January 22nd : Andy Karol


Andy Karol is a poet and performer based out of Chicago. Although Andy has only been in the poetry scene for a couple of years, she is no stranger to connecting with audiences through a rich history of theatre, performance art, and photography. That connection has been recreated, tested, and driven through her own performance poetry shared on numerous stages all around Chicago (and beyond).

This past May, Andy released her debut chapbook, Fail-Safe, that dives hard into the issues of relationships, living authentically, gender and sexuality, parenting, and personal mental struggles. This July, she was a semi-finalist in the Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Awards and is most recently a member of the Lethal Poetry collective. 

Be sure to stay in touch with Andy at www.andykarol.com and on Facebook.

Email survivingthemic@gmail.com for venue and directions.

August 21st

Mojdeh Stoakley

1923559_504279683132_4894_nMojdeh is a 4x award winning writer, performer, photographer, educator, and conceptual fine artist.
She burst into the performance scene at 14, her theater & music talents captured the attention of an agent at 16, and has shared the stage with folks like Saul Williams, Pere Ubu, John Legend, many HBO Def poets, and several fine arts performance artists since.

Her fine art has been exhibited in Berlin, Tokyo, Chicago, and New York City. Her photography & writing have been published by many media sources & journals including WBEZ, Alarm Press, Chicago Now, and Muzzle Magazine. She has released five albums of music and poetry independently. She is a member of »radiant devices«, and recently published her first book “born into dissonance.”

Mojdeh has represented Chicago multiple times to National Poetry Slam events like Individual World Poetry Slam, Southern Fried Slam, and Rustbelt ’14. As a slam poetry coach, she teaches youth competing in Louder Than A Bomb and adults competing in the National Poetry Slam.

She’s been an executive producer for festivals like Lethal Poetry’s Nights of Sight & Sound, the world’s largest mobile art show Art On Track, and one of Chicago’s PSi certified slams, Words That Kill. Mojdeh received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is the founder Lethal Poetry Inc and LUCID Art Lab, an arts organizations that activate artists as social servants.

July 17th : Jessica Fenlon

Born in California, Jessica Fenlon was raised in Wisconsin. While studying violin performance in a conservatory of music, she survived a 6-month death experience induced by medical malpractice. Unable write or play violin, she took up meditation. In 1995 she enrolled in the University of Wisconsin, as a studio art major.
She completed her BFA at University of Wisconsin-Madison 1999; her MFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 2002.
An animation-based video artist, she has collaborated on theatrical performances with choreographers, bands, and literary performers. She staged several performances of her own, combining spoken-word poetry performances with film and sound. These experiments played most notably at Pittsburgh’s Brillobox in the Beautiful Noise series, and the Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art. Her first book of poetry, Spiritual Side Effects, was published in late 2008 by Pittsburgh’s 6 Gallery Press.
In late 2010, she moved to Chicago, IL. She has focused on glitch-based digital image alteration as source material for multi-media artwork, while publishing poems in magazines (WEAVE, Free State Review) and as spoken word performances. Since 2011 her short films have screened in Dublin, Ireland; London, England; Naples and Sicily, Italy; Varna, Bulgaria; Poland, Germany, and Havana, Cuba, as well as Cairo, Egypt.
Her meditation practice includes prayer without ceasing; tonglen; chöd; mandala creation; mantra, chant, and other breathwork; zazen; and awkward yoga.


June 19th : Aja Zakiya Hall

AJA ZAKIYA HALL is a Chicago native and Second City alumnus. She has taught performance and visual arts, along with creative writing and poetry in Chicago Public Schools and had the honor of serving as a Rites of Passage Favilitator and Writing Coach to HS students in West Africa. She will be sharing poetry, song and monologue, as well as a short story or two. Aja is a healer and uses Interdisciplinary Arts and Energy Therapies as her tools.

May 22nd

Stephanie Lane Sutton


STEPHANIE LANE SUTTON is a poet, performer, and educator. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Radius, THRUSH, elimae, and Button Poetry, among others. She is the author of a chapbook, Blood Dowry.  Her full-length manuscript was a finalist for the Write Bloody Publishing ’13 book contest, and she is currently under consideration as a semifinalist for the Tired Hearts Press ’14 chapbook contest. As a slam poet, she has represented Chicago in numerous competitions, including as a semifinalist at the National Poetry Slam ’13 and as the Mental Graffiti venue rep at the Women of the World Poetry Slam ’13. She holds a degree in Poetry from Columbia College and teaches poetry in Chicago Public Schools.

April 17th

Featured performance at Rape Victim Advocate’s Breaking the Silence, a spoken word event featuring local Chicago artists in protest of sexual violence.

March 20th, 2014

Come check out Surviving the Mic’s very first feature, Amy David!

Amy David


Amy David has represented Chicago four times at the National Poetry Slam, including team semi-final appearances in 2007 and 2013. Her work has appeared in journals including Foundling Review, Shit Creek Review, November 3rd Club, Writers’ Bloc, The Bakery, Danse Macabre, Word Riot, Super Arrow, Clockwise Cat, Alight, Right Hand Pointing, and Full of Crow.


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