Spoken Word Event to Feature Student Poets
Sahib Chandnani, University of Texas–Austin (Region II)
Sahib Jagdish Chandnani was born in Houston. He is a recent graduate from the University of Texas–Austin, where he was a creative writing student. He earned the title of “Gut-Buster Funny Poet” for his poem “Bollywood Boys” at the 2019 ACUI College Union Poetry Slam Invitational as a part of the UT Spitshine Team. His poetry appears in Bareknuckle Poet, Breadcrumbs Magazine, Apricity Magazine, and the 2020 Mindwell Poetry Press collection "We Don’t Break, We Burn: Poems of Resilience."
CoogSlam, University of Houston (Region II)
CoogSlam exists to serve as a platform for students and faculty to voice their thoughts through performance poetry and spoken word. As the first-ever poetry slam team at University of Houston, the group aims to compete at poetry slams within the city as well at an intercollegiate level. Its goal is to manifest the thinking: Unity through Poetry.
Dylan Gilbert, University of Michigan (Region VI)
Dylan Gilbert is a writer from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has spent her time at the University of Michigan on the Michigan Slam Poetry Team and working at a nonprofit teen center, running writers’ workshops, and educating youth on safe sex and rape culture. During the pandemic, she has become a lover of cooking and using her sewing machine. Gilbert is a past CUPSI award winner for Best Poet.
Blessed Sheriff, Brown University (Region VIII)
Blessed Sheriff is a graduate of the Brown University literary arts program in creative writing and a current medical student at the Warren Alpert Medical School. She writes to explore pathways toward healing and social change for vulnerable populations, namely immigrants, women, people who are disabled, and Black communities of color. In 2019, she was awarded Best Poem at the CUPSI tournament for her piece “Anarcha,” which highlights the history of misogynoir in gynecology.
Triscuit the Biscuit (Tristan Anderson), Ramapo College (Region VII)
Triscuit the Biscuit (a.k.a. Tristan Anderson) was born in New Jersey and has loved the spoken word for “what seems like forever.” In anticipation of the ACUI event, the poet said: “My belief is that speech is one of the most powerful means of communication at our disposal and I hope to master this art and eventually help others in a similar pursuit.
“It is ironic that speech was my challenge as a child, but after listening to my first open mic I fell in love and the rest is history. I am currently pursuing my bachelor’s in philosophy, long-term goal is to attend law school with the hopes of making a positive impact in the legal field and currently serving as a member of the National Guard.
“In this pursuit I have been blessed with multiple opportunities to develop this craft like performing in the Bergen Community College Speech Competition where I earned second place, participating in the Columbia Toastmasters Club, and earning the title of Best Poem and Persona piece at ACUI CUPSI.
“I am honored to be selected and hope that this event leaves you as inspired as I was.”