Full-tilt face-off fundraiser for phonic force from Flagstaff
Studio Live in West Sedona will beat with the heart of poetry on Saturday, July 27, as the best poets in Northern Arizona join together in an exhibition slam fundraiser.
Beginning at 7:30 p.m., the five members of the 2009 Flagstaff National Poetry Slam Team will compete against other top poets from around the state. Proceeds from the poetry slam bout will help send the Flagstaff team to the National Poetry Slam, held this year in West Palm Beach, Fla., Aug. 4 to 8. The team will represent Northern Arizona against more than 80 other teams from around the country.
Since it was founded in 2001, the Flagstaff National Poetry Slam Team has served as the common banner for all Northern Arizona poets at the National Poetry Slam.
Poets from Sedona, the Village of Oak Creek, Cottonwood and Camp Verde have routinely made the trek up the hill to compete in Flagstaff. Likewise, Flagstaff poets often bring their spoken word talents to Sedona audiences. Several Sedona poets have also been members of the Flagstaff team in past years.
This year, Jessica Guadarrama continues that proud tradition. Guadarrama is a Sedona Red Rock High School alumna and current Northern Arizona University student. Jessica Guadarrama describes herself as a bilingual Mexican American. She started writing in eighth grade but it wasn't until ninth grade that she discovered slam poetry when NORAZ Poets held a slam at the SRRHS auditorium. Her soul has been captured since then and she asks anyone that knows of its whereabouts to please come and let her know,she stated.
Guadarrama is joined on the team by poets Frank O’Brien, Ryan Brown, Antranormus and John Cartier.
Frank O'Brien is a 20-year-old student at Coconino Community College, focusing in the general studies and pre-nursing. Originally from Phoenix, O'Brien entered the slam poetry scene in fall 2007. In August 2008, he traveled with Cartier, Brown and Guadarrama to Madison, Wis., as a member of the 2008 Flagstaff National Slam Team. O'Brien is now an active poet and administrator of the FlagSlam Poetry Slam in Flagstaff.
Ryan Brown stated that he is a kid from Phoenix who spends most of his time posing as a writer and poet. He now goes to school and lives in Flagstaff, where he is the SlamMaster of the FlagSlam Poetry Slam.
Writing mainly about love and the true impact that it can have on the world, Brown stated that he enjoys baseball cards, cheap candy, and eating his girlfriend's cooking.
Antranormus is a hip-hop artist who stated that he constantly seeks to redefine or blur completely the boundaries between hip-hop, poetry and absolute absurdity. Known for his complex, multisyllabic rhyme schemes and controversial subject matter, he has shared the stage with members of the Wu Tang Clan, Jurassic 5, and solo artists Abstract Rude, Illogic, Sole among others.
The June 27 slam will be hosted by Sedona poet Christopher Fox Graham, who was on the Flagstaff team in 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. The team needs to raise around $2,000 to fund the trip.
Studio Live is located at 215 Coffee Pot Drive, Sedona. For more information, visit http://studiolivesedona.com.
Founded in Chicago in 1984, poetry slam is a competitive artistic sport. 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.
Since 1990, teams from around the North America have competed at the National Poetry Slam, held in a different city every year. For five days, poets enjoy critique and camaraderie as they compete. The top four teams face off on the final night.
Daytime events include instructional workshops, featured readings, poetry showcases, the infamous “Haiku Deathmatch.” Because of the rich diversity and intense focus on the art of spoken word, the National Poetry Slam is considered a transformational experience for young poets.
For more information about the 2009 National Poetry Slam, visit http://nps2009.com.
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.