Jessica Ayala is a published author, spoken word artist and writer-in-residence at Charlotte Street Foundation. She immigrated to the United States from Colombia South America at the age of three. Miss Ayala published her first series of poems in grade school for The Young Authors Conference. Her recent poetry has been published in two anthologies winning an Honorable Medal in the 2017 International Latino Book Awards. Additionally, Miss Ayala is the recipient of the 2018 Pitch Magazine Best Kansas City Spoken Word Artist Award. Her first book of poetry entitled Huelga joins the Kansas City POP! Poetry series of writers as book #32. Huelga is a collection of poems spanning ten years during Ayala's time inside the classroom, lobbying, and working with undocumented students. Huelga takes a critical look at the social, political and cultural injustices of Latin America awakening the untold stories of the indigenous diaspora. She is currently on tour with Huelga and working on publishing her second book, Just A Kid From Ipiales, a poetic memoir documenting her unique journey as an immigrant youth living in the United States.
Jessica's work is a fusion of her Colombian American heritage merges oral tradition, storytelling, hip-hop, and poetry inviting a unique conversation between words and percussion. Through Ayala's art, she hopes to create spaces for dialogue, education, and reflection hoping all who engage leave more aware by the stories told. Additionally, Jessica’s poetry has merged into songwriting and rhyme joining Les Izmore/The KCore and the Kansas City Rumba Collective.