Our Leaders Speak Poetry, Theater and Production. Some of Them Write Too.
Associate Board Members
J.W. Basilo, Executive Director:
Â Prior to being appointed to his current position, Basilo was hired and served for a year as Chicago Slam Worksâ��s Artistic Director in 2011 after established himself as one of Chicagoâ��s premier performance poets and among the most active teaching artists in the field. After becoming a fixture at the Uptown Poetry Slam in 2005, Basilo has called performance poetry a full time living since 2007. Â He has coached teams for â��Louder Than a Bombâ�� since 2009, toured the country extensively as a performer, and represented Chicago at the National Poetry Slam
multiple times. Outside of CSW, Basilo continues to direct theater and is active in Chicagoâ��s comedy, music, and storytelling communities.
S. Mojdeh Stoakley, Outreach Coordinator:Â Mojdeh is a 4x award winning writer, performer, photographer & teaching artist. She burst into the performance scene at 14, her theater & music talents captured the attention of an agent at 16, and has shared the stage with folks like Saul Williams, Pere Ubu, and John Legend since. Her photography & writing have been published by many media sources & journals such as WBEZ, Alarm Press, Chicago Now, and Muzzle Magazine, among others. Sheâ��s released 5 albums of music & poetry independently and as a member of Â»radiant devicesÂ«, and recently published her first book â��born into dissonance.â�� She has represented Chicago multiple times at the National Poetry Slam, Individual World Poetry Slam, & Southern Fried Slam in addition to coaching youth competing in Louder Than A Bomb. Sheâ��s also been an executive producer for festivals like Lethal Poetryâ��s Nights of Sight & Sound, the worldâ��s largest mobile art show Art On Track, and one of Chicagoâ��s PSi certified slams, Words That Kill. Mojdeh received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is the founder Lethal Poetry Inc and LUCID Art Lab, arts organizations that activate artists as social servants.
Marty McConnell, Grant Writer & Development Consultant: