Ariana Brown is a queer Black Mexican American poet from the Southside of San Antonio, Texas, now based in Houston, Texas. She is the author of the poetry collections We Are Owed. (Grieveland, 2021) and Sana Sana (Game Over Books, 2020). Ariana's work investigates queer Black personhood in Mexican American spaces, Black history and girlhood, loneliness, and care. Her debut poetry EP, LET US BE ENOUGH, is available on Bandcamp.
She holds a B.A. in African Diaspora Studies and Mexican American Studies from UT Austin, an M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Pittsburgh, and an M.L.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of North Texas. Ariana is the recipient of the 2019 National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Grant for San Antonio Artists and a two-time Academy of American Poets Prize winner. She holds the title of 2014 national collegiate poetry slam champion.
Ariana owes much of her practice to Black performance communities led by Black women poets from the South. Her mentoring style and literary heritage is rooted in Black feminist writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, Ebony Stewart, and Sharon Bridgforth. Prior to becoming a nationally touring artist, she organized youth and collegiate poetry slam communities in central Texas, co-founding the first youth poetry slam in San Antonio. Ariana has performed at nearly 300 events in over a decade and has taught 250+ students in her virtual creative writing classes.
When she is not performing, she is probably giving book recommendations at her library, creating free online resources for writers, teaching a class, or reading a YA dystopian novel.