Shasparay Irvin is a Black, queer, performing artist from Austin, Texas, with a B.S in Theatre and a Minor in African American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2018 they were the 10th Ranked Poet in the World.
She was a recipient of the First Wave Hip Hop and Urban Arts Full Tuition Scholarship, a speaker at the 2016 TEDxYouth Austin conference and is a National NAACP ACT-SO Gold Medalist. Shasparay has been a finalist in national and regional slam competitions such as Women of the World Poetry Slam, Southern Fried Poetry Slam, Texas Grand Slam and is the two-time Lip Stick Wars Poetry Slam Champion. Shasparay has been featured on Button Poetry, Youth Speaks, BuzzFeed, and Huffington Post.
She has been published by Button Poetry, Planned Parenthood, and Our Lives Magazine.
Shasparay is the Founder and Artistic Director of
Black Arts Matter, LLC and the Black Arts Matter Festival that she created to provide a dedicated platform for Black arts and artists. The first festival in 2019 held in Madison, Wisconsin featured over 40 Black artists and was followed by a successful virtual festival in partnership with the Wisconsin Union Theater in November of 2020.