Our Team

Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie

For general inquiries please email us at info@poetryinvoice.ca. Or find our team's email addresses below.


Liana Cusmano, Communications Director (iel/they/them)

Liana Cusmano


Liana first became involved with Poetry in Voice/Les voix de la poésie when they competed in the 2012 Grand Finals. They are thrilled to be joining the team as Director of Communications in 2021. Liana is also a writer, filmmaker, spoken word artist, and arts educator, and they are passionate about making poetry more accessible to youth.

When they are not working with poets, teachers, and students, they can be found skateboarding, cycling, or hiking.


Tessa Griffin, English Program Coordinator (she/her/elle)

Tessa Griffin

Tessa stage managing the 2017 Finals in Vancouver


Tessa Griffin creates connections: She unites poets and teachers for our Poet In Class program; she assembles students, teachers, and poets for our Team Regional events in Ontario; and she collaborates with literary-event and festival organizers to create opportunities for students to recite. She also plans and stage manages our National Finals events.

Before coming to Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie in 2016, Tessa worked as a public school and Montessori educator and ran an organization that provided Toronto children with books and opportunities to meet authors. When she is not in front of her computer directing poetry traffic, she enjoys making art, triathlon sports, cross-country skiing, reading, and listening to music.


Cooper Skjeie, Decolonial Initiatives and Indigenous Programming Consultant (il/he/him)

Cooper Skjeie


Cooper Skjeie (/shay/) is a poet and educator from Treaty 6 & Métis Territory. He earned his Bachelor of Education with Distinction from the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) at the University of Saskatchewan, and he is an alumnus of the 2019 Banff Centre’s Emerging Writers’ Intensive as well as the 2020 and 2021 Sage Hill Poetry Course. In 2020, he won first place in the Saskatoon Indigenous Poets Society Slam Invitational, third prize in the Short Grain Contest for Poetry, and he was shortlisted for the Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize. His work has been supported by SK- Arts and Canada Council for the Arts, and his poems appear or are forthcoming in Prairie Fire Magazine, Grain Magazine, and PRISM international, among others. A registered citizen of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan, he lives in Saskatoon.


David J. Smith, Executive Director (il/he/him)

David J. Smith

David at the Winnipeg Art Gallery with 2019 National Finalists (l to r) Berry Genge, Clara Sismondo, Aksa Caleb, Nawal Semir, and Alexander Morin


David has been with Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie since 2011, first as Technical Director and then as Executive Director starting in 2014. With his background in theatre, filmmaking, photography, and engineering, David has developed our website, created our videos, and orchestrated our live and online contests.

His love of poetry and performance was sparked when he photographed the first team slam at the People’s Poetry Gathering in 1999. In 2007 he spent a year in classrooms and the community filming high school students in Rochester, NY, as they formed a slam team for Brave New Voices. He is thrilled that it’s now his job to encourage students to read, recite, and write poetry. Since Gretzky retired he has been an obsessive follower of Liverpool Football Club.


Ariane Tapp, French Program Coordinator (elle/she/her)

Ariane Tapp


Ariane Tapp joins the Poetry in Voice team in 2022 and is happy to contribute to bringing poetry to light and making it shine. A lover of the French language, Ariane is also a poet, a proofreader, and has taught French as a second and foreign language in Quebec and Europe. She is also passionate about cinema, music, natural landscapes and cats.


Sarah Tsiang, Creative Director (elle/she/her)

Sarah Tsiang


Before joining Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie in 2020, Sarah taught poetry and creative writing at UBC and Sheridan College. She is the author of 3 books of poetry and the editor of a poetry anthology. She also works as the Poetry Editor of Arc Poetry Magazine and loves nothing more than discovering and working with the rising stars of Can lit.

She’s thrilled to have the opportunity to be around both talented students from across the country as well as the supremely gifted poets who provide content for our website and anthologies.



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