002 and went on to write her second book, Children of Grace. Residing in Austin, Tara worked as a DJ and became a business partner, guest speaker, and leader in the wedding industry to support writing full time. She retired from event production at 35 and moved to Dallas with her growing family. As a mother and foster parent, she started working as a Teaching Artist in 2013 for Circle of Support and 2015 for Louder Than a Bomb. She teaches business, spoken word and poetry, world culture through cooking, and cultural diversity. She continues to be an entrepreneur as an investor and enjoys cycling, running, kayaking, and sailing  in her spare time.