All poets are welcome to compete for the $75 grand prize.
The slam will the first of the 2011-12 season, expected to be more moving, more energetic and more intense because this year, poets will be competing for a slot in Sedona’s first National Poetry Slam Team.
After four years of collaborating with the Flagstaff and Phoenix metro area poetry slam scenes, the Sedona scene has developed the reputation and strength to muster its own team to send to the 2012 National Poetry Slam in Charlotte, N.C., in August. The eventual four-poet team will share the stage with 300 of the top poets in the United States, Canada and Europe, pouring out their words in a weeklong explosion of expression.
Jahnilli Akbar is a 22-year-old poet and activist, born in Chicago and raised in northern Mississippi. Currently he splits his time between Harlem and Brooklyn, N.Y.
|Sedona’s Studio Live hosts a poetry slam Saturday, Dec. 3,|
starting at 7:30 p.m. featuring New York City poet Jahnilli Akbar.
Akbar’s poetry is best defined as an artistic mesh of alternative black, Semitic and queer life in America.
Akbar won the 2010 Rookie of the Year award at the Wade-Lewis Invitational, the second largest colligate slam in the country with more than 100 participants, held at the State University of New York at New Paltz.
Akbar is also the recipient of the 2011 Fresh Fruit Festival Queer Poet of the Year Award. He is a known face on the underground New York City art scene, as part of a movement called the Bushwick Renaissance, and as a member of Ground- Floor Collective, a leftist, African diaspora-based, predominately lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer group of artists. The Ground-Floor Collective, the Brecht Forum & Malcolm X Grassroots Movement curates the annual Black August art show, a fundraiser for political prisoners abroad.
Many stages, venues and spaces have hosted Akbar’s poetry, including Nuyorican Poets’ Café, Bowery Poetry Club, Louder Arts, NYC Intangible Poetry Slam, SUNY New Paltz and the Brooklyn Museum, all in New York, the Seattle Poetry Slam, Chicago’s Mental Graffiti Slam and Wordplay Chicago.
In early November, Akbar published his first book, “Chronicles of a Contemporary Alternative American Negro,” and headed out on tour.
To compete in the slam, poets need at least three original poems, each three minutes long or shorter. No props, costumes or musical accompaniment are permitted. All types of poetry are welcome.
Photo by Harley DeuceThe Dec. 3 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.
Sedona National Poetry Slam TeamCompeting poets earn points with each Sedona Poetry Slam performance between Dec. 3 and Saturday, May 5. Future slams will take place on Saturdays, Jan. 7, Feb. 18, March 10, April 7 and May 5. Every poet earns 1 point for performing or hosting and 1/2 point for calibrating. First place earns 3 additional points, second place earns 2 and third place earns 1.
Based on points, the top 12 poets in May are eligible to compete for the four slots on the Sedona Poetry Slam Team, which will represent the community and Studio Live at the 2012 National Poetry Slam in Charlotte, N.C.
What is Poetry Slam?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.
Tickets are $7 in advance and $12 the day of the event, available at Golden Word Books and Music, 3150 W. SR 89A, and online at studiolivesedona.com.
Studio Live is located at 215 Coffee Pot Drive, West Sedona.
For more information, call (928) 282-2688 or visit http://studiolivesedona.com.