Poetry slam judges*


Preliminary Round


Darrell Dela Cruz

SJSU MFA (’11). Former board member of Poetry Center San Jose, is Education Director at The Communication Academy. Has published poems in CAIRN, Confrontation, Euphony, Jet Fuel, Permafrost, Switchback, Studio One, and The William and Mary Review, among other literary journals.


Vuong Quoc Vu

SJSU BA (‘01); CSU Fresno MFA (’07).  Vuong Quoc Vu is a writer, editor, and publisher of poetry. He is founder of Tourane Poetry Press and editor of Perfume River Poetry Review. His work has been published in prominent literary journals, such as Atlanta ReviewPoet Lore, and ZYZZYVA. He is a frequent reader at poetry events in the South Bay. He is currently an evaluator in the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluation office at San Jose State University.

Semifinal Round


"Mighty" Mike McGee**

Mike McGee is an international spoken word artist, writer, performer, speaker, slam poet and comic. He is the author of In Search of Midnight: The Mike McGee Handbook of Awesome (Write Bloody Publishing, 2009). He has performed in thousands of venues all over North America, and was one of the first Americans ever to perform poetry at the University la Sorbonne in Paris, France. Mike began performing comedy and poetry to audiences at home in San José, California in 1998. In 2003, Mike won the coveted National Poetry Slam Individual Grand Championship, besting over 300 nationally ranked poetry slammers. He has since toured throughout the United States and Canada where fellow National Poetry Slam Indy Champ.


David Perez

David Perez is a poet, writer and educator. He is a lecturer in the Department of English at San Jose State University and a professor of English at Ohlone College. He is the author of Love in the Time of Robot Apocalypse (Write Bloody Publishing, 2011), and was appointed the third Poet Laureate of Santa Clara. He has toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada to give readings and book signings. His poem Surgir appears on the San Jose Mexican Heritage Plaza Founder’s Plaque. In July 2012, Perez was voted “Best Author in the Bay Area” in the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s annual readers’ poll. He also received the Arts Council Silicon Valley Fellowship for Literary Art in April 2011 for his contribution to empowering Silicon Valley communities through the arts.


Lara Gularte

SJSU MFA (’05). Author of the new poetry collection Kissing the Bee (Bitter Oleander, 2018). Born in 1947 in San Jose, California where she grew up, her family came from the Azore Islands to look for gold in California during the 1800s and 1900s. Her new book explores her family history. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Bitter Oleander, California Quarterly, The Clackamas Review, Evansville Review, The Monserrat Review, Permafrost, The Water-Stone Review, The Fourth River, The Santa Clara Review. She is former poetry editor of Reed Magazine and an assistant editor at Narrative Magazine.


Arlene Biala

The daughter of immigrants from the Philippines, poet and performance artist Arlene Biala was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She earned a BA at San Jose State University and an MFA at New College of California. She is the author of Bone (1993); Continental Drift (West End Press, 1999); and Her Beckoning Hands, (Word Poetry, 2014). She was appointed the fourth Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County in 2016.

Lorenz Mazon Dumuk

His love of poetry led him to California State University, East Bay’s Creative Writing Program and to the epicenter of San Jose’s vibrant spoken word scene. A member of Poetry Center San Jose and the San Jose Poetry Slam, Dumuk stays up late writing the poetry that he recites at performances and slams at competitions. He writes fearlessly about the transformative power that he finds facing his inner demons. He is the editor of Dedicated To (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2010). 

Bill Cozzini

Bill Cozzini earned his B.A. from San Jose State (‘91 ). He performs widely in the Bay Area and is treasurer of Poetry Center San Jose.

*May be subject to change prior to judging period.
**proposed judge; unconfirmed