Spoken word artist and poet Neil Hilborn will speak on mental health at 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 11, in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center. The event is free and organized by the University Program Board.

Hilborn, who was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder, began writing poems from the very young age of eight. Later, he began using poetry as a coping mechanism to deal with his health conditions. In 2009, he began writing slam poetry and also started competing. Originally from Houston, Hilborn left for Saint Paul, Minnesota and attended Macalester College. In 2011, he joined his college slam poetry team and was placed first in the College National Poetry Slam. His team, Minneapolis Adult National Slam Poetry, also placed 5th in the national competition that same year. He graduated with a degree in creative writing.

After graduating, Hilborn joined Button Poetry, a Minnesota-based company and began producing poetry in the form of published books and YouTube videos. In 2012-2013, he traveled to several colleges in the Midwest for The Good News Poetry Tour. Dylan Garrity and Hieu Nguyen accompanied him on these tours.

For special accommodations or additional information on the event, contact University Program Board at (309) 438-8814 or email.