Muhammad Muwakil is currently enrolled at the University of the West Indies pursuing a degree in English Literature with a minor in International Relations. He has been performing spoken word poetry in Trinidad for the past five years, and is heavily involved in the spoken word poetry movement in Trinidad and by extension the Caribbean region.
In 2007 he performed at the Calabash Literary Festival in Jamaica, and in 2009 his work was published in the Casa de Las Americas annual review. Muhammad is also an actor and has been involved in several major productions. In 2008 he won the Cacique Award (the highest award for acting in Trinidad) for best supporting actor, for his role in the production entitled Bitter Cassava.
He believes his work is an essential ingredient in the struggle of the African Diaspora in reconnecting with itself and the continent. It is one of his main goals to use this work to make people more aware of their past, their present situation and what we need to do to secure our collective future.
A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Desiree has lived in New York for over 13 years. Still, the Caribbean will never leave her.
She believes that the written and spoken word can set fire to the positive action and social change that is waiting in our bones.
Anthony Joseph is a poet, novelist, academic and musician. He was born in Trinidad, moving to the UK in 1989. His publications include Desafinado (1994), Teragaton (1997), The African Origins of UFOs (Salt, 2006) and Bird Head Son (Salt, 2009).
In 2004 Joseph was selected by renaissance one, Decibel and the Arts Council of England as one of fifty Black and Asian writers who have made major contributions to contemporary British literature, appearing in the historic Great Day photo. In 2005 he was selected as the British Council’s first Poet in residence at California State University, Los Angeles. Joseph “voodoo punk” band The Spasm Band released their debut album Leggo de Lion (Kindred Spirits) in 2007. Their most recent album is Bird Head Son (Naive/Heavenly Sweetness, 2009).
His work has also been included in several anthologies, including Identity Parade (Bloodaxe, 2010), Red (Peepal Tree, 2010) and Black, Brown & Beige (University of Texas Press, 2009). He performs and lectures internationally and tours with his band The Spasm Band. Joseph lectures in creative writing at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is an AHRC scholar and doctoral candidate at Goldsmiths College.
Samantha Thornhill travels the globe performing poetry, delivering lectures, and facilitating writing workshops. Both a poet and published author, Samantha is a rising voice in the world of words. Her performance poem, Little Odetta, inspired by the late folk legend, is forthcoming from Scholastic Press in the form of a picture book. Also, her young adult novel Seventeen Seasons is soon to be published by Penguin Books.
Samantha earned her Master of Fine Arts in poetry from the University of Virginia while coaching the VA slam team. A sought-after educator, Samantha believes that inside each person exists a lover of words.
In New York City she fulfills her position as poetry professor at the Juilliard School. She also serves as writer in residence at the Bronx Academy of Letters where she teaches creative writing and journalism courses to middle and high school youth.
She presents her work in schools, universities, festivals, conferences, museums, places of worship, and poetry venues.
Raw and refined, diverse in subject matter and style, Samantha relates to a wide spectrum of audiences.
She is a native of Trinidad & Tobago.