Slam poet John "Meta" Sarmiento.

(Courtesy JG Sarmiento)

Guam native John Sarmiento didn't care much for poetry as a kid. In fact, he hated it. Then, in high school, he learned about performance poetry. Sarmiento says he was instantly hooked. He went on to help build the island's slam poetry scene, particularly among young people.

Sarmiento, known to many as "Meta," moved to Denver about a year ago. He is a member of the Slam Nuba competitive spoken word team and presents during TEDxMileHigh, which runs Friday and Saturday at Denver's Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

Watch Sarmineto perform some of his poetry: