Event FacultyKimberly Simms Gibbs is the conference director. She is an award winning poet, author, and certified SmartArts Teaching Artist, in addition to being a certified SC teacher. In 2016, she received the Metropolitan Arts Council’s SmartArts Teaching Artist Award, and she is currently on the teaching rosters for The Alliance Theater Atlanta, The Georgia Council for the Arts, The South Carolina Arts Commission, the SmartARTS Program, and the SC Humanities Council. She is the 2016 Carl Sandburg NHS Writer-in-residence, a pushcart prize nominee, a Southern Fried Poetry Slam Champion, and a 2016 National Poetry Slam “Legend of the South”. Her first collection of poetry is entitled Lindy Lee: Songs on Mill Hill. www.kimberlysimms.com
Johnny C Weaver is an educator, speaker, and youth activist. He speaks words of revolution, love, and change...always ready to spark a conversation . . . he invites communities to build with him. >He is the director of Slammadness, the Spartanburg Slammaster, and a member of the board of directors of Wits End Poetry. He is the winner of the We Were Kings Poetry Slam Charlotte and has won slams and featured at venues across the Southeast. He teaches students with special needs and studied theater at University of South Carolina Upstate.
Robert E. Mullins, Jr. has been the Artistic Director of Wits End Poetry since 2009 and is a talented spoken word artist. He is a certified SmartArts Teaching Artist and received the 2017 GANSPA Award for National Best Male Poet. He has appeared on ALL Def Poetry, TEDx, Button Poetry, and recently travelled to Australia to perform his original poetry. He is a finalist at the Southern Fried Poetry Slam, and semi-finalist at the National Poetry Slam as slammaster of the Say What Greenville Slam Team (2004 - 2018). He studied business and theater at University of South Carolina, Spartanburg. Learn more at https://www.iammoodyblack.com/.
Darelle D Dove is an educator and performer who uses theater, rap, and spoken word to inspire young people. He has appeared on Button Poetry and as an actor has appeared in a variety of stage plays and media advertising. He is a finalist at the Southern Fried Poetry Slam, and semi-finalist at the National Poetry Slam as a key member of the Say What Greenville Slam Team 2016 - 2018.
Black Phoenix aka Marcus Turner is a talented Upstate spoken word poet and veteran member of Team Injustice. As a member of the board of directors of Wits End Poetry, he oversees sound engineering. He is the three time South East Regional Haiku Champion and a National HaikuFinalist.
Jencie Pleasent is a a talented Upstate spoken word poet and member of Team Say What.
Additional Event Coaches and Staff (more coming soon)BITTER SWEET is a survivor, artist, and activist who is changing the world one poem at a time. Her lit verse and sense of humor have inspired audiences at universities and venues across the nation. She is a Button poet and national slam finalist who has led multiple slam teams to the Southern Fried finals stage. A native of Greenville where she is the reigning slam champion, she has put the Upstate on the map as she has won high stakes slams including Atlanta’s Rough Language, Queen of the South, Slam Madness, and Columbia’s Soul Sista slam. SHAY BLACK is a talented Upstate spoken word poet, sculpture artist, and a member of the National Guard. She is on the board of directors of Wits End Poetry and is a member of the Spartanburg Slam Team. She holds a BFA from Converse in welding sculpture.
KATARA MILLER aka IamPicturesque is spoken word poet, event organizer, and a member of the Say What Greenville Slam Team. She was a finalist in the recent Queen of the South Slam. Her poetry was recently featured on Write About Now. She is on the board of directors of Wits End Poetry.
NATE HAMES is a seasoned spoken word artist, a current member of the Spartanburg Slam Team, and a former member of the Say What Greenville Slam Team. He is a Sergeant in the US Army, and a veteran of the Iraq war.
JENICE PLEASANT is a singer-songwriter, poet, and visual artist who has been a member of two Greenville slam teams. She is known for beautifully weaving music into her jazz inspired poetry.
SASSY THE POET is a speaker, women's advocate, and SC Certified Teacher. She is a finalist at the Southern Fried Poetry Slam, and semi-finalist at the National Poetry Slam as a key member of the Say What Greenville Slam Team 2016 - 2017.