Sarita “Sincere” Goods
Sarita Goods (Sincere) is a dedicated and hardworking wife and mother of two. She currently resides near Charleston, SC, which is where is originally from. Sarita has been involved in poetry for 20 years, starting with local open mics in Greenville, SC, before getting into slam. She has participated with and coached different Southern Fried teams over the years and discovered her love for nurturing the person while helping develop their craft. Additionally, she is a part of the New Danger Arts collective and has facilitated workshops and performed at schools across South Carolina.
Sarita currently holds a BA in interdisciplinary studies, an MA in Management and Leadership, and is currently working on a second MA in Organizational Development. She works as a licensed Realtor in both North and South Carolina and is proud to be a trusted advisor when it comes to real estate. She is an inspirational conversationalist who is always willing to share her knowledge on “how to live the Good(s) life.” She considers it an honor and a privilege to continue serving on the board of directors for Southern Fried and is excited for the upcoming year.
Matthew “Cuban” Hernandez
Matthew ‘Cuban’ Hernandez is a poet, emcee, speaker, and performance coach from Jacksonville, Florida. He has toured as far as Abu Dhabi and nearly every major city in the United States and Europe, performing, teaching and coaching poetry. A teaching artist for nearly ten years, Matthew has spent the last six years working in youth detention centers across Los Angeles County, currently serving as the Director of Camp Programming for Street Poets, Inc.
In addition, he is a current Lead Teacher and Co-Founder of Spoken Literature Art Movement. Cuban has opened for artists such as Wu-Tang, performed for platforms such as BuzzFeed and NPR and even appeared on the award-winning television show, Better Things. Matthew is also a three time Southern Fried poetry slam champion and an award-winning poetry coach. Cuban’s favorite activity is making people feel great; sometimes he does this through hip hop and poetry.
Zachary Kluckman, the National Poetry Awards 2014 Slam Artist of the Year, is a Pushcart Prize nominee, Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Medal Poetry Teacher and a founding organizer of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change program. Kluckman, who tours the nation as a spoken word artist, was recently one of three American poets invited to the Kistrech International Poetry Festival in Kenya. A 2021 Thomas Lux scholar, Kluckman is the Founder and Slam Manager of MindWell Poetry and has authored three poetry collections, The Animals in Our Flesh, (Red Mountain Press) and Some of It is Muscle, (Swimming with Elephants Publications) as well as the forthcoming Rearview Funhouse.
Bio coming soon!
Dorian “Paul D” Rogers
Dr. Dorian Paul Rogers is an accomplished performance poet, educator, and events curator. In 2005, he beat out over 100 poets to win the Southern Fried Poetry Slam, the nation’s largest regional poetry slam competition. In 2007, he won The National Poetry Slam, formerly the world’s largest poetry slam competition, with Slam Charlotte. He has been featured at over forty universities and performed in Ghana, Seychelles, Germany, South Africa, and Singapore.
In 2012, he founded Rooftop Rhythms Poetry Open Mic Night, which has gone on to become the Middle East’s largest and longest running event of its kind. These events are held regularly in both English and Arabic. His events management company, also named Rooftop Rhythms, routinely hosts a variety of culture, arts, and nightlife events in the realms of live music, lip sync nights, and silent discos. He has been highlighted on CNN, BBC, and Euro News, for his culture and arts events in the UAE.
As an events curator, most of Dorian’s work revolves around lifting this art form to its rightful place as a respected element of Fine Art. In 2018, he was chosen to curate a series of pop up performances at Louvre Abu Dhabi for the museum’s first anniversary celebrations. In 2016, he created and curated a participatory poetry concept called pARTicipate for Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s “Do Art! Do It Now!” In 2015, Dorian produced a gala event for the Ludacris Foundation which featured UAE based artists.
Dr. Rogers holds active teacher certifications in The USA and The UAE and has over fifteen years of experience as a Language Arts educator.
He routinely facilitates writing and performing workshops to youth wherever he goes. As an academic, Dorian holds an EdD in Interdisciplinary Leadership from Creighton University, an MS in Urban Teacher Leadership from Georgia State University, and a BS in English Education from Florida State University.
Dorian was born in Cleveland, Ohio on June 5, 1982, and was raised in Albany, Georgia. He has lived in the UAE for nine years and is married with one daughter.
‘You don’t find peace until you find all the pieces.” – unknown
Eddie Vega is a poet, spoken word artist, and educator originally from the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, currently residing in San Antonio. His poetry has been displayed on VIA Buses and downtown San Antonio buildings. In 2017, he was the runner-up in the Haiku Death Match at the National Poetry Slam. His first full-length collection of poetry, Chicharra Chorus, was published in 2019 by FlowerSong Press. Vega writes about food, Tejano culture, social justice, and the intersections thereof. Known as the Taco-Poet of Texas, he can be found at an open-mic, slam, or taqueria on any given non-quarantine evening anywhere throughout South Texas.
Shanya “Lady S” Speller
Shanya “Lady S” Speller-Perkins is Philadelphia native who started writing poetry as a child to deal with the realities of city life. She moved to Fayetteville NC getting a BA and MA degrees as well as meeting a group of poets who named her “Lady S” She joined the Fayetteville Fire slam team and was introduced to Southern Fried Poetry Slam and has been a dedicated member since coming as part of a team, indi poet, Slam-master or volunteer. Southren Fried has become an essential part of this poets life. She now happily serves as a board member of this organization.
Photo credit Yolanda “Yogii” Barnes