Natalie Illum

(Photo by Kendra Kuliga)

 Natalie E. Illum is an activist, poet and storyteller. Natalie is a founding board member of mothertongue, a women’s spoken word and creative writing organization since 1998. She has an MFA in creative writing from American University and teaches poetry workshops in a variety of academic and community venues. Her work centers around disability education and awareness, autobiography and sexual orientation. Natalie is a nationally touring poet was has performed with Eve Ensler, Andrea Gibson, Michelle Tea, Buddy Wakefield, Regie Cabico and many others. Her writing is included in Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders of the Spoken Word Revolution, as well as other publications, including the scholarly journal Feminist Studies. She has self-published two chapbooks: Ground Lover and On Writers Block and Acrobats. She was a featured poet in the 2010 Split This Rock Poetry Festival of Provocation and Witness, and is honored to be one of the poets included in the Full Moon On K Street, an anthology that features poems about Washington DC from 1950 to the Present. Natalie has represented DC at the Women of the Worlds and Individual World Poetry Slam competitions since 2008. She is one of the Executive Producer of Capturing Fire, the first-ever National Queer Slam, which premiered in Washington DC in March 2010. One of her stories about her disability, "Falling," aired on NPR’s Snap Judgment in February 2012.