Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, JR Mahung is currently studying at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. At Vanderbilt, JR has taken an interest in Vanderbilt Spoken Word, the school’s performance poetry group.
His sophomore year he served as the group’s Events Manager, securing performances for poets throughout the year both on and off campus. He prepped performers for State of the Word—a joint effort between Youth Speaks and several colleges in the Middle Tennessee area—and Vanderbilt Spoken Word’s Annual Showcase. Heading into his junior year he is now Vanderbilt Spoken Word’s President, taking on a new array of responsibilities. A leader by example, JR is also an avid writer and performer in his own write. He’s been featured in State of the Word, Vanderbilt Spoken Word’s Annual Showcase, and various events both on and off campus, even netting himself a top three finish as a slam poet.
JR’s love of poetry also extends beyond Vanderbilt Spoken Word. He is always on the lookout for good poetry and what makes good poetry, having taken poetry courses at Vanderbilt and looking to enroll in more during his undergraduate career, showing he is as much a fan and student of poetry as he is a poet.