Sterling Cunio is a spoken word poet who transforms adversity into the substance of stanza. Sterling is a 2019-2020 PEN America Writing For Justice Fellow, a 2019 Oregon Literary Arts Fellow and a two-time PEN America Prison Writing Award winner for his essay Going Forward with Gus (2018) and co-authored play The Bucket (2018). Published in The Marshall Project, Sterling’s currently a University of Oregon undergrad majoring in crime, law and society. At age 16, Sterling was sentenced to life without parole and has spent twenty-six years in prison where he’s devoted himself to hospice volunteering, mentoring younger prisoners, transforming the culture of street crime and building peace. Sterling is a frequent contributor to community-based efforts to raise awareness around issues of mass incarceration, food scarcity, and Restorative Justice.