Chancelier ‘Xero’ Skidmore
 Executive Director 


Chancelier “Xero” Skidmore is a poet, educator and organizer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He has been ranked twice among the top five slam poets in the United States through that competition and in December of 2010 he ranked 3rd at the Individual World Poetry Slam Festival and in 2013 he ranked 1st.  You can find his work published in the anthology, Spoken Word Revolution Redux by Sourcebooks mediaFusion and the Spring 2010 volume of the New Delta Review by LSU Press.  Xero teaches poetry to teens in Baton Rouge and its surrounding areas through Forward Arts.

Donney Rose
Marketing Director
donney-FA website

Donney Rose, a Baton Rouge native and active member of the city’s poetry scene, has been performing spoken word and facilitating spoken word events for over a decade. He works as a teaching artist  and marketing director for an arts-based non-profit, Forward Arts Inc.  Donney  has recorded three spoken word CDs and author of the chapbook, The Crying Buck (Next Left Press).  His work has been featured on, Atlanta Black , Button Poetry, All Def Digital and in online journals Drunk In A Midnight Choir Nicholls State’s Gris Gris literary journal. He holds a B.S. in Business Marketing degree from Southern University.

  Desiree Dallagiacomo
  Program Director

Ranking 3rd in the world at the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam, 3rd in the world at the Women of the World Poetry Slam,  and 3rd in the nation at the 2014 National Poetry Slam, Desireé is an award winning writer, performer, and educator. She is the program director and a lead teaching artist for Forward Arts Inc, a literary arts non-profit in Baton Rouge, LA, and a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Gate,, Upworthy, Tulane University’s production of The Vagina Monologues, the New Orleans Fringe Festival, and Tandem Review. Studying creative writing and women & gender studies, she is a student at the University of New Orleans- where she is a recipient of the Ryan Chigazola Poetry Scholarship. She has taught and performed at colleges, universities, and youth organizations across the country. Desireé enjoys working with student and community populations in middle school, high school, college, and beyond.