"Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful."  Rita Dove

Joseph Green

Joseph Green is a Washington, D.C. based performance artist and educator with more than nine years of professional experience.  As a solo artist, Joseph has performed at venues, high schools, and universities throughout the United States.  A four-time qualifier and participant in the National Poetry Slam, Joseph most recently represented the DC’s Beltway Poetry Slam Team (2011, ranked 5th in the nation).  As the Beltway Poetry Slam representative at the Individual World Poetry Slam in 2011, Joseph 16th ranked performance poet in the nation.

He is also an actor and has toured with the educational entertainment group Theatre IV, one of the country’s largest in-school touring companies.  In his two and a half years with Theatre IV, he performed at more than 200 high schools and professional theatres, educating both children and their families.  For the past six years, he has coached the Hayfield Secondary School Forensic Speech Team which has produced several state and national champions.

Joseph is the co-founder and Program Manager of poetryN.O.W. 

Brian James Hannon

Brian James Hannon currently teaches Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition and English 11 at Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria, Virginia.  Brian has been teaching English for nine years and has also taught 8th grade, 10th grade, and Advanced Placement English Language and Composition throughout his teaching career.  He received his B.A. in English and his M.A.T. in Secondary Education from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  

Brian is the co-founder of poetryN.O.W. and the sponsor of Hayfield's after school poetry program, The Poetry Slam Club.  He is also the recipient of Hayfield's prestigious Teacher of the Month Award.  In his free time, Brian is an avid Muay Thai practitioner and a film/literature enthusiast.  


T.J. Natole

T.J. has been involved in spoken word, more specifically poetry slams, for the last 10 years.  As a competitor, coach, organizer, host, and workshop facilitator, he has been involved in all aspects of the genre. His participation in collegiate national tournaments and his help in organizing venues for Poetry Slam International tournaments spurred his decision to pursue Linguistic Anthropology for a graduate program.        

In his time with the graduate program, T.J. dealt with the performative and educational aspects of poetry slams, focusing on the social and cultural implications of spoken word.  His studies ultimately inspired him to approach teaching youth poetry not just in terms of focusing on the fundamentals of writing, but in the fostering of safe spaces for students to develop self-introspection and a critical interpretative eye towards the world around them.

Sarah D. Lawson

Sarah D. Lawson is the founder and slammaster of the Beltway Poetry Slam in Washington D.C., and can be found teaching writing workshops throughout the city, sharing rough drafts on open mics, and hosting at Busboys & Poets 5th and K. She is coach of the Madeira Poetry Club, which placed second in DC's Louder Than A Bomb Teen Poetry Competition in 2013, and was a member of DC's Team Treat Yo Self, which ranked 5th at the 2012 Southern Fried Poetry Slam.  She loves hugs.


Amin Dallal 

As a performance artist, Amin Dallal has opened up for artists ranging from Slick Rick and Biz Markie to Sunni Patterson and Andrea Gibson, and he has performed at different national venues including "Green Mill" in Chicago, IL.  When he is not performing, he hosts the prestigious Busboys and Poets Open Mic and BBE's ground breaking Graffiti DC slam series.  Dallal is also the host of the TV show "Dope Wordz and Life".  This show is entirely dedicated to spoken word and slam poetry and is broadcast on public access television in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and New York.  

Amin approaches every performance as if it is his last and holds a deep love for entertaining, but he is equally committed and passionate toward community outreach, too.  In addition to his career as a performance artist and host, Amin Dallal works with at risk youth in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.  He holds a deep passion for his American and Palestinian roots, as well.  

Brian Gillespie

Brian Gillespie currently teaches 8th grade Civics and Economics at Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria, Virginia.  Brian has been teaching social studies for ten years in both Virginia Beach and Fairfax County.  He has also taught World History 2, Geography, and U.S. and Virginia History.  He has coached baseball, the Academic Challenge Team, the Debate Team, and is the founder of the Model United Nations Club at Hayfield.  Brian studied at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia and the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.  He received his B.A. from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia in 2003.

Brian is one of the coaches of Hayfield's after school poetry program and has been working with poetryN.O.W. since their inception.  In his free time, Brian likes to exercise, read, travel, spend time with his friends, and play with his dog Mookie.

Pinky Hossain

Pinky Hossain is a poetryN.O.W. alum by way of Washington and Lee High School and is currently a second year student at the University of Virginia.  She believes that writing is an important cathartic tool.  A strong advocate of colorful things, she endorses the use of stickers and pins.