About Us

We Create Spaces for Poetry

Mad Mouth Poetry is a coalition of multi-cultural poets who strive to create & maintain spaces of self-expression that are anti-racist, anti-sexist, and safe for everyone. We seek to prioritize and amplify the voices of poets that we believe to be under-represented: poets of color, intersectional feminist poets, and poets who are non-binary or non-conforming with regards to gender identity and sexual orientation. All are welcome.

We Amplify Voices

Mad Mouth Poetry serves as a platform to highlight the many disenfranchised and marginalized communities that often feel unheard or unseen.

We Amplify Voices

Mad Mouth Poetry serves as a platform to highlight the many disenfranchised and marginalized communities that often feel unheard or unseen.

We Break Barriers

Our poetry reading explores intersections of class, race, sexuality, and gender that are too often inhibited by institutions and structures that have been purposely placed as barriers to engaging with diverse stories and experiences.

We Break Barriers

Our poetry reading explores intersections of class, race, sexuality, and gender that are too often inhibited by institutions and structures that have been purposely placed as barriers to engaging with diverse stories and experiences.

We Build Meaningful Change

Our team believes meaningful change is created simply by listening and understanding the experiences of marginalized voices. We seek to empower, embolden, and liberate marginalized voices through highlighting artwork, ideas, and self-expression through our platform. In doing so, we hope to create a safe space for those who have too often been denied places for their unique perspectives to be shared, and ultimately engage in meaningful conversation while enacting change within our communities.

We Build Meaningful Change

Our team believes meaningful change is created simply by listening and understanding the experiences of marginalized voices. We seek to empower, embolden, and liberate marginalized voices through highlighting artwork, ideas, and self-expression through our platform. In doing so, we hope to create a safe space for those who have too often been denied places for their unique perspectives to be shared, and ultimately engage in meaningful conversation while enacting change within our communities.

Meet Our Team

Image of poet and host of Mad Mouth Poetry, Ruth Christopher.

Ruth Christopher

Ruth is a poet, dancer, paralegal, intersectional feminist, cannabis enthusiast, mixed media artist, and sometimes musician. She got her first poetry feature at Hollywood Poets hosted by Ideas Aubrey and was an active member of both Hollywood poets & Lamplight. Now she is a senior at UC Davis where she is an Osher scholar in the honors creative writing program. She is marrying Cyrus (@original_kohl) and together they co-parent Louie (@welcome_to_louies_world).

Cyrus Sepahbodi

Cyrus Sepahbodi is an Iranian-American poet, copywriter, & web developer. He has many years of experience hosting such poetry readings as Lamplight, Valley Contemporary Poets,  Verity Room Poetry Reading, and The Worst Poetry Reading. He has performed widely in southern CA and is the co-founder of a literary organization called Mad About Ink. Cyrus was also member of the CSUN slam team and a mentor to many student poets there. He lives with Ruth  & their son Louie Prima Christopher Sepahbodi in Davis although he is forever locked in a poetic throuple with David Gale & Arthur Kayzakian.

Image of Cyrus Sepahbodi, poet and host of Mad Mouth Poetry.
Image of poet, author, and host Arthur Kayzakian of Mad Mouth Poetry.

Arthur Kayzakian

Arthur Kayzakian is a poet, editor and teacher who lives in California. He was born in Tehran, Iran. His family sought political asylum in London when he was three years old to escape the Iranian Revolution.  He earned his MFA from San Diego State University. He is a contributing editor at Poetry International. His chapbook, My Burning City, was a finalist for the Locked Horn Press Chapbook Prize and Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize. He is a recipient of the Minas Savvas Fellowship, and his poems and translations have appeared in or are forthcoming from several publications including Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, COUNTERCLOCK, Chicago Review, Locked Horn Press and Prairie Schooner.

Maya Alexandria

Maya Alexandria is an African and French American who resides in Sacramento. Her family’s history in America begins in New Orleans, where she studied and lived for 3 years. Because of this, her creative work encompasses themes such as the biracial perspective, the South, and her family’s heritage. Maya is currently working on a poetry collection that focuses on her family tree, which features some well-known relatives such as Jackie Robinson and Leah Chase. She has recently obtained her degree in English with a concentration in creative writing. In her spare time, Maya looks for ways to dismantle the patriarchy through painting outdoors, listening to jazz with her cat, and slaying dragons via video games.

Image of poet, co-host, and co-founder Maya Alexandria.
Image of Damieka Thomas, host and poet of Mad Mouth Poetry.

Damieka Thomas

Damieka Thomas is a mixed race student and a Senior at #ucdavis studying English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and a minor in Education. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, hiking, yoga, traveling, and indulging in the frequent Netflix binge with her cat by her side. After she finishes her undergraduate degree, she aspires to get an MFA in Creative Writing and eventually move to New York City with her cat to pursue a career in publishing, as well as offer her cat a fresh host of pigeons to terrorize.

Ideas Aubrey

Ideas Aubrey is a Youth Educator, Poet, and Spoken Word artist! Ideas open up his heart on stage and let his audience feel better walking out than when they walked in. His energy and positive vibe come from his personal life experiences. Ideas travels around to open mics to spread wisdom from his heart.

Image of author, poet, and host Ideas Aubrey of Mad Mouth Poetry.
Image of Damieka Thomas, host and poet of Mad Mouth Poetry.

Melanie Manuel

Melanie Manuel is a Filipina American poet and occasional fiction writer who resides in Sacramento, California. She recently obtained her degree from UC Davis in both Asian American Studies and English with a double emphasis in Creative Writing as well as Literature, Criticism, and Theory. Her creative work has been largely influenced by the intersection of her ethnic and national identities, family, other personal experiences, and vulnerabilities that have only felt right to be articulated on a page. She was also a recipient of the 2020 Pamela Maus Contest in Creative Writing for Poetry.

David Gale

David Gale is a teacher, poet, and musician who has been a stage performer since 2002. His writing grew out of the open reading tradition at venues in the greater Los Angeles area. He eventually came to co-host poetry readings for six years with his writing partner Cyrus Sepahbodi at The Verity Room Poetry Reading, The Worst Poetry Reading, and the Lamplight Poetry Reading. He is also a graduate of the California State Northridge creative writing program where he earned his bachelor’s degree and teaching credential. David Gale’s poetry has been featured on stages throughout Los Angeles and his music has traveled throughout the United States.

Image of author, poet, and host Ideas Aubrey of Mad Mouth Poetry.

Photo by: Flip Cassidy

Meet Our Team

Image of poet and host of Mad Mouth Poetry, Ruth Christopher.

Ruth Christopher

Ruth is a poet, dancer, paralegal, intersectional feminist, activist, massive fucking stoner, mixed media artist, and sometimes musician. She got her first poetry feature at Hollywood Poets hosted by Ideas Aubrey and was an active member of both Hollywood poets & Lamplight. Now she is a senior at UC Davis where she is in the honors creative writing program doing her thesis on Sylvia Plath. She loves Cyrus & Louie whom she refers to affectionately as her “menfolk.” Ruth is bilingual and is interested in Spanish film & all forms of Latin dance. She used to train (pre shut down!) with Studio 18 (r.i.p.)  in Sacramento & before that JK Dance Co. in LA. She wants you to know that sin justicia no hay paz and #flintmichigan still doesn’t have clean water.

Image of Cyrus Sepahbodi, poet and host of Mad Mouth Poetry.

Cyrus Sepahbodi

Cyrus Sepahbodi is an Iranian-American poet, copywriter, & web developer. He has many years of experience hosting such poetry readings as Lamplight, Valley Contemporary Poets,  Verity Room Poetry Reading, and The Worst Poetry Reading. He has performed widely in southern CA and is the co-founder of a literary organization called Mad About Ink. Cyrus was also member of the CSUN slam team and a mentor to many student poets there. He lives with Ruth  & their son Louie Prima Christopher Sepahbodi in Davis although he is forever locked in a poetic throuple with David Gale & Arthur Kayzakian.

Image of poet, author, and host Arthur Kayzakian of Mad Mouth Poetry.

Arthur Kayzakian

Arthur Kayzakian is a poet, editor and teacher who lives in California. He was born in Tehran, Iran. His family sought political asylum in London when he was three years old to escape the Iranian Revolution.  He earned his MFA from San Diego State University. He is a contributing editor at Poetry International. His chapbook, My Burning City, was a finalist for the Locked Horn Press Chapbook Prize and Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize. He is a recipient of the Minas Savvas Fellowship, and his poems and translations have appeared in or are forthcoming from several publications including Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, COUNTERCLOCK, Chicago Review, Locked Horn Press and Prairie Schooner.

Image of Maya Alexandria, poet and host of Mad Mouth Poetry.

Maya Alexandria

Maya Alexandria is an African and French American who resides in Sacramento. Her family’s history in America begins in New Orleans, where she studied and lived for 3 years. Because of this, her creative work encompasses themes such as the biracial perspective, the South, and her family’s heritage. Maya is currently working on a poetry collection that focuses on her family tree, which features some well-known relatives such as Jackie Robinson and Leah Chase. She has recently obtained her degree in English with a concentration in creative writing. In her spare time, Maya looks for ways to dismantle the patriarchy through painting outdoors, listening to jazz with her cat, and slaying dragons via video games.

Image of Damieka Thomas, host and poet of Mad Mouth Poetry.

Damieka Thomas

Damieka Thomas is a mixed race student and a Senior at #ucdavis studying English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and a minor in Education. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, hiking, yoga, traveling, and indulging in the frequent Netflix binge with her cat by her side. After she finishes her undergraduate degree, she aspires to get an MFA in Creative Writing and eventually move to New York City with her cat to pursue a career in publishing, as well as offer her cat a fresh host of pigeons to terrorize.

Image of author, poet, and host Ideas Aubrey of Mad Mouth Poetry.

Ideas Aubrey

Ideas Aubrey is a Youth Educator, Poet, and Spoken Word artist! Ideas open up his heart on stage and let his audience feel better walking out than when they walked in. His energy and positive vibe come from his personal life experiences. Ideas travels around to open mics to spread wisdom from his heart.

Image of author, poet, and host Ideas Aubrey of Mad Mouth Poetry.

Melanie Manuel

Melanie Manuel is a Filipina American poet and occasional fiction writer who resides in Sacramento, California. She recently obtained her degree from UC Davis in both Asian American Studies and English with a double emphasis in Creative Writing as well as Literature, Criticism, and Theory. Her creative work has been largely influenced by the intersection of her ethnic and national identities, family, other personal experiences, and vulnerabilities that have only felt right to be articulated on a page. She was also a recipient of the 2020 Pamela Maus Contest in Creative Writing for Poetry.

Image of author, poet, and host Ideas Aubrey of Mad Mouth Poetry.

David Gale

David Gale is a teacher, poet, and musician who has been a stage performer since 2002. His writing grew out of the open reading tradition at venues in the greater Los Angeles area. He eventually came to co-host poetry readings for six years with his writing partner Cyrus Sepahbodi at The Verity Room Poetry Reading, The Worst Poetry Reading, and the Lamplight Poetry Reading. He is also a graduate of the California State Northridge creative writing program where he earned his bachelor’s degree and teaching credential. David Gale’s poetry has been featured on stages throughout Los Angeles and his music has traveled throughout the United States.

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