Kristiana Rae Colón, one of Chicago’s Def Poets, is a graduate student at the School of the Art Institute Chicago. Born and raised in Chicago, Kristiana has been writing and performing for six years, and recently produced her first original play entitled but i cd only whisper at the University of Chicago, directed by Tiffany Trent. She touredChicago with Grammatical Era and London with the WordWide poetry slam team, which featured at London’s first inner-city youth slam. She has been featured on Power 92, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, WGN Radio, and WZRD. Kristiana has rocked the mic at some of the Midwest’s top venues including the Park West, the Metro, the Star Plaza Theater, the Aragon , the HotHouse, Subterranean, the Funky Buddha Lounge and Sonotheque, as well as the Nuyorican, Acentos, and Sutra Lounge in New York, in addition to several colleges and universities. She has shared the stage with highly acclaimed writers Marc Smith, the creator of the worldwide ‘poetry slam’ phenomenon, Kevin Coval, Luis Rodriguez, Tara Betts, Triple Blak, Malik Yusef, Anna West, Sonia Sanchez, and has opened for Grammy-nominated band Ozomatli and internationally acclaimed comedian Damon Williams. In 2005, she recently released her independently produced spoken word CD entitled Who Haunts Eden and was featured on HBO’s fifth season of Def Poetry Jam. In addition to recording, publishing, and performing, Kristiana also spends some time teaching drama, performance poetry, and other forms of creative writing in inner-city schools to talented youth ages 6 – 18. Kristiana holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature/Creative Writing from the University of Chicago and is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Writing. She believes in the power of art as an educational tool and is committed to arts integration as a way to reinvigorate the learning experience. She is pursuing a career in literary and performance art and arts education .