Jasminne Mendez is a performance poet, actress, teacher and published writer. She captivates audiences through the passion and energy of her words and voice. Mendez has performed her poetry in venues all around Houston, including the MFAH, Rice and the Alley Theatre. She has shared the stage with respected writers and poets, notably, Sandra Cisneros and Taylor Mali. Mendez has been published both nationally and internationally and her first multi-genre memoir Island of Dreams was published by Floricanto Press in November of 2013. She is currently working on her second memoir Thick Skinned about living life with chronic illness. For more about her journey visit her blog: Chronic Brevity.

My poetry is the barbaric yawp that I will sound from all the rooftops of the world, because it is the only way I can be sure my words will echo!

Her Story

Born from immigrant parents of the Dominican Republic, Jasminne Mendez was blessed to learn both English and Spanish at a very early age. She has used these skills to her advantage throughout her life by performing, reading and writing poetry, short stories and plays in both languages.

She attended the University of Houston from 2002 -2007 where she received her Bachelors of Arts degree in English Literature and her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. While at the University of Houston she played leading roles in various plays including A Raisin in the Sun, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, and Yerma. She also spent many of those early years writing and performing poetry in local venues around the Houston area.

In 2007 her work was transferred from the stage to the printed page when her creative non-fiction piece, The China Cabinet was published in the anthology, Windows into My World: Latino Youth Write Their Lives by Arte Publico Press. Since then her publishing credits include:

Frijochuelas, La Galeria Magazine, 2016
El Corte , The Best of CutThroat: A Journal of the Arts, 2016
War, Show & Tell, The Cause, Beyond Freedom Anthology, Brute Bound Press, 2016
When Was the Last Time You Saw a Black Boy Smile, Outrage Anthology, 2015
Neurology Suite 101- Reflections, Telling Our Stories Press, 2013
Grandeur- Flash International Short Story Magazine, University of Chester, 2011
I Miss You- Impact: A Collection of Short Memoir, Telling Our Stories Press, 2012
Disorder- Magnolia Women’s Journal, 2012
Paradise- Littlest Blessings, Whispering Angel Books 2012
Not Yet- REVERIE: Ultra Short Memoirs, Telling Our Stories Press, 2013
Island of Dreams- Floricanto Press, 2013
People in Papergowns- REFLECTIONS,  Telling Our Stories Press, 2015

As a performance poet, she has performed for the Mexican American Studies department at both the University of Houston central campus and the University of Houston Clearlake Campus. She has performed at other prestigious venues around Houston including Talento Bilingue de Houston, MECA, Houston Community College(HCC), the Holocaust Museum, the Alley Theatre and the Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH).

She’s traveled to Arizona to film an abstinence commercial in the art of spoken word, to Negril and Montego Bay, Jamaica with a poetry tour group and has been a part of the Houston  Word around Town Poetry Tour as a featured artist for the past five years. Her work has been featured on Houston’s local radio station 90.1 KPFT, 88. 7 KUHF Houston public radio and as a part of HCC’s college television programming.

In 2009 she reached, what she considers, the pinnacle of her spoken word career when she opened for award-winning author Sandra Cisneros at Rice University for over 500 audience members.  In the past, she has also had the privilege of sharing the stage with notable artists and writers, Amalia Ortiz, Taylor Mali, and Dagoberto Gilb. Recently she was awarded Best Houston Performer of the Year by RAW: Houston and her first multi-genre memoir Island of Dreams received first place for Best Young Adult Latino Focused Book by the International Latino Book Awards. Most recently, her essay El Corte  was awarded Honorable Mention for the Barry Lopez Creative Non-Fiction Prize through CutThroat: A Journal of The Arts. She continues to write and perform on a regular basis and currently teaches writing workshops for the Alley Theatre and Writers in the Schools. 

For real money she has a rewarding and amazing career as a teacher, educator and curriculum designer with the Jesuit Virtual Learning Academy(