Poet & Public Speaker

Salinas Youth Poet Laureate

My name is Kenya Janae Burton, Kenya like the country,

Janae because it rhymed, and Burton because of history.

I am a proud Blaxxican (Black & Mexican) woman from

Salinas, California who is not afraid to be big and loud.

I am also an award-winning poet,

an awardee of the New York Silver Key in Writing

and NEA Big Read Award, and an activist.

Through my work, I tackle difficult themes around racism,

classism, sexism, and the other “isms” that plague America.

I hope to promote understanding and equality for

the next generation.

On this page, you will find stories, arts, and messages

not only from me but others like me and in my community.

I hope to empower the youth and other minorities to share

their voices and their struggles. I write, to show people

that I am more than what they think. I am a person who

appears like a question to some and an answer to others.

I write for myself and for those who feel they are ordinary,

people who think they are odd or feel weird in the skin they

were born in. In this place, I hope you will learn how to escape

the shells your hearts were never meant to stay in.

Contact me if you would like me to speak!

Past Perfomances:

Voices of Monterey Bay

Sherwood Hall

Salinas Valley Art and
Innovation Hub

Hartnell College



Agents of Change




Celebration Church

Everett Alvarez High School

Salinas High School

Artist’s Ink

Women’s Caucus,

Sacramento, CA

CSU- Monterey Bay

LULAC #2055


Steinbeck Center


Black & Brown Coalition

Community Before Cops

First United Methodist Church

North Salinas High School

Alisal High School