Shawna Floyd is a poet and writer who has burst into song. Or maybe she is a frustrated poet and writer who has burst into song. She has studied writing within and without the hallowed halls of academia. If you ask her, both ways have their use. A lover of language and a sniffer of book pages since she was a little cornrowed girl, it’s no wonder that she has turned out as she has. One day (and hopefully soon) she will make a tee shirt that reads “Black women writers to the rescue!” for she wouldn’t be here without them. To Shawna, being an artist means she is whole. She won’t just live the half-life assigned to her. She chooses her life’s dimensions every time she makes space to write and sing and create. And when she puts her art and her life to the work of justice and love, she is without bind or bounds. Carol Welter has been a performer all of her life, ever the chatterbox, telling stories, making others laugh, playing on stage variations of the Monster or Lover. She says: “I love Spoken Word. There is something to be said, so I write, I write to be heard, to rid myself of the constant chatter in my head, to share my views, more so to discover who I really am.” Her passion for the arts has taken into directing theater, spending her free time writing poetry, and breaking out into song at the dinner table and the grocery aisle. Born in the United Kingdom, she spent her formative years in London, attending the Shakespearean Conservatory for training in classical theatre in studies that included Moliere, Chinese Opera, Greek Theater, and the legendary traveling troupes commedia dell’arte. She is the creator, driving force, and host for the Wine, Cheese, and the Spoken Word series. Her appearance at the April event will include an interpretive lyrical dance performed to drum beats by Lisa Fareed Mohammed.