Donte is a 20-year-old queer, black poet/actor/dancer whose first poem was written at the age of seven about feeling trapped, unheard. The 2016 Most Promising Young Poet, awarded by Academy of American Poets, he is a well-known performance artist throughout the Twin Cities and was a member of the 2013 and 2015 BeHeard Slam Team, representing Minne- sota at the International Youth Poetry Festival Brave New Voices, as well as a part of the 2016 Twin Cities Unified National Slam Team.
Donte has shared the stage with some of today’s most acclaimed poets, including Danez Smith, Sierra Demulder, Guante, Neil Hilborn, Hieu Minh Nguyen, and more. He has served as a Youth Advisor for TruArtSpeaks and is currently a board member for Black Table Arts. National Book Critics Circle Award Recipient Claudia Rankine shared a poem by Donte at the 2016 Dodge Poetry Festival. Donte’s first poem was published when he was 16 years old and he has since gained national recognition. He is an editor at Button Poetry and studies English and Theater at Augsburg College. He resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he hibernates during the winter and seriously considers purchasing a warmer yet less fashionable jacket.