Sydney has performed and taught poetry across the country and internationally in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panamá. Though she has had some time to develop her craft, she sees poetry as the art of always digging deeper into oneself and knows there is no limit. She is committed to exploring the ways in which the pen, tongue, and body can produce new understandings of power and resistance.
Sydney plans to major in Africana Studies and Gender & Sexuality Studies at Brown University, where she is currently a sophomore, and is considering a career as a public interest litigator focused on protecting the human rights of girls and women in the Americas. She knows that poetry can transform trauma into action, and she aims to help youth at New Urban Arts in that creative process.
She began writing spoken word poetry as a high school student in Madison, Wisconsin, where she first joined an after-school writing group. She was published for the first time in Someone Might Hear You: An Anthology of First Wave Poets at age fifteen and was selected to compete with the Wisconsin team at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam in 2008 and 2009. Sydney still considers that small poetry club to be one of the most significant turning points in her life. This is her first year as a mentor at New Urban Arts, which she sees as an opportunity to recreate such spaces, in which participants become comfortable with vulnerability and use poetry as a tool for self-love and social change.