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.
Sharonda “Eccentrich” Richardson
Born and raised in Pompano Beach Fl. she has been in the cultural arts industry for 12 years. Eccentrich is the founder and current CEO of the arts organization Be Eccentrich Inc, where there focus is to infuse art into underserved communities and use the arts to change lives emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially.
Eccentrich is also the founder of Free on the Inside, the poetry pipeline series, where she goes into prisons facilitating workshops and showcasing spoken word poetry, with other poets. In 2018, she created the first poetry festival in the history of the City of Pompano Beach, the Exit 36 Slam Poetry Festival and continues creating program curriculum for Be Eccentrich and serves as a cultural programmer and consultant for outside organizations.
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
Wendy Jones is a poet and copy editor currently residing in Durham, North Carolina. She is the Slam Coordinator for the Bull City Slam Team based at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, North Carolina, the President of the Black on Black Rhyme Carolina chapter, assistant tournament director for Exit 36 Poetry Festival in Pompano Beach, Florida and most recently she has been appointed to the South Carolina arts council poetry fellowship panel.
She is an artistic curator, workshop facilitator and event planner who has been an integral part of the planning and development of numerous Spoken Word projects and Slams along the southeast corridor over the past 15 years on a local and regional level, including Southern Fried Poetry Slam and Duo Slam. She has edited numerous collections of poetry and short story books for Southern based authors and is looking to expand into publishing in 2023.
LeJuane (El’Ja) Bowens
LeJuane (El’Ja) Bowens is an award-winning spoken word artist, poet, speaker, and author. El’Ja Bowens has done work with the John Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts along with featuring at many festivals including the National Folk Festival, Big Ears Festival, and Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival. He is the founder/director for the Southeast Regional NC Poetry Festival in Fayetteville, NC and he has featured on Poetry Slam Inc and All Def Poetry on YouTube. He also hosts Nerd Slam competitions at numerous comicons across the US.
Stephanie “Steph Love” Lask
Stephanie Lask aka Steph Love is a spoken word artist, teaching artist, host and web designer, originally from Virginia Beach, VA currently residing in Norfolk, VA. She is the slammaster for the Verb Benders Slam Team. They are currently ranked 5th out of 24 teams, after competing in the 2022 Southern Fried Regional Poetry Festival. She hosts monthly poetry slams at the Venue on 35th St in Norfolk, VA. She also hosts numerous open mics in the 757 area. Lastly, she is a teaching artist for the non-profit organization, Arts For Learning, the Virginia Affiliate of Young Audiences. Through this organization, she teaches different styles of poetry to students, ages ranging from elementary to high school, and also to adults.
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.