Born and raised in Springfield, MA, Regine Jackson loved reading as a child. Her mother worked as a clerk and page at different libraries in the city and would always bring books home – from manga to Diana Wynne Jones. Regine grew up wanting to write characters in those worlds; characters who looked like her and who she could relate to.
She hopes to continue honing her writing skills so one day others will see black protagonists on the covers and want to explore the worlds she has created.
Writing poetry since childhood and called to perform by community, family, and their ancestors, Amina Nia “illypsis” Jordan-Mendez lives for passion & healing. Born and raised in a predominantly white college town of western MA, Amina grew up a rebel: Black, fat, queer and existing. Inviting the challenge, she chose to live out loud—swim with her hair out, throw her weight around, question and confront. Now a focused poet performer, their hands are busy rooting themselves in intergenerational healing of their lineage, embracing the pain, hostility, pleasure and pride of blossoming into a poet she can look up to. Amina Nia “illypsis” Jordan-Mendez is tender, grateful, angry, loving and growing. They are currently attending workshops as they come and fitting art within their busy schedule of work and self-care, addressing mental health and traumas. Born to a first-generation Panamanian mother, and an “army brat” southern Black American father, she is exploring and defining ‘home’ in her body, in her life and in this world.