StevenValentine: SPOKEN WORD POET & WRITER, was born and raised in New York City and has been writing and performing for over 10 years. He attended the University at Albany in upstate New York, and majored in English and Education. As an undergraduate,Stevenwas the president of an on-campus performing arts and community service organization called Phenomenal Voices, a collective of artists whose goal was to promote and provide a platform for one’s voice through the arts.Prior to graduation Steven was awarded the Lena Horne Performing Arts Award from the University at Albany’s NAACP in 2013. He was later crowned the “Nitty Gritty” Slam Champion at Albany’s Music Hall, placed fifth in Jazz in the Gardens’ "Poetry in the Gardens" National Poetry Slam, and placed third at the Nuyorican Poet’s Café in 2018. Steven then competed in the Individual World Poetry Slam and Rustbelt Poetry Festival later that year, solidifying his rank as 45thin the world. Since then, Steven placed 2nd in the Tongue Speaks Poetry Slam and was named 1st place Champion at the 5thAnnual Slam 4 Literacy “Black Renaissance” Poetry Slam in 2019. Aside from his work as a poet, Steven works as an 11th grade English teacher who uses poetry as the backbone to academic achievement and understanding in his classroom, attacking social issues and internal struggles with the hopes of holistic growth of his students.