Meet Mike Guinn, poet and performer

I first heard Mike Guinn at a 2019 Martin Luther King, Jr. poetry slam. His energy was magnetic, and I asked him to be a storyteller at Out of the Loop: True Stories about Life in Tyler and East Texas, for our November show. As seasoned as Mike is on the stage, it was his first time to tell a true, personal story. He did not disappoint. He mesmerized the crowd with a childhood tale that began one summer in his hometown, Jacksonville.

Since then, Mike has moved on to other projects. A social worker now living in the Dallas area, Mike has responded to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement, by compiling and editing two anthologies, with voices from around the world.

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Jane Neal is the executive director of The Tyler Loop and storytelling director of Out of the Loop: True Stories about Tyler and East Texas. In addition to the Loop, she works at the Literacy Council of Tyler and attends Sam Houston State University remotely, where she studies sociology. Jane is a certified interfaith spiritual guide. She is a member of Leadership Tyler Class 33 and a former teacher of French at Robert E. Lee High School, where she ran a storytelling program called Senior Stories. Jane and her husband Don have four children.