Jasminne Mendez is an award winning author, performance poet and educator. She received her B.A. in English Literature and her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston. Mendez has had poetry and memoir published both nationally and internationally and her first multi-genre memoir Island of Dreams was published by Floricanto Press was awarded Best Young Adult Latino Focused Book by the International Latino Book Awards in 2015. Recently, her personal essay El Corte received honorable mention in the Barry Lopez Creative Non-Fiction Prize in CutThroat, A Journal of the Arts and will be published in their Best of CutThroat edition later this spring. She has shared the stage as a performance poet with world renowned authors Taylor Mali, Sandra Cisneros, Dagoberto Gilb, and Aamalia Ortiz. She is a 2016 VONA Fellow and this summer she will begin her MFA residency in the creative writing program at the Rainier Writer's Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.