Ashia Ajani is a Black storyteller hailing from Denver, CO, Queen City of the Plains. She is a graduate of Yale University. She is an Environmental Studies major with a specialization in environmental justice and food rights. Her work confronts Black environments and imaginaries, exploring the legacies of trauma and resistance in diasporic communities. She has been published in Atlas&Alice Magazine, The Journal, Pilgrimage Press, Sage Magazine, Brushfire Literature & Arts, and The Hopper Magazine, among others. She is a 2019 PEN America Writing for Justice Finalist. She released her first chapbook, We Bleed Like Mango, in October of 2017. Follow her on Instagram: @ashiainbloom and on her website https://ashiaajani22.wixsite.com/website
Maya Williams (she/they) is a black mixed-race queer suicide survivor residing in Portland, ME. She has been published in venues such as The Occulum Journal, glitterMOB, Black Table Arts, Maps for Teeth, The Frost Meadow Review, Portland Press Herald, and more. The sold-out theatrical spoken word showcase “When Speaking to an Extraterrestrial” has been described by PortFringe as “an intimate voice to the broader experiences of marginalized people.” They were also a runner up of Slam Free or Die’s Individual Slam Championship in 2018. She received residencies at the Words of Fire and Hewnoaks Artist Colony retreats. You can find them organizing for one of the longest-running open mics in Portland, Port Veritas, Tuesday nights, as well as leading writing workshops Sunday mornings at Quill Books & Beverage in Westbrook.