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Aspen Words: Spoken Word Poetry Showcase at TACAW

Steffe Gatton
Aspen Words

Listen in for a spoken word poetry performance featuring teaching artists Natasha “natty” Carrizosa, Logan Phillips and Joaquín Zihuatanejo, who perform their original work. Carrizosa is a poet, writer, speaker, and creative writing teacher and the author of the poetry collections “mexiafricana,” “heavy light,” and “crown;” Phillips teaches at the University of Arizona and is the author of “Sonoran Strange;” and Zihuatanejo is the author of the poetry collection “Arsonist,” and the current poet laureate of Dallas, TX.


Natasha Carrizosa is a vessel of the word – poet, writer, speaker, and creative writing teacher. Her grounding work is deeply-rooted in her BIPOC living experiences, mindfulness and truths. She is the author of “mexiafricana,” “heavy light,” and “crown.” Her work has also been published in Manteca! – an anthology of Afro-Latino poets, CONTRA: Texas Poets Speak Out, The Ascentos Review, Learn Then Burn 2, defunkt magazine, cutthroat magazine, raising mothers, and R2: The Rice Review. She has collaborated with Aspen Challenge, Aspen Youth Leadership Forum, Aspen Words, Bezos Scholars, Write About Now, Public Poetry, Tintero Projects, WITS (Writers in the Schools) and Poets & Writers. She is a Coolspeaker (youth engagement company.)

Logan Phillips, poet, is author of “Sonoran Strange” (West End Press / University of New Mexico Press, 2015) which was selected as a Southwest Book of the Year by the region’s librarians. A serial collaborator, Phillips has worked on a wide range of performance, music and community education projects in the US, Mexico and beyond. He holds a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he lives with his family.

Joaquín Zihuatanejo is an award-winning teacher who received his MFA in creative writing with a concentration in Poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His work has been featured in Prairie Schooner, Sonora Review, and Huizache among other journals and anthologies. His poetry has been featured on HBO, NBC, and on NPR in Historias and The National Teachers’ Initiative. He was the winner of the Anhinga-Robert Dana Prize for Poetry. His book, “Arsonist,” was published by Anhinga Press in 2018 and was short-listed as a finalist for both the Writers’ League of Texas Best Book Poetry Prize and the International Latino Book Award Best Book Poetry Prize. Joaquín’s book, “Dollars for Scholars,” which moved Joaquín from the world of poetry to the world of nonfiction for the first time, provides insight and inspiration to underserved students, giving them a wealth of information on the scholarship process and advice that can help them with their transition from high school senior to college freshman. Joaquín has offered readings of his work or facilitated creative writing workshops in 49 of the 50 states and 16 different countries. Joaquín is currently working on two poetry manuscripts and a quasi-autobiographical novel for young adults about a homeless teenager who finds refuge in a world of poems. Joaquín has two passions in his life, his partner Aída and poetry, always in that order.