In August of 2015, UrbSlam Saint Louis changed how it built its national team. No longer relying on a monthly competition to field a team for the summer, UrbSlam hosted a tournament to find its top twelve poets. Four of the twelve would be considered its national team and the remaining eight would be alternates, ready to step into the national role if necessary. After months of work and changes, UrbSlam is proud to introduce the UrbSlam Saint Louis 2016 team, also known as urbILL dialects.
Sahara Sista SOLS
Sahara is a writer, an artist, and an actor holding a Bachelor’s degree in Communication with an emphasis in Theatre Studies from Buena Vista University. As a member of UrbArts, Sahara is a coaches with VerbQuake Youth Poetry Slam in St. Louis area high schools. She has produced, written, and performed a one woman show entitled, “The Family Cookbook.” She has also directed an original one act show entitled “Not About Love.” Recently, she has published her first collection of original plays and poetry called, “My Last Words… Not Really.”As a member of the 2015 UrbSlam team, as well as the 2016 urbILLdialects poetry slam team, she travels nationally. Sahara teaches drama, poetry, works with underprivileged youth, as well as people with disabilities with various organizations like the YMCA, Jewish Community Center, and St. Louis Public schools. Her hope is to share honest characters and real experiences with the world.
Greg the Poet
Gregory M. Harris Jr. was born and raised in the City of Saint Louis, Missouri. Greg, aka “Greg The Poet,” began to write poems in 6th grade. Growing up around and listening to the rhythm of words in Hip-Hop, it was only natural that poetry became a thing to do. Entering his senior year of High-school, he wrote his first major poem entitled “Look.” He soon enrolled at Missouri Western State University where he would perform that poem at an open mic on campus. Days later he was asked to joining the college spoken word group, “Soulz of Redemption,” making Greg the fourth member. Greg The Poet, then became a part of the collective “Urban Poetry Troupe” having his first two shows as an Urban Poetry Troupe member in July 2009. His membership in the Urban Poetic Troupe in 2009 led Greg to the new group called “Urb Poetry Collective” in 2011. In 2012, Greg The Poet was the 5th poet on the UrbSLAM Team traveling to Tampa, FL for the Southern Fried Poetry Slam as an Indie Poet. In 2013 Greg The Poet joined the UrbSLAM Team again. Continuing to strive, Greg The Poet has returned to be on the 2016 UrbSLAM Team. Greg The Poet is currently working on his one-man stage play entitled, “Black Man, Come Back” along with working on his chapbook and music album. He also facilitates youth poetry workshops.
Mari Carter, EmCee, is a Chicago native who got her start in spoken word on the Saint Louis poetry scene. She was a part of the 2012 UrbSlam team as well as the 2015 Grand Slam Champ of the Dope Poets Spit Tournament. She went on to represent Saint Louis at the Individual World Poetry Slam in Washington, DC. As well as continuing to travel to share her work with audiences, EmCee will be venturing into entertainment public speaking, releasing her first solo poetry project, and writing her first monologue play centered on the lives of women. Contact Emcee: [email protected]
Charles (The Oracle)
Charles is 19 and attends Harris-Stowe State University, studying Urban Affairs. He has been writing since he was 9 years old expressing himself through words on page instead through performance. He’s been competing in slams for a year now and has been on 3 poetry slam teams so far, beginning at Jennings Senior High School’s Verbquake 2015 team (The Misphitz) and St. Louis’ first Brave New Voices team in 2015 to his current membership as the youngest member of urbILLdialects, the UrbSlam Saint Louis 2016 National team. He’s in the process of finishing his first chapbook, “To be Honest,” as well as preparing to write an autobiography about his own life.
Born in Belleville, Illinois, Rehg returned to Saint Louis in 2014 to pursue a performance poetry career. You can often find him at Saint Louis slams, open mics and poetry nights sharing his work. His poetry ranges from intimate personal narratives and shared dialogue of personal experience to observation of social construction and trends permeating society. His first book, Citrine Dreams, is a transparent experiment of self-discovery within moments of past that linger into his pursuit to remain present. For more information about Sidney Rehg, visit www.sidneyrehg.com