About Natalie

Photo by Kendra Kuliga

Natalie E. Illum is a poet, disability activist, and singer living in Washington DC. She was a founded board member of the mothertongue, a DC women’s open mic and poetry organization that lasted 15 years. She competed on the National Poetry Slam circuit for 5 years  and was the 2013 Beltway Grand Slam Champion.  Her work has appeared in Word Warriors: 35 Women of the Spokenword Revolution (Seal Press) and Full Moon on K Street (Plan B Press), as well as in Feminist Studies, Breath & Shadows, Kaleidoscope, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Beltway Quarterly, Button Poetry and on NPR’s Snap Judgment.  Natalie has two poetry chapbooks Ground Lover (2004) and On Writer’s Block and Acrobats (2006), as well as Spastic,  a one-woman show forever in progress.  She has been featured in The Huffington Post, oxJane and Salon Magazine. She will be the writer-in-residence at the ARGS Residency (October 2017) and will be staying in their ADA compliant-yet-historic property working on a mixed-genre sequence on body shaming and body acceptance, specifically from the lens of the physically and/or mentally dis/abled body. She has shared the stage with Andrea Gibson, Michelle Tea, Regie Cabico and many other National performers, and has taught a variety of writing workshops with students across the country. Natalie has an MFA in creative writing from American University, and teaches workshops in a variety of venues.

Posted April 16, 2011 by Natalie E. Illum

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