Top Arizona slam poet
headlines Sedona Summer Poetry Slam
on Saturday, June 12
The Sedona Summer Poetry Slam will explode at Studio Live at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 12, presenting three rounds of poetic competition as poets battle for pride and $100.
Between rounds, the audience will be entertained with a feature performance by the Klute, one of the country’s best slam poets and an Arizona artistic treasure.
The Klute, aka Bernard Schober, competed at the National Poetry Slam six times, for the Mesa Slam Team in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006, and the Phoenix Slam Slam Team in 2008 and 2009. He has led two of those teams to the NPS semi-final stage, ranking him among the best of the best nationwide. He was also the Mesa Grand Slam champion in 2005 and 2010.
In an era when most artists and poets shy away from confronting politics, the Klute stands apart.
He has earned a reputation for in-your-face political commentary and over-the-top humor targeting Neo-Conservative politicians, crass laissez-faire commercialism and Goth subculture.
Originally from south Florida, The Klute writes almost exclusively in free verse, making his poetry conversational and relevant to even those who see poetry as something to avoid.
Standing more than 6 feet tall and always bedecked in a black trench coat, the Klute is hard to miss. When poetry escapes his lips at full blast, he’s hard not to hear.
The Klute has released three poetry chapbooks, "Escape Velocity," "Look at What America Has Done to Me" and "My American Journey," which prompted a cease and desist order from the attorneys of former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
“Despite the heat, [The Klute] wears a black trench coat almost everywhere he goes and if the setting permits, he’ll blast through enough slanderous commentary to make Andrew Dice Clay blush,” according to Phoenix 944 Magazine. “Today, his addiction for getting in front of the microphone and spitting out everything from a Dick Cheney haiku to a long-winded prose on race car driving to the late Hunter S. Thompson is as strong as his love for vodka and absinthe. If anyone’s seen ‘The Klute’ in action, they’d know it. If they haven’t, they must.”
Expected to compete are Sedona Red Rock High School alumni Champion Max Boehm-Reifenkugel and Liana O’Boyle, several members of the FlagSlam Poetry Team, Kingman slam poet Mikel Weisser, Mesa Slam Team members Lauren Perry, Bill Campana, Tristan Marshall and Brit Shostak, Sedona poet Randy Warren.
and Tucson poets David "Doc" Luben and Mickey Randleman.
All poets are welcome to compete.
Slammers will need three original poems, each lasting no longer than three minutes. No props, costumes nor musical accompaniment are permitted.
The poets will be judged Olympics-style by five members of the audience selected at random at the beginning of the slam. The top poet at the end of the night wins $100.
Poets who want to compete should purchase a ticket in case the roster is filled before they arrive.
The slam will be hosted by Sedona poet Christopher Fox Graham, who represented Northern Arizona on the Flagstaff team at four National Poetry Slams between 2001 and 2006. He has hosted and competed in poetry slams and open mics in Sedona since 2004.
Graham has performed in 38 states, Toronto, Dublin, Ireland, and London, and wrote the now infamous “Peach” poem.
Founded in Chicago by construction worker and poet Marc “So What?” Smith in 1984, poetry slam is a competitive artistic sport. Poetry slam has become an international artistic sport, with more than 100 major poetry slams in the United States, Canada, Australia and Western Europe. Featuring almost 80 four-poet teams, the 21st annual National Poetry Slam takes place in Minneapolis, Minn., in August.
For more information or to register, call Graham at 928-517-1400 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets are $5 online or $10 at the door.
Home of the Sedona Performers Guild nonprofit, Studio Live is located at 215 Coffee Pot Drive, West Sedona. For more information, visit www.studiolivesedona.com.
See video from previous poetry slams at www.YouTube.com/FoxThePoet.
For more information about the 2010 National Poetry Slam, visit www.poetryslam.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.