Poet Doc Luben features at the Sedona Poetry Slam on Saturday, Oct. 23
The Sedona Poetry Slam hits the stage at Studio Live at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, 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 Doc Luben, a Tucson slam poet with more than a decade of professional theatre experience.
Luben has been stomping the stage in Los Angeles and Arizona since well before 1990. He recently completed a 17-city national poetry tour from Orlando, Fla., to Chicago to Detroit to Denver and many wild points between.
Luben was a panelist and performer at the 2010 Phoenix Comic-Con Nerd Slam and was the Tucson Poetry Slam Champion in 2009.
Luben's performance is a cocktail of twisty magic realism and sneaky, snarky humor. His poems are compressed life stories, marked by a rosy-cheeked love of screw-ups and contempt for those who claim enlightenment.
Luben earned his street cred in 1990s Los Angeles, writing and performing in loading-dock theater and guerrilla improv. He then squandered all of that street cred on a decade of Shakespeare with the Arizona Classical Theatre. In Prescott, he was tempted into the evils of slam poetry at the McCormick Arts District's poetry venue, the MAD Linguist.
Doc performed twice in the Arizona All-Star Slam, and enough time has gone by that he can reveal he did not technically qualify either time: they bent the rules to get him on stage, because he is just that good.
Luben was a featured poet at the first and later the last Arizona Spoken Word Festival and Slab City Slam at Arcosanti, the state's slam poetry tournament.
His plays have been featured productions at ACT, and has proudly taught subversive youth performance workshops for two decades. Luben trained at the freakishly progressive California Institute of the Arts, where they absolutely do not have Walt Disney's head frozen in the basement.
Also, your girlfriend has a crush on him. Don't worry. It's normal.
All poets are welcome to compete in the slam.
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.
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.
The slam will be hosted by Sedona poet Christopher Fox Graham, who represented Northern Arizona on the Flagstaff team at five National Poetry Slams between 2001 and 2010. He has hosted and competed in poetry slams and open mics in Sedona since 2004.
Graham has performed in 40 states, Toronto, Dublin, Ireland, and London, and wrote the now infamous "Peach" poem.
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.
Admission is free for poets who slam ... and they could win $100, so why not give it a go?
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 worldwide phenomena of 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 670,000 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.