Junious ‘Jay’ Ward is a poet and teaching artist from Charlotte, NC. He is a National Slam champion (2018), an Individual World Poetry Slam champion (2019), author of Sing Me A Lesser Wound (Bull City Press 2020) and Composition (Button Poetry 2023). Jay currently serves as Charlotte’s inaugural Poet Laureate and is a 2023 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. Ward has attended Breadloaf Writer’s Conference, Callaloo, The Watering Hole and Tin House Winter Workshop. His work can be found in Columbia Journal, Four Way Review, DIAGRAM, Diode Poetry Journal and elsewhere.