Kyle G. Dargan is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently LOGORRHEA DEMENTIA (UGA,2010). His debut, THE LISTENING (UGA 2004), won the 2003 Cave Canem Prize, and his second, BOUQUET OF HUNGERS (UGA 2007), was awarded the 2008 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in poetry. Dargan’s poems and non-fiction have appeared in publications such as Callaloo, Denver Quarterly, Jubilat, The Newark Star-Ledger, Ploughshares, TheRoot.com, and Shenandoah. While a Yusef Komunyakaa fellow at Indiana University, he served as poetry editor for Indiana Review. He is the founding editor of Post No Ills magazine and was most recently the managing editor of Callaloo.
Rebecca founded Writopia Lab in April 2007, currently directs the national organization, and teaches writing workshops in NYC and at special events throughout the country. Rebecca has won multiple teaching awards including the Scholastic Awards’ 2012 Ovation Inspired Teacher Award for submitting the most outstanding senior portfolios on the national level and for “developing a method of working with students that inspires them to create original work that embodies their unique, personal voice…. Because of [her] tutelage… these students are now empowered to bring that voice into the broader world…” She has also won the 2008, 2009, and 2011 National Gold Apple Teacher Award for “submitting the most outstanding group of submissions on the national level” to the Scholastic Art & Writing event. She lectures at schools, events, and parents’ organizations on a variety of topics including “How to Inspire the Writer Within Your Child,” “Writing for High School and College Admittance,” and on “Identifying and Participating in Positive Competitions.” Previously, Rebecca established the creative writing program at the Abraham Joshua Heschel Middle School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan as a consultant. While she was there, the program outperformed every other school in the city (including every elite public and private institution) in Scholastic’s prestigious Art & Writing Awards competition. She has been awarded recognition from The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards as an “outstanding educator” every year since 2006. (Writopia won Scholastic’s official endorsement in 2007.) Rebecca was also nominated by students and selected to be entered into the 11th Edition of Who’s Who Among American Teachers.
Maimouna “Mumu Fresh” Youssef is a 27-year-old seasoned Grammy nominated singer, songwriter, producer, and emcee. She received a Grammy nomination for her contribution on the 2007 Roots hit, “Don’t Feel Right”, in the category of best rap song. She has swapped musical licks with artists such as Angelique Kidjo, Common, Nas, Dead Prez, Wilco, Zap Mama, Cody Chesnutt, Martin Luther, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Mos Def, and Talib Kweli to name a few. As a collaborator and band member, Maimouna has rocked the stages of many renowned venues such as Denver Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheater, Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival, New York City’s Legendary Carnegie Hall, and Radio City Music Hall. Youssef’s musical endeavors with Grammy Award winning producer James Poyser were a springboard for her to make her big screen debut in Dave Chappelle’s hip hop documentary “Block Party.”