Mercedez Holtry, Guest Artist, is a poet, writer, mentor, and Xicana feminist who focuses on bringing out her roots, experiences and lessons learned through her poetry in hopes that they embrace her people and other artists around her. She has represented ABQ on multiple final and semi final stages for national poetry events. She placed 3rd out of 72 for best woman poet for the year of 2015 and holds multiple Albuquerque Slam Championships. She is a National Poetry Slam Group Piece Champion (2016), the winner of Modesto’s “ILL List Slam” in California (2017), and was featured in Mexico City’s “Diverso” Poetry Festival embracing Mexican voices through poetry (2017). She has worked with youth in poetry workshops in multiple cities around the country including Aspen Words’ “Poetry in the Schools” project since 2015. Mercedez is not only a poet but an outreach coordinator for the youth in Albuquerque in which she organizes workshops and poetry events for the youth to participate in. Since graduating from the University of New Mexico with her bachelors in Chicano Studies and Journalism, she continues to host a monthly poetry reading for the UNM called “Lobo Slam”. She is passionate about spoken word and aspires to continually learn all she can about her art through working, slamming and organizing for her community.