Shamoyia – SSF 2014 Featured Poet
Shamoyia Gardiner is a product of Miami, Florida. She is finishing her last semester at the University of Florida and is really excited about the piece of paper she’ll receive in May validating the fact that she knows a little something about Political Science. Her first stage experience was abysmal, which, of course, kept her coming back for more. In 2008 she was rewarded with a spot on Tigertail Productions’ WordSpeak youth slam team and represented Miami while traveling to the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival. She did this for three amazing years, but then college happened.
Since 2011, she has served as the president of Poets, Inc., a poetry collective on her campus. This position has afforded her the opportunity to perform for much cooler artists than herself-Nikki Giovanni- as well as the ability to give back to the community, which she does by writing workshops for Poets, Inc to host for youth in Gainesville and Micanopy. In 2012 she released her first chapbook, Black Water Girl, at a show called Storytellers, which she happened to co-write, publicize, and perform in alongside three other feature poets and one brilliant singer-songwriter. This year, she will release her second chapbook Blood on the Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground, and move to Jacksonville, Florida to begin her two-year commitment with Teach for America as a secondary science teacher.