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.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

FlagSlam wins its first bout at the National Poetry Slam

Flagstaff won its first bout at the National Poetry Slam last night, held at at 9 p.m. at Respectables, in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Bout 4, hosted by GNO and bout managed by Joaquin Z:
Flagstaff's FlagSlam 106.5
Detroit's Echoverse Poetry Slam 106.3
San Diego Poetry Slam 105.4
Kalamazoo's PAKZOO 85.2

Mathematically, this places FlagSlam in a great position to make it to the semi-finals. The team is Frank O'Brien (left), Ryan Brown, Antranormus, John Cartier and Jessica Guadarrama.

First-place teams (teams that won their bouts):
Decatur, Ga.'s Java Monkey 116.3
Denver's Mercury Cafe 115.5
Denver is historically a highly polished team with tight, imaginative group pieces and a tremendous support structure. Alumni include legendary Andrea Gibson, the perennial Paulie Lipman, Ken Arkind and (my heartbreaker) Katie Wirsing.
Minneapolis' Soapboxing 115.1
Due to its proximity to Chicago, Minneapolis has been a major player in the National Poetry Slam community since the early 1990s.
Hawaii Slam 114.4
Despite what one would think would be bad geographic conditions for performance poetry, Hawaii hosts one of the largest poetry slams in the United States. Their team consistently ranks highly, especially with their political poetry. At the 2005 National Poetry Slam, the team intentionally violated the "no-repeat" rule by performing the same anti-war group poem twice in both their first and second bouts, effectively disqualifying them from semi-finals. Their justification: "the audienced needed to hear it." Cojones. Loser Slam 113.1
Oakland Poetry Slam 113.1
Oakland is the most "urban" of the San Francisco Bay Area slam teams. Unlike radical Berkeley or artsy San Franciso, Oakland is nitty-gritty and draws in poets from both scenes as well as their own local crowd.
Orlando Poetry Slam 112.7
The home-town favorite.
Hampshire County Slam Collective 109.5
Based at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., the Hampshire County team comes from a long line of Massachusetts area slam scenes.
Young Chicago Authors 109.5
Chicago is a longtime, stalwart slam scene. Slam was born in Chicago, after all.
Nuyorican Poets Cafe 107.8
One of the other largest poetry slams in the country, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe has been a Lower East Side Manhattan poetry icon in the early 1980s, before slam was born. After its birth, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe became the New York City hub. It was featured in the 1996 documentary "SlamNation." It was also the home of Saul Williams, star of the 1998 dramatic film "Slam" (which was shot in Washington, D.C.). The Nuyorican Poets Cafe routinely makes semi-finals at the National Poetry Slam.
Milwaukee Poetry Slam 107.3
Flagslam 106.5
Arizona's highest ranked team this year and my favorite, obviously.

Second-place teams
ABQ Slams 114.9
Urbana 114.8
SlamCharlotte 112.8
Forth Worth Poetry Slam 111.4
Mental Graffiti 111.3
Slam Nuba 111.1
LionLike MIndState Slam 107.9
Seattle Poetry Slam 107.4
Echoverse Poetry Slam 106.3
Dallas Poetry Slam 106.1
Providence 106
Cantab 105.1

Third-place teams:
Writers Block 110.9
Ocotillo Poetry Slam 110.8
Worcester Poets Asylum 109
Boise Poetry Slam 108.9
Slam Free or Die 107.6
Slamarillo 106.7
Slam Nahuatl 105.7
Omaha Healing Arts Poetry Slam 105.4
San Diego Poetry Slam 105.4
Dallas Poetry Grind 105
Writing Wrongs Poetry Slam 105
Houston Poetry Slam 101.6

Fourth-place teams:
Respect Da MIc 109.1
Ozark Poetry Slam 108.8
San Jose Poetry Slam 107.6
Paris 107.1
St. Louis Poetry Slam 106.6
Second Tuesday Slam 104.6
Eclectic Truth Poetry Slam 104.5
Montevallo 102
Mesa Slam 101.9
Toronto Poetry Slam 101.6
Madison Poetry Slam 96.2
Kalamazoo 85.2

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