The art of competitive spoken word returns to the Verde Valley with the Old Town Shootout, a high-energy, high-stakes team poetry slam on Saturday, Dec. 13.
Performance poetry communities from around Arizona are sending their best four-poet teams to face off in four rounds of poetic competition. Tickets are $10.
The Old Town Shootout is the third “Poexplosion” team slam poetry event in Arizona. The first took place in Flagstaff in October, the second took place in Tucson in November and the fourth will take place in Phoenix.
Starting at 7:30 p.m., on Dec. 13, teams from Flagstaff, Tucson, Mesa and Phoenix will face off with a local team at the Old Town Center for the Arts, 633 N. Fifth St., Cottonwood.
Your local team consists of veteran slam poets from Sedona including Apollo Poetry, Gary Every and Christopher Fox Graham and Prescott poet Dan Seaman.
Poets from around the Verde Valley will also break up the competition with featured performances between rounds, including Terrence Pratt, a Yavapai College professor from Cottonwood, Jen Valencia, from the Village of Oak Creek, and Sean Mabe, from Sedona.
Born in Jerusalem and raised in New Jersey, Apollo Poetry is preparing for a nationwide spoken word tour, "Traveling Poet," being shot for The Travel Channel.
Apollo was featured on MTV's "True Life" with over 10 million viewers, watching in a dozen different countries. In 2007, he became the first spoken word artist to perform at the Billboard Awards.
Apollo's major appearances include VIBE Magazine, The WakeUp Show, Source's Unsigned Hype, Showtime at Apollo, along with performances at Madison Square Garden & America West Arena.
Gary Every has been a geology explorer, carpenter, chef, piano player, punk rocker, dishwasher, photographer, mountain bike instructor, soccer coach and bonfire storyteller.
Published nearly a thousand times, he has four books to his credit, "Cat Canyon Secrets," "Barrio Libre Poems," "Inca Butterflies" and "Drunken Astronomers." Every's poetry has appeared in the last three Rhysling Antholgies and he won the 2005 and 2006 best lifestyle feature awards from the Arizona Newspapers Association for his articles "The Apache Naichee Ceremony" and "Losing Geronimo's Language."
Christopher Fox Graham has been a performance poet since 2001 and represented Flagstaff and Sedona at four National Poetry Slams. In 2002, he co-founded a four-poet, three-month poetry tour in 2002 that performed in 26 U.S. states and Canada.
Graham has performed for MTV's "Made" and on The Travel Channel's "Your Travel Guide" episode of Sedona. He has performed poetry in nearly 40 states, Canada, Ireland and Great Britain. Graham has self-published four poetry chapbooks and been published in three Northern Arizona poetry journals, three poetry slam anthologies, two spoken word CDs and two slam poetry DVDs.
One of the most distinguished voices in Arizona poetry, Dan Seaman is a second generation Arizona native and has lived in the Prescott area for 36 years. In 1997, Seaman formed the Prescott Area Poets Association to promote poetry as performance art and has been hosting open mics and special poetry evenings ever since.
Seaman co-founded the Arcosanti Statewide Slab City Slam in 2000 and hosted the event until 2007.
Seaman hosts “Two-Lane Blues,” a blues and spoken word show aired Sunday evenings on KJZA 89.5 FM, the Prescott affiliate of National Public Radio.
What is slam?
Created in Chicago in 1984, poetry slam is a competitive artistic sport. Poetry slams are judged by five random members of the audience who assign numerical value to individual poets’ content and performance.
For tickets or more information about the Cottonwood poetry slam, call the Old Town Center for the Arts at 928-634-0940.
Additional ticket outlets include Green Carrot Café, Jerona Café and the Desert Dancer in Cottonwood; Golden Word Bookstore and Crystal Magic, in Sedona; The Worm bookstore in the Village of Oak Creek; and The Sage Post, in Jerome.
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 350,000 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.