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The Riverfront Readings series of poetry and fiction readings was started in Kansas City, Missouri in 1986 by Philip Miller and Don Blevins. In those days, the location actually was in the Riverfront area, in the Kansas City Artists Coalition space. Now they are held at The Writers Place and in other Kansas City area locations. More information here.

Samantha Slupski is a poet and mental health advocate based right in the heart of the Midwest. She currently serves as the Co-Director for Chameleon Arts, Executive Director of Poetic Underground, Slam Master of Kansas City Poetry Slam, a board member for Fountainverse, the Kansas City Small Press Poetry Fest, an ARTS KC grant recipient, and was voted the 2nd best spoken word artist in The Pitch's Best of 2017. Samantha's first book of poetry was published in January 2017 by EMP Press in Kansas City, MO, and she has been published in various online journals such as Pressure Gauge Press, Blue Mountain Review, and Jazz Cigarette. She has performed at Midwest Word Fest 2016, and has competed in Texas Grand Slam 2016 and 2017. As a mental health advocate, her main focus is community building because she finds it so important that safe spaces are created and available for everyone to share their hard and raw truths. She believes spoken word is such a healing art and needs to be shared with everyone. You can find out more about Samantha at her website and on Instagram at @samfromkc.



Jeanette Powers is an anarchist performance artist who uses poetry and art to question habitual behavior and to dismantle internalized obedience. She heads the artist-driven performing arts venue, Uptown Arts Bar, and is the founding editor of non-profit Chameleon Press. She’s published a bunch of books of poetry, including the newest: “Gasconade” by NightBallet Press in April 2018. She is an alumna of Osage Arts Community and serves on the board for FountainVerse, an annual small press poetry fest in Kansas City, Missouri. She can most often be found near a river with her hound dog, Olly Mas. Connect with her at or @novel_cli





MG Salazar is an artist, activist, and business owner residing in Kansas City, MO. Salazar has published two books of poetry, the latest being Striking the Black Snake: Poems from Standing Rock, written while Salazar was serving as a water protector at Oceti Sakowin, North Dakota. They are the proprietor of The Skullery Maid, a vintage and curiosities shop located at 43rd and Walnut. Salazar is a member of The Latino Writers Collective and a founding member of Brown Voices/Brown Pulse, a poetry series aimed at highlighting non-white voices.