ISA BORGESON

Slam Poet, Spoken Word Artist, Educator

Isabella “Isa” Borgeson is a queer, multiracial Filipina American artist, international slam poet, and educator from Oakland, California who views her poetry as an artistic extension of her activism and community organizing. In 2012 she won "Best Poem" of the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI), where she represented UC Berkeley's CalSLAM team for three years. Isa is a 2015 fellow for the Voices of Our Nation Art Foundation (VONA) - an international poetry workshop for writers of color at the University of Miami.

In December 2015, she was selected as one of four poets in the world to perform at the United Nations Climate Change negotiations in Paris for COP21, where she spoke to global leaders about the impact of climate change on her Philippines homeland. Her poetry is influenced by the two years she spent organizing rehabilitation projects after super typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda devastated her mother's hometown. 

She has been featured on CNN, the Inquirer, Guardian, and Berkeley News, and has shared the stage with influential figures including Dr. Cornel West and US Poet Laureate Robert Haas. Her passion and commitment toward social justice issues and teaching poetry as a tool for resistance, empowerment, and healing keeps her grounded in her communities across the Pacific Ocean – a homeland from Oakland to Tanauan.



 

Photographer: Lorenz Angelo