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The Poetry Team

Who We Are


Amirah David

Poet/Mental Health Counselor

Amirah David is a mental health therapist and writes poetry as a way to connect with God, make meaning of the human experiences, and process the challenges of life.  She is also a mother to two young children who provide plenty of inspiration and humbling.  She has written two books of poetry and facilitates a quarterly poetry/artists night at The Story church called Poiema, where local poets and songwriters get to share their work for the public.  Amirah is a trained facilitator who has facilitated experiences ranging from postpartum mental health classes, to college community building, to teen risk prevention, to various support groups and creative seminars.  She is excited to be a part of launching this new branch of the Ascend experience!  (Note: Amirah provided Ascend with this bio, but it in NO way reveals the TRULY remarkable nature of this woman!!!)

Deana Chadwell Writer Poet Pacific Bible

Deana Chadwell, M.A.


Pacific Bible College

Department Chair/ General Studies

M.A. – Education, Southern OR University; B.S. – English, University of Nebraska

Deana spent 28 years teaching English and writing curriculum at South Medford High School (retired). Dee Chadwell is a published and prize-winning poet. She was an active member of the Oregon Poetry Association for many years and has taught poetry workshops for the Oregon Writer’s Guild.

She is currently head of the liberal arts department at Pacific Bible College where she teaches two levels of non-fiction writing, a course in rhetoric and logic, two courses in literature, and an introductory poetry course. She often publishes in America Thinker, a social-commentary website, and is working at rebuilding her own website. She also serves as editor for the Pacific Bible literary and arts magazine entitled LogGraphia.

Deana has spent more than 40 years studying the Bible, theology, and apologetics.

She has designed literature and writing curriculum around a Biblical Worldview.  Check out her Christ in 20th Century literature course curriculum!  She writes at American Thinker, and  

Matt Ross Shelton Shelton(1).png

Matthew Ross Shelton


Film Maker

Acting/ Oration/ Communication Coach

Matthew Shelton of the famed Shelton Studios in San Francisco has produced, directed, and acted in over 80 theater productions and 20 short films and one feature film.  He has curated over 500 live events in two venues over 30+ years.  He has collaborated with international artists and actors in the UK and Ukraine.  He has overseen and directed all aspects of theater production.  He has taught acting for over 25 years at the Shelton Studios and has taught film at the San Francisco Art Institute and the College of the Arts.   He is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Matt will infuse the oration and presentation segment of the poetry track and will also offer the videography track instruction in acting.

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