Gabriel Cortez

Photo by Felix Uribe Jr.

Gabriel Cortez is a Black biracial poet, educator, and organizer of Panamanian descent. His work has appeared in The New York Times, National Public Radio, The Rumpus, and The Breakbeat Poets Anthology Volume 4. He is a VONA fellow, #BARS workshop alum, Palette Poetry Emerging Poet winner, and recipient of the Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize. Gabriel is a member of the artist collective, Ghostlines, and co-founder of The Root Slam, an award-winning poetry venue dedicated to inclusivity, justice, and artistic growth, as well as Write Home, a project working to challenge public perceptions of houselessness and shift critical resources to houseless Bay Area youth through spoken word poetry. From 2014 to 2023, Gabriel served as Lead Poet Mentor and Director of Programs at Youth Speaks, one of the world’s leading presenters of spoken word performance, education, and youth development programs. Gabriel proudly serves on the board of Performing Arts Workshop, a BIPOC-led Bay Area nonprofit organization established in 1965 dedicated to anti-racist practices, equalizing access to arts and arts education, and helping young people develop critical thinking, creative expression, Socio-Emotional Learning, and essential life skills.

Gabriel was invited by Terry Taplin