Aris Kian reciting a poem in front of a microphone.

Aris Kian is a Houston enthusiast and student of abolition. She is currently the Houston Poet Laureate 2023-2025 and ranked #2 in the 2023 Womxn of the World Poetry Slam. Previously an Inprint C. Glenn Cambor Fellow, she received her MFA from the University of Houston. She was ranked #10 in the 2020 Women of the World Poetry Slam and #4 in the nation at the 2019 ACUI College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational with UH team Coogslam. Her poems are published with Write About Now, West Branch, Obsidian Lit, The West Review and elsewhere. She is a Pushcart nominee with her poem “Bottled Ship,” a 2020 Best of the Net finalist with her poem “In which I no longer see my face as full of potential,” a 2021 Crystal Wilkinson Creative Writing Prize finalist and a 2022 New Voices Contest finalist with Frontier Poetry. Kian is the 2022 recipient of the Inprint Marion Barthelme Prize in Creative Writing for Students with Service to the Houston Literary Community.

Aris Kian headshot.

Kian has taught dozens of poetry workshops as an Emerging Writers Fellow with Writers in the Schools, as well as independently with Strikethrough, Coogslam, Defunkt Magazine and KidsACT. She is a published journalist with the Houston Chronicle and Prism and was an Uprising Fellow through Just Media. She received her B.A. in English and Sociology at the University of Houston and organizes with Mutual Aid Houston and the Houston Abolitionist Collective. She utilizes her skills as a digital content strategist and copywriter for CB Agency and serves as the Narrative Change and Media Manager for Houston in Action.

Since December 2020, she has self-sold and distributed 250+ copies of her fifteen-poem chapbook blac•ademic and received a Poets & Writers grant to create and perform a visual EP launch and reading in June 2021.

blac•ademic front cover.

Buy chapbook below!

“I do not confuse hunger / with the need to fill myself / with anything that will have me.”

– Hanif Abdurraqib