Jovan Mays is the Poet Laureate of Aurora, Colorado and a National Poetry Slam Champion. A member of the Denver SlamNUBA national slam poetry team, he won two Denver city slam championships and qualified for three international finals stages. Jovan’s work has appeared in The Pilgrimage, Button Poetry, and Write About Now. The former slam master for the highly decorated poetry organization SlamNUBA, he is also the community engagement coordinator for Lighthouse Writers Workshop, and the author of four books.
In his third grade family genealogy project, Jovan made the shocking discovery that his ancestors were slaves. “This might be the first time I realized I was black, and that black meant different,” he said. But with the wise guidance of his grandmother, Jovan learned that you alone are the master of your identity.