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 423,000 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, March 31, 2007

Poetry open mic returns to Sedona

Spoken word and performance poetry returns to Sedona with the Sedona Poetry Open Mic, from 8 to 10 p.m., on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. The event kicks off on Tuesday, April 3.
The open mic takes place on the at the Old Marketplace stage, 1370 W. Hwy. 89A, West Sedona, between The Martini Bar and Ravenheart Coffee, both of which will supply coffee and alcoholic for the audience.
The open mic is open to all types of spoken word artists, from page poets, slam poets, spoken word artists, performance artists, storytellers and comedians.
The open mic is co-hosted by Greg Nix and Christopher Fox Graham, both of Sedona.
Originally from Atlanta and a veteran of the Flagstaff poetry scene, Nix is a performance poet and writer whose use of satire, sarcasm, irony and humor interplay with his political sensibilities and social commentary with a Southern sense of sincerity, according to a press release.
Graham is a slam poet whose work blends romantic longing, confessional honesty and personal introspection with a touch of Arizona humor, according to the release.
A veteran of the metro Phoenix and Flagstaff slam scenes, Graham has represented Northern Arizona as a member of four National Poetry Slam teams, won the 2004 NORAZ Grand Slam and the 2005 Arizona All-Star Slam.
The Martini Bar, Ravenheart Coffee New Frontiers Natural Marketplace will offer gift certificates for the best poets, as chosen by the audience.
The event is sponsored by the GumptionFest Artistic Support Foundation, a coalition of artists dedicated to supporting the arts in the Verde Valley.
For more information, call The Martini Bar at 282-9288, Graham at 1-520-921-0075 or visit www.gumptionfest.com

On April 20, 1999, during the Kosovo war, Kosovar Albanian poet Flora Brovina was abducted by eight masked Serb paramilitaries. On 9 Dec. 9, 1999, in a show trial, she was accused of 'terrorist activities' under Article 136 of the Yugoslav Penal Code. She spent a year and a half in Serb prisons before being released as a result of international pressure.

Irina Ratushinskaya (Ири́на Ратуши́нская), born 1954, was arrested in 1979 and charged with anti-Soviet agitation for "the dissemination of slanderous documentation in poetic form." She was released on the eve of the summit in Reykjavík, Iceland, between President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in October 1986.

John O'Leary (1830 - 1907) was an Irish poet and Fenian (patriot in the Irish republican movement). In 1865, O'Leary was arrested in England, and tried on charges of conspiracy. He was sentenced to twenty years' penal servitude, of which nine years were spent in English prisons prior to his exile to Paris in 1874.

In 1990, the Burmese military junta charged Myo Myint Nyein, editor of Pay Phu Hlwar magazine and poet, with "organizing youths and students to create instability" through articles in the publication. While in prison, Myo Myint Nyein and other incarcerated colleagues clandestinely formed the "Press Freedom Movement". Because of his involvement in the "Press Freedom Movement", Myo Myint Nyein was sentenced to an additional seven years of hard labor.

Armando Valladares was a political prisoner and prisoner of conscience in Cuba. Valladares was jailed in 1960, at age 23, when the new regime under Fidel Castro began to crack down on dissidents. Valladares's refusal to participate in any political rehabilitation programs elicited a response from the government - 46 days without food. His weakened muscles relegated him to a wheelchair for 5 years. Valladares spent 22 years in prison before being released in 1982 and moving to the United States. President Ronald Reagan appointed Valladares to serve as the US ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. As head of the US delegation, he successfully brought Cuba before the commission for its human rights violations. Reagan would later confer on him the nation's highest civil honor, the Presidential Citizens Medal. Statistics about bullets acquired from the BBC.
Statistics on violence acquired from the BBC.

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