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, July 27, 2011

poets mourn the loss of beautiful David Alan Blair


Blair performs "Behind the Garage" at TEDxDetroit

David Blair
Sept. 19, 1967 -- July 23, 2011
David Alan Blair “Blair”, age 43, born Sept. 19, 1967, passed away Saturday, July 23. David grew up in Newton, N.J., but came to call Detroit his adopted home. He is the son of Hildegard Blair and Herbert Blair.

Blair was an award-winning, multi-faceted artist: poet, singer-songwriter, writer, performer, musician, community activist and teacher. In the words of Metro Times journalist Melissa Giannini, “Blair focused his work on the hope that rises from the ashes of despair.”

A 2010 Callaloo Fellow and a National Poetry Slam Champion, his first book of poetry, Moonwalking, was recently released by Penmanship Books. Blair, as a solo artist, and with The Urban Folk Collective, self-released more than seven records in the last ten years. His most recent album, The Line, with his band The Boyfriends, was released in 2010 on Repeatable Silence Records.

Throughout his life, Blair performed at venues, large and small, across the nation and around the world. He was nominated for seven Detroit Music Awards, including a 2007 nod for Outstanding Acoustic Artist. He was named Real Detroit Weekly Readers Poll’s Best Solo Artist and The Metro Times Best Urban Folk Poet. In 2007, he won the Seattle-based BENT Writing Institute Mentor Award.


Blair performing "Little Richard Penniman Tells It Like It T-I-S" on the steps of the Motown Museum - Detroit Shot By Matt Wisotsky Edited By Jeff Cenkner

As well as being the recipient of numerous awards, he taught classes and lectured on poetry and music in Detroit Public Schools, The Ruth Ellis Center, Hannan House Senior Center, the YMCA of Detroit, and at various universities, colleges and high schools across the country.

Blair has friends and fans on almost every continent. He will be greatly missed by the loved ones he left all too early. He is preceded in death by his father, Herbert Blair. He is survived by his mother, Hildegard (Smith), siblings Herbert Blair (who resides in Pennsylvania), Tony Blair (New Jersey), Walter Blair (Florida), Joy Blair Swinson (New Hampshire) and many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.

And every raindrop falling from the sky
is like a tribute to the blue skies following behind,
And every raindrop falling to the sea
is like a testament to a new life that will come to be.
~Blair

(from the song “Every Raindrop”)

The David Blair Memorial Fund has been set up to help defray the costs of his memorial service. Donate here. Any funds raised beyond these immediate expenses will be used to create a fund in his honor for Detroit artists in need of healthcare. More information on David Blair’s memorial can be found at www.dblair.org.


Blair performs "My name is Karl" at Seattle Poetry Slam

I met Blair in Detroit when I, Josh Fleming, david f. escobedo, and Keith Bruecker were on the Save the Male Tour in 2001. He was awesome host, a sweetheart, and an all-around good man. To me, Detroit has always felt like a warm city due to Blair and his crew.

I returned his hospitality a few years later when Blair and his band, Blair and the Boyfriends, came through Flagstaff and Sedona in 2009, performing at FlagSlam at The Mad Italian. I can still remember him across the table with me and his band eating pizza at The Hideaway in Sedona. He had a great laugh and such positivity in the air around him.


Blair performs "Detroit"

Do him one last honor and watch him perform one his poems.
He will be missed.

Fa Una Canzone
Fa una canzone senza note nere
se mai bramasti la mia grazia havere.
Falla d'un tuonó ch'invita al dormire,
dolcemente, dolcemente facendo la finire.

(Sing me a Song
Write a song with no black notes
if you ever wanted my favor.
Write it so that it will bring me to sleep,
make it end sweetly, sweetly.)

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