This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 670,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

On the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing

Photojournalist Tom Hood and I were invited by Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff to cover a speech by astronaut Neil Armstrong related to the unveiling of the first images recorded by the Discovery Channel Telescope on July 20, 2012, on the 43rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon.

The recording of Neil Armstrong's speech has some funny lines and beautiful imagery:
“Almost a half-century ago, some astronomers designed an experiment. The idea was deceptively simple: Compute the distance between the Earth and the moon based on the time it would take for a beam of light to travel up to a mirror located on the surface of the moon and to reflect it back to Earth.”
“I wasn’t one of the scientists on this project — I was sort of technician. My job in the experiment was to install the mirror."

“It may not be obvious why anyone would want to measure the distance to the Sea of Tranquility within 11 inches, but we had to have some way of confirming our mileage for our expense account.”
“The mirrors are expected to be busy for many years to come, which gives me enormous satisfaction as a technician on the project.” 

“From the Sea of Tranquility, the Earth hung above me 23 degrees west of the zenith, a turquoise pendant against a black velvet sky.”
“The home of the human species is not inherently restricted to Earth alone. The universe around us is our challenge and our destiny.”

“Thanks to everyone here for being a part in this civilization.”



Neil Armstrong on the moon
It turned out to be Armstrong's last public speech [and second-to-last interview; his last being with an Italian radio station] gave before his death on Aug. 25, 2012.

The video to which he referred at another speech in Australia in 2011:

Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong also left behind an American Flag, a plaque, an olive branch-shaped gold pin, messages from 73 world leaders, a patch from the Apollo 1 mission that, during a training exercise, combusted and killed three American astronauts, and medals in honor of two of the first Soviet astronauts who had died in flight.

Digitally remastered footage of the 1969 Apollo 11 moonwalk:


The video highlights of the three-hour moonwalk include a clearer picture of Neil Armstrong's descent down the stairs of the lunar module, which was taken from the Parkes Radio Observatory and the Honeysuckle Creek tracking station outside Canberra on 21 July 1969 (Australian time).
The long-forgotten video footage was uncovered during a decade-long search for the original recordings of the moonwalk, and involved lengthy detective work and clandestine meetings, says astronomer and telescope operator John Sarkissian from the CSIRO at Parkes, who headed up the search.
At the time of the Moon landing, three stations - Goldstone in California, Honeysuckle Creek in Canberra, and Parkes in New South Wales - simultaneously recorded the events onto magnetic data tape. The direct recordings were not of broadcast quality, says John, so they had to set up a regular TV camera pointed at a small black-and-white TV screen in the observatory to obtain higher-quality images that could be relayed to television stations around the world.
"Original signals weren't HD quality TV. They weren't even broadcast quality, even by 1969 standards," he says. "They were better than what was broadcast to the world; that's why we went looking for them ...".
Buzz Aldrin on the moon
The Goldstone camera settings to convert Neil's descent down the stairs were not correct and showed an image too dark to see. So the decision was made to switch to the Honeysuckle Creek footage, and after eight minutes, to the Parkes footage, which was used for the rest of the moonwalk.
It was this clearer footage, which had not been seen since 1969, that John and his search team were hoping to recover from the NASA archives, where the tapes had been sent.
Unfortunately, they hit a roadblock. "We discovered, to our horror, that in the 1970s and 80s NASA had taken the tapes in the national archive and erased them all to record other missions."
About 250,000 tapes from the Apollo era, likely including the 45 tapes of the moonwalk, are likely lost forever.
The Apollo 11 Plaque left on the lander on the moon
After some digging, they found that in the 1980s someone made a VHS tape of the Honeysuckle Creek magnetic tape, "a bootleg copy if you like, that was severely degraded," John says. A copy of that copy was given to an Apollo enthusiast who was tracked down to Sydney by the search team. This footage included a brighter and clearer version of Apollo 11 mission commander Neil Armstrong's descent to the lunar surface and was used to replace the darker Goldstone images at the start of the broadcast.
At the awards ceremony, select scenes from the entire restored video will show Neil's first step on the Moon's surface, Buzz Aldrin's decent of the lunar module ladder, the plaque reading and the raising of the U.S. flag.

Had the Apollo 11 mission failed, the White House had planned for President Richard Nixon to give this speech, which remained quietly in government archieves. The speech is heart-wrenching, even if it was never needed:

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Sedona Poetry Slam on Saturday, May 25

The Sedona Poetry Slam brings high-energy, competitive spoken word to the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Saturday, May 25, at 7:30 p.m.

A poetry slam is like a series of high-energy, three-minute one-person plays, judged by the audience. Slam poetry is an art form that allows written page poets to share their work alongside theatrical performers, hip-hop artists and lyricists. All types of poetry are welcome on the stage, from street-wise hip-hop and narrative performance poems, to political rants and introspective confessionals. Any poem is a "slam" poem if performed in a competition. All poets get three minutes per round to entertain and inspire the audience with their creativity.

All poets are welcome to compete for the $75 grand prize and $25 second-place prize. To compete in the slam, poets will need three original poems, each lasting no longer than three minutes. No props, costumes nor musical accompaniment are permitted. The poets are judged Olympics-style by five members of the audience selected at random at the beginning of the slam.

Poets in the Sedona Poetry Slam come from as far away as Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, competing against adult poets from Sedona and Cottonwood, college poets from Northern Arizona University and youth poets from Sedona Red Rock High School.

Mary D. Fisher Theatre is located at 2030 W. SR 89A, Suite A-3, in West Sedona. Tickets are $12. For tickets, call 282-1177 or visit SedonaFilmFestival.org.

The first slam of the spring was held Saturday April 27.

The prize money is funded in part by a donation from Verde Valley poetry supporters Jeanne and Jim Freeland.

Contact host Christopher Fox Graham at foxthepoet@yahoo.com to sign up to slam early by Friday, May 24, or arrive at the door by 7 p.m. May 25 to sign up the day of the slam. Poets who want to compete should purchase a ticket in case the roster is filled before they arrive. The Sedona Poetry Slam will be hosted by Graham, who represented Northern Arizona on 12 FlagSlam National Poetry Slams in 2001, 2004-06, 2010 and 2012-18. Graham has hosted the Sedona Poetry Slam since 2009.

For more information, visit sedonafilmfestival.com or foxthepoet.blogspot.com.

What is Poetry Slam?

Founded at the Green Mill Tavern in Chicago in 1984 by Marc Smith, poetry slam is a competitive artistic sport designed to get people who would otherwise never go to a poetry reading excited about the art form when it becomes a high-energy competition. Poetry slams are judged by five randomly chosen members of the audience who assign numerical value to individual poets' contents and performances.

Poetry slam has become an international artistic sport, with more than 100 major poetry slams in the United States, Canada, Australia and Western Europe. Slam poets have opened at the Winter Olympics, performed at the White House and at the United Nations General Assembly and were featured on "Russell Simmon's Def Poets" on HBO.

For the last seven years, Sedona sent a four-poet team to National Poetry Slam, held in different cities around the United States every August. Sedona sent its first team to the 2012 NPS in Charlotte, N.C., its second to the 2013 NPS in Boston and Cambridge, Mass., and its third and fourth to Oakland, Calif., its fifth to Decatur, Ga., its sixth to Denver and its seventh to Chicago.

Unfortunately, there will be no National Poetry Slam this year due fiscal insolvency of the parent nonprofit, Poetry Slam Inc., last fall. The Sedona poetry slam, however, is doing well as it heads into its 10th year of hosting poetry slams in the Verde Valley.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Sedona Poetry Slam on Saturday, April 27


The Sedona Poetry Slam brings high-energy, competitive spoken word to the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Saturday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m.

A poetry slam is like a series of high-energy, three-minute one-person plays, judged by the audience. Slam poetry is an art form that allows written page poets to share their work alongside theatrical performers, hip-hop artists and lyricists. All types of poetry are welcome on the stage, from street-wise hip-hop and narrative performance poems, to political rants and introspective confessionals. Any poem is a "slam" poem if performed in a competition. All poets get three minutes per round to entertain and inspire the audience with their creativity.

All poets are welcome to compete for the $75 grand prize and $25 second-place prize. To compete in the slam, poets will need three original poems, each lasting no longer than three minutes. No props, costumes nor musical accompaniment are permitted. The poets are judged Olympics-style by five members of the audience selected at random at the beginning of the slam.

Poets in the Sedona Poetry Slam come from as far away as Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, competing against adult poets from Sedona and Cottonwood, college poets from Northern Arizona University and youth poets from Sedona Red Rock High School.

Mary D. Fisher Theatre is located at 2030 W. SR 89A, Suite A-3, in West Sedona. Tickets are $12. For tickets, call 282-1177 or visit SedonaFilmFestival.org.

The second slam of the spring will be held Saturday May 25.

The prize money is funded in part by a donation from Verde Valley poetry supporters Jeanne and Jim Freeland.

Contact host Christopher Fox Graham at foxthepoet@yahoo.com to sign up to slam early by Friday, April 26, or arrive at the door by 7 p.m. April 27 to sign up the day of the slam. Poets who want to compete should purchase a ticket in case the roster is filled before they arrive. The Sedona Poetry Slam will be hosted by Graham, who represented Northern Arizona on 12 FlagSlam National Poetry Slams in 2001, 2004-06, 2010 and 2012-18. Graham has hosted the Sedona Poetry Slam since 2009.

For more information, visit sedonafilmfestival.com or foxthepoet.blogspot.com.

What is Poetry Slam?

Founded at the Green Mill Tavern in Chicago in 1984 by Marc Smith, poetry slam is a competitive artistic sport designed to get people who would otherwise never go to a poetry reading excited about the art form when it becomes a high-energy competition. Poetry slams are judged by five randomly chosen members of the audience who assign numerical value to individual poets' contents and performances.

Poetry slam has become an international artistic sport, with more than 100 major poetry slams in the United States, Canada, Australia and Western Europe. Slam poets have opened at the Winter Olympics, performed at the White House and at the United Nations General Assembly and were featured on "Russell Simmon's Def Poets" on HBO.

For the last seven years, Sedona sent a four-poet team to National Poetry Slam, held in different cities around the United States every August. Sedona sent its first team to the 2012 NPS in Charlotte, N.C., its second to the 2013 NPS in Boston and Cambridge, Mass., and its third and fourth to Oakland, Calif., its fifth to Decatur, Ga., its sixth to Denver and its seventh to Chicago.

Unfortunately, there will be no National Poetry Slam this year due fiscal insolvency of the parent nonprofit, Poetry Slam Inc., last fall. The Sedona poetry slam, however, is doing well as it heads into its 10th year of hosting poetry slams in the Verde Valley.

Friday, November 23, 2018

“Wedding Poem” by Claire Pearson, one of the four poets who performed at our wedding

“Wedding Poem”
by Claire Pearson

friends! family! honored guests! ne’er do wells and those here to settle any outstanding bets (it's me, i probably owe somebody money about all of this)!

welcome and rejoice!

for we are gathered here beneath the twin-trunked wedding tree because the inevitable march of time has been kind enough to deem it so, and there’s no other place i’d rather be than here with all of you

we are here for one reason and one reason alone, to celebrate the ritual union of the fairy queen and the eternal bachelor,

a mythic marriage foretold only in legend, daydream, fever dream, napkin poem, tarot cards, and coffee grounds etc etc until today!

today, we rejoice for the whiskey binge is purely ceremonial and there will be no witches showing up to curse the firstborn,
because we invited the whole town on the internet!!
and there is no sad crying allowed!
only happy tears, like if i came over there, bottled up your tear and froze them, they’d look super pretty under a microscope.

today we are gathered to witness the Grand Duet’s opening melody of the Magnum Opus between
she who first appeared in The Dream
wreathed in a cloud of coconut scented moonlight,
wearing a crown of piano keys and citrine
lucky lucky, how the arrow from your heartstring bow flies True, dear Archer

and he who could have grown an entire peach orchard with the amount of paper used as the backbone of thousand love poems used to prophecize this meeting,
who urged the water within him to rise to meet her

and thank goodness you rose to the occasion,
cause people like this don’t show up every blue moon
and you would have to be the Dumbest Man Alive not to recognize the pillar of light before you.

fact

so we are here to celebrate the realization of The Dream
where the love of your life loves you back and the up-close kind of ache that comes with the longing- dissipates, like a specter in the sunlight
joy is the only thing living in this heart anymore
there’s no more time to walk romance ghosts, may they move on in peace

newlyweds!
may you always have lunchbox love notes to line your pockets and never, ever forget them at work

may red chrysanthemums and white heather bloom in the peach pits of your dimples as an eternal twinkling blush, like you two are the only people on earth in on the juiciest secret
like “yeah, we’ve seen each other naked long enough to have a baby.
and that baby is gonna go on to save the world someday.
so yeah, you’re welcome, universe”

may the coffee be hot, the whiskey cold, the basil fresh, and there be enough rest for all three of you

and may you never forget that laura is so far out of your league that you aren’t even playing the same game. like, laura is playing professional soccer and you play wii tennis.
so like, remember that you’re too good for him and you are a shining gem of a woman.

so on behalf of all of us,
fox,
don’t mess this up

you both have touched upon something holy
carry it with you
always


Copyright 2018 © Claire Pearson

“Silly Love” by Ryan Smalley, one of the four poets who performed at our wedding

“Silly Love”by Ryan Smalley


I'm tired of a soft focus
Blissful white picket fence
Relationship
Love has been overdramatized
Life is too serious so now,

I'm looking for something silly
Where the only seductive glances
Are followed by chuckling dances
competitions to see who can
Fon  due each other with the
Cheesiest pickup lines
I'll say something like
Have you seen my tshirt?
It's made of boyfriend material
And you'll reply
Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?
All over the collective chorus
Of groans from the friends around us

I want to fall out of love with romance
All the soap operas
And telenovelas
Have left me cliffhanging
On to a different idea
Of happily ever after
Something longer than
Just a couple seasons

I want someone who will let me play
the damsel in distress
you can be my knight in shining armor
Save me from the pillow fort guarded by the firebreathing colonel breakfast
Our calico kitten

And when they ask, we'll both say that neither one wears the pants
It's all boxer briefs
And boyshorts
Sweatpants and old t-shirts
Or fuckin nothing at all

Everyone takes love so seriously
Meanwhile we're
Ruining any attempt at romance
By blowing raspberries
Into our French kisses

For halloween
You dress up as Han
And I'll don a bedsheet as your Leia
And I'll hit you with the line
I'm gonna hop down your
Garbage chute flyboy
End our night with
Candy flavored kisses
Snickers as we make love on all
The candy wrappers
Before we collapse
With sugar rush hangovers

They say all is fair in love and war
So when you fart under the sheets
So I'll wake up and make late morning breakfast we'll call it
you playing by the rules

Where the only fights we have are over who cheated at Mario Kart
[that was a bullshit banana move and you know it!]

I want to put the friend back in girlfriend boyfriend
Break all the rules of can't
In significant other
Why can't we be friends with the benefits
Of being deeply in love

Oh, we'll have a wedding
Only because our family expects us to
But our goal will be
Who can get the priest
More drunk at the end of the night
Conga lines
And chicken dances
Laughter and giggles
Echo throughout
Puppy dog eyes and
Half smile groans
Sunny blue skies
And early morning moans
Till death
Do us
Part


Copyright 2018 © Ryan Smalley

“The Wedding Ghost” by Frank O'Brien, one of the four poets who performed at our wedding

“The Wedding Ghost”
by Frank O'Brien


I love to love you
In the moment the universe was born.

I love loving you
At the end
The very end
When the stars melt
Into endless never nothingness,
In the great roaring, swoops of fires in the last days
And every day that dawns in between.

But this moment
Is my very favorite one.
I have watched it so many times
That I have become the ghost of this place.
I have been standing here
Since before it was “here”
Waiting
Waiting to witness
Again
And again
The linchpin through the axle and
The wheel of our time.
I see you
(You are forever)
Raise a palm made of ticking hands and gears and galaxies
Press it, fingers flat,
To the hand of my forever
(Lace into me)
You say
“Yes.
I do.
I do want all of this—
To thread you into me so completely
That suddenly our faces appear together
Everywhere in history
Hidden in the shadows of
Every single black and white photograph
The world has ever flashed
There
Two spirits
Shaped like children
Holding hands and staring down the vastness
Smiling into the great overwhelm in the night sky
Two spirits in a swirling tangled human dance
Feet falling in rhythms of struggle and joy
And sweet melodies of creation—
A fast forward film flicker of memory
The tale rushing past like blood coursing fiercely
Through bodies so alive…”

I loved you with my blood

I loved you with my bones

With my every defiant breath

I love you with my ghost


I will forever come back to this moment
To the day we were married
And haunt it with an eternity of love for you.
It will be so real,
The wedding guests will turn their heads
And swear they felt something
When I pass by.


Copyright © Frank O'Brien

Friday, October 19, 2018

Aaron Norris (1969-2018)



Aaron Norris (1969-2018) was one of the poets in FlagSlam's inaugural year, and competed at the first FlagSlam Poetry Grand Slam in 2001. He died last week from a heroin overdose.

Poeta vade loquere ad mortuos.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Predict when our daughter will be born

Our pediatricians say our daughter's due date is Saturday, June 9. Laura has had a smooth pregnancy with no complications. This will be our first child.
On what date do you predict our daughter, Athena Zelda Nebula Skye Sylvia Diana Fox Graham, will actually be born?


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sedona hosts Last Chance Poetry Slam on Saturday, May 26


The Sedona Poetry Slam bring high-energy, competition spoken word to the Mary D. Fisher Theatre for the "Last Chance Slam" on Saturday, May 26, at 7:30 p.m.

The Last Chance Slam on May 26 is be the final opportunity for poets who want to qualify for the 2018 Grand Slam. 

All poets are welcome to compete for the $75 grand prize and $25 second-place prize. To compete in the slam, poets will need three original poems, each lasting no longer than three minutes. No props, costumes nor musical accompaniment are permitted. The poets are judged Olympics-style by five members of the audience selected at random at the beginning of the slam.

A poetry slam is like a series of high-energy, three-minute one-person plays, judged by the audience. Slam poetry is an art form that allows written page poets to share their work alongside theatrical performers, hip-hop artists and lyricists. All types of poetry are welcome on the stage, from street-wise hip-hop and narrative performance poems, to political rants and introspective confessionals. Any poem is a "slam" poem if performed in a competition. All poets get three minutes per round to entertain and inspire the audience with their creativity.

Poets in the Sedona Poetry Slam come from as far away as Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, competing against adult poets from Sedona and Cottonwood, college poets from Northern Arizona University, and youth poets from Sedona Red Rock High School.

The first six slams of the season were held Nov. 4, Dec. 16, Dec. 30, Feb. 3, April 7 and May 5, won by Lauren Perry, M.C. Tristan Marshall, Bernard "The Klute" Schober, Josh Wiss and Kim Jarchow and Ryan Smalley, respectively. The final open slam of the season will be at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, 2030 W. SR 89A, Suite A-3, in West Sedona, on Saturday May 26.

The Klute won the Dec. 30 Sedona Poetry Slam
Tickets are $12. For tickets, call 282-1177 or visit SedonaFilmFestival.org

The 2017-18 season will culminate in selection of Sedona's seventh National Poetry Slam Team, the foursome and alternate who will represent Sedona and the Verde Valley at the National Poetry Slam in Chicago in August. 

With every regular slam, poets earn points toward a slot in the Grand Slam, on Saturday, June 9. The poets who make the Sedona National Poetry Slam Team at the final contest will represent Sedona and share the stage with 350 of the top poets in the United States, Canada and Europe at the week-long National Poetry Slam in Chicago in August.

Sedona sent its first team to the 2012 NPS in Charlotte, N.C., its second to the 2013 NPS in Boston and Cambridge, Mass., and its third and fourth to Oakland, Calif., its fifth to Decatur, Ga., and its sixth to Denver. For more information, visit foxthepoet.blogspot.com.

The prize money is funded in part by a donation from Verde Valley poetry supporters Jeanne and Jim Freeland.

Contact host Christopher Fox Graham at foxthepoet@yahoo.com to sign up to slam early by Friday, May 25, or arrive at the door by 7 p.m. to sign up the day of the slam. Poets who want to compete should purchase a ticket in case the roster is filled before they arrive. The Sedona Poetry Slam will be hosted by Graham, who represented Northern Arizona on 10 FlagSlam National Poetry Slams in 2001, 2004-06, 2010 and 2012-17. Graham has hosted the Sedona Poetry Slam since 2009.

What is Poetry Slam?
Founded at the Green Mill Tavern in Chicago in 1984, poetry slam is a competitive artistic sport designed to get people who would otherwise never go to a poetry reading excited about the art form when it becomes a high-energy competition. Poetry slams are judged by five randomly chosen members of the audience who assign numerical value to individual poets' contents and performances. Poetry slam has become an international artistic sport, with more than 100 major poetry slams in the United States, Canada, Australia and Western Europe. Slam poets have opened at the 2010 Winter Olympics, performed at the White House and at the United Nations General Assembly and were featured on "Russell Simmon's Def Poets" on HBO.

For more information, visit poetryslam.com or the PSi channel on YouTube.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Sedona Poetry Slam hosts slam Saturday, May 5

The Sedona Poetry Slam bring high-energy, competition spoken word to the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Saturday, May 5, at 7:30 p.m.

All poets are welcome to compete for the $75 grand prize and $25 second-place prize. To compete in the slam, poets will need three original poems, each lasting no longer than three minutes. No props, costumes nor musical accompaniment are permitted. The poets are judged Olympics-style by five members of the audience selected at random at the beginning of the slam.

A poetry slam is like a series of high-energy, three-minute one-person plays, judged by the audience. Slam poetry is an art form that allows written page poets to share their work alongside theatrical performers, hip-hop artists and lyricists. All types of poetry are welcome on the stage, from street-wise hip-hop and narrative performance poems, to political rants and introspective confessionals. Any poem is a “slam” poem if performed in a competition. All poets get three minutes per round to entertain and inspire the audience with their creativity.

Poets in the Sedona Poetry Slam come from as far away as Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, competing against adult poets from Sedona and Cottonwood, college poets from Northern Arizona University, and youth poets from Sedona Red Rock High School.

Kim Jarchow won the Sedona Poetry Slam on April 7
The first five slams of the season were held Nov. 4, Dec. 16, Dec. 30, Feb. 3 and April 7, won by Lauren Perry, M.C. Tristan Marshall, Bernard "The Klute" Schober, Josh Wiss amd Kim Jarchow, respectively. The final open slam of the season will be at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, 2030 W. SR 89A, Suite A-3, in West Sedona, on Saturday May 26.

Tickets are $12. For tickets, call 282-1177 or visit SedonaFilmFestival.org.

The 2017-18 season will culminate in selection of Sedona’s seventh National Poetry Slam Team, the foursome and alternate who will represent Sedona and the Verde Valley at the National Poetry Slam in Chicago in August.

The Last Chance Slam on May 26 will be the final opportunity for poets who want to qualify for the 2018 Grand Slam. With every regular slam, poets earn points toward a slot in the Grand Slam, on Saturday, June 9. The poets who make the Sedona National Poetry Slam Team at the final contest will represent Sedona and share the stage with 350 of the top poets in the United States, Canada and Europe at the week-long National Poetry Slam in Chicago in August.

Sedona sent its first team to the 2012 NPS in Charlotte, N.C., its second to the 2013 NPS in Boston and Cambridge, Mass., and its third and fourth to Oakland, Calif., its fifth to Decatur, Ga., and its sixth to Denver. For more information, visit foxthepoet.blogspot.com.

The prize money is funded in part by a donation from Verde Valley poetry supporters Jeanne and Jim Freeland.

Contact host Christopher Fox Graham at foxthepoet@yahoo.com to sign up to slam early by Friday, May 4, or arrive at the door by 7 p.m. to sign up the day of the slam. Poets who want to compete should purchase a ticket in case the roster is filled before they arrive. The Sedona Poetry Slam will be hosted by Graham, who represented Northern Arizona on 10 FlagSlam National Poetry Slams in 2001, 2004-06, 2010 and 2012-17. Graham has hosted the Sedona Poetry Slam since 2009.

What is Poetry Slam?
Founded at the Green Mill Tavern in Chicago in 1984, poetry slam is a competitive artistic sport designed to get people who would otherwise never go to a poetry reading excited about the art form when it becomes a high-energy competition. Poetry slams are judged by five randomly chosen members of the audience who assign numerical value to individual poets’ contents and performances. Poetry slam has become an international artistic sport, with more than 100 major poetry slams in the United States, Canada, Australia and Western Europe. Slam poets have opened at the 2010 Winter Olympics, performed at the White House and at the United Nations General Assembly and were featured on "Russell Simmon's Def Poets" on HBO.

For more information, visit poetryslam.com or the PSi channel on YouTube.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Mary D. Fisher Theater hosts Sedona Poetry Slam on Saturday, April 7

The Sedona Poetry Slam bring high-energy, competition spoken word to the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Saturday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m.

All poets are welcome to compete for the $75 grand prize and $25 second-place prize. To compete in the slam, poets will need three original poems, each lasting no longer than three minutes. No props, costumes nor musical accompaniment are permitted. The poets are judged Olympics-style by five members of the audience selected at random at the beginning of the slam.

A poetry slam is like a series of high-energy, three-minute one-person plays, judged by the audience. Slam poetry is an art form that allows written page poets to share their work alongside theatrical performers, hip-hop artists and lyricists.

All types of poetry are welcome on the stage, from street-wise hip-hop and narrative performance poems, to political rants and introspective confessionals. Any poem is a "slam" poem if performed in a competition. All poets get three minutes per round to entertain and inspire the audience with their creativity.

Poets in the Sedona Poetry Slam come from as far away as Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, competing against adult poets from Sedona and Cottonwood, college poets from Northern Arizona University, and youth poets from Sedona Red Rock High School.

The first four slams of the season were held Nov. 4, Dec. 16, Dec. 30 and Feb. 3, won by Lauren Perry, M.C. Tristan Marshall, Bernard "The Klute" Schober and Josh Wiss, respectively. The next two slams will be at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, 2030 W. SR 89A, Suite A-3, in West Sedona, on Saturdays May 5 and May 26.

Bernard "The Klute" Schober reads his victory poem after winning the third 
Sedona Poetry Slam of the 2017-18 season on Dec. 30 at the Mary D. Fisher 
Theatre. The next Sedona Poetry Slam takes place Saturday, April, at 
7:30 p.m. at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.
Tickets are $12. For tickets, call 282-1177 or visit SedonaFilmFestival.org

The 2017-18 season will culminate in selection of Sedona's seventh National Poetry Slam Team, the foursome and alternate who will represent Sedona and the Verde Valley at the National Poetry Slam in Chicago in August.

The Last Chance Slam on May 26 will be the final opportunity for poets who want to qualify for the 2018 Grand Slam. With every regular slam, poets earn points toward a slot in the Grand Slam, on Saturday, June 9.

The poets who make the Sedona National Poetry Slam Team at the final contest will represent Sedona and share the stage with 350 of the top poets in the United States, Canada and Europe at the week-long National Poetry Slam in Chicago in August.

Lauren Perry won the first Sedona Poetry Slam of the 2017-18 season 
on Nov. 4 at the Sedona Arts Center. The next Sedona Poetry Slam 
takes place Saturday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Mary D. Fisher 
Theatre.
Sedona sent its first team to the 2012 NPS in Charlotte, N.C., its second to the 2013 NPS in Boston and Cambridge, Mass., and its third and fourth to Oakland, Calif., its fifth to Decatur, Ga., and its sixth to Denver. For more information, visit foxthepoet.blogspot.com.

The prize money is funded in part by a donation from Verde Valley poetry supporters Jeanne and Jim Freeland.

Contact host Christopher Fox Graham at foxthepoet@yahoo.com to sign up to slam early by Friday, April 6, or arrive at the door by 7 p.m. to sign up the day of the slam. Poets who want to compete should purchase a ticket in case the roster is filled before they arrive.

The Sedona Poetry Slam will be hosted by Graham, who represented Northern Arizona on 10 FlagSlam National Poetry Slams in 2001, 2004-06, 2010 and 2012-17. Graham has hosted the Sedona Poetry Slam since 2009.

What is Poetry Slam?

Founded at the Green Mill Tavern in Chicago in 1984, poetry slam is a competitive artistic sport designed to get people who would otherwise never go to a poetry reading excited about the art form when it becomes a high-energy competition.

Poetry slams are judged by five randomly chosen members of the audience who assign numerical value to individual poets' contents and performances. Poetry slam has become an international artistic sport, with more than 100 major poetry slams in the United States, Canada, Australia and Western Europe.

Slam poets have opened at the 2010 Winter Olympics, performed at the White House and at the United Nations General Assembly and were featured on "Russell Simmon's Def Poets" on HBO.

For more information, visit poetryslam.com or the PSi channel on YouTube.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

"No Irish need apply," a whiskey poem about America for St. Patrick's Day



No Irish need apply
We say goodbye
make our mothers cry
Break hearts for the dream
and no Irish need apply

Who built the bridge's mate
And scrapped the city sky
And bled with your sons
And so
The blend be gone
when I wed your lovely daughter
maybe you shouldn't ought of
But you gave her away
To be with me

Now
What do you think
you gonna buy me a drink
Aye
with these hands
and this heart
I touch you and we never stand apart

"E pluribus bleedin' unum"
have you got it
do you know what that means
It means blend
Blend is the backbone of this place
Look around ya
every generations got a different face
some very different
some pretty like me
everyone's gorgeous if you open your eyes to see
we were all them once
now were just us
just U.S.
ask your old granny if you need more proof
now take a look in the mirror
and you'll see the truth

The blend
I am Blend
And so are you
And you
And you
And that other fella too

We are all blend
From the beginning
To the end
So glasses up
And I'll say aye
to the beauty of blend?

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Christopher Fox Graham proposes to Laura Ann Lynn at the Flagstaff Poetry Slam on Feb. 7, 2018


All thanks to Andrew Ibrado for the footage!
And thanks for the well wishes from Kenneth Kreslake, Ian Keirsey, Taylor Hayes, Teresa Newkirk, Bernard "The Klute" Schober, Tyler "Valence" Sirvinskas, Ryan Smalley, Nicolas Perez, Briana Grace Hammerstrom, Kimberly "Possible" Jarchow, Gabbi Jue, Vincent Vega, Taja Carina, Claire Pearson, Jessica Renee Ballantyne and Jeanne Freeland

Performing "Our Death is in Your Belly"

The kiss after the poem

The proposal from the five judges, read by host Briana Grace Hammerstrom

With the ring on bended knee

The kiss

Laura Ann Lynn says "yes"
(see, I have video proof)

The kiss after the "yes"

The crowd wildly applauding

Putting on the ring

We're engaged!
Well-wishes from our friends:
Kenny Kreslake
Ian Keirsey
Taylor Hayes
Kenny Kreslake
Teresa Newkirk
The Klute
Valence
Ryan Smalley
Nicolas Perez
Briana Grace Hammerstrom
Kim Possible
Gabbi Jue
Vincent Vega
Taja Carina
Claire Pearson
Briana Grace Hammerstrom
Gabbi Jue
Jessica Renee Ballentyne
Jeanne Freeland
Our last kiss in the video