Born and raised in the Bronx, Crystal Valentine is a writer, activist and educator. A recent graduate of NYU, Crystal is the three-time Grand Slam Champion of NYU's poetry slam team as well the two-time winner of the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. She was the 2015 NYC Youth Poet Laureate and is the 9th ranked woman poet in the world by way of the Woman of the World Poetry Slam. Crystal's work has been featured on programming for MSNBC, Blavity and CNN. She has recently been named Glamour Magazine's 2016 College Woman of the Year, and is the author of her first book, Not Everything is a Eulogy.
Crystal is a generator and fierce protector of black joy, and strongly believes that intersectionality is a key factor in liberation. As a queer, black, woman, a lot of her work revolves around bridging the ever present gap between her identities. Her goal is to provide a sanctuary within her poems that can be accessible to ALL black people: queer, trans, women, gender non conforming, poor, loud, angry, ghetto, for it is when all of these voices are present and accounted for that we can really begin the gruesome work of understanding and breaking down systematic oppression. Above all, crystal loves her kin, she currently divides her time between curating writing workshops for youth and performing at various venues, colleges and poetry readings