Jireh Deng

Jireh’s poetry is rooted in her desire to bridge the divides that exist between culture, religion, and sexuality. On the precipice of officially leaving her teenage years behind, Jireh is reflecting upon her formative experiences as a queer first-generation Asian American learning to fully embrace her sexuality alongside her family’s religious and cultural upbringing. Poetry began as a practice of pouring out her bottled emotions in high school and it recent years it has become a journey of growth and self-discovery she has shared with others through gifting poetry. To date, she has given away dozens of personal poems to friends and strangers with her grandfather’s typewriter. It has become a busking act and a free art that she shares with her community to continue the healing that words can do for all of us. In the making of her poems, she asks people to give her a prompt or words they have been thinking about. All her poems are first drafts at the moment and she trusts that everything is connected in the hope that what she writes can help someone else. Her project on Instagram @the.street.poet features many of the poems she has given away in the past year and portraits of their recipients. In all her work, she strives to combine the unlikely and to surprise her readers by breaking cliches.

Artist Work

"I am American" & "My Poems are Graveyards" (2020)
Jireh is a student at California State University Long Beach who performed at the Spring 2019 Conscious Art Collection. At this event, Jireh was representing cultural communities specifically her background being the child of two immigrants from Taiwan and Hong Kong.

To Be Human in this Age (2020)
This was a performance from S.L.A.M.'s Cycle V Alumni showcase featuring poets who had completed the twelve-week poetry class series with Matthew Cuban and Alyesha Wise.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/MsR4R3hvM43ybmae8

The Last of My Three Wishes (2020)

https://photos.app.goo.gl/UJD6YZG1vXESYPra6

For the New Year (2020)
Jireh asks her community to give her prompts where she writes and mails them their inspired poems.

Long Distance Love

Figure Skating (2020)