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.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Flagstaff Slammaster Ryan Brown features at the Sedona Poetry Slam on Jan. 7

Sedona’s Studio Live hosts a poetry slam Saturday, Jan. 7, starting at 7:30 p.m. featuring Flagstaff Slammaster Ryan Brown.

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.

Ryan Brown
Flagstaff poet Ryan Brown has attended three National Poetry Slam
competitions in 2008, 2009 and 2010 as a member of the FlagSlam team,
getting as far as the semi-finals round in 2009.
Ryan Brown is a poet's poet in every sense of the word. The mountain town of Flagstaff, is known for a poetry slam scene where poets come together as a community, and  Brown has been at the center of the growth as the FlagSlam Poetry Slam's slammaster since 2008.

A slammaster is the administrative representative of a poetry slam scene and its de facto leader.

Brown has attended three National Poetry Slam competitions as a member of the FlagSlam team, getting as far as the semi-finals round in 2009. At the helm of Flagstaff's slam scene, Brown has brought in featured poets such as Andrea Gibson and Gypsee Yo to help reinvigorate the poetry community in a town now bursting with poetic flavor. After a three-month hiatus spent farming in Hawai'i at the tail end of 2010, Brown has shifted the FlagSlam's location to Sundara Boutique and Gallery, which is quickly becoming one of Flagstaff's best venues for performance art.

An English major at Northern Arizona University, Brown has been writing and performing poetry for over four years, collaborating often with poets such as Frank O'Brien, John Cartier, and Sedona's Jessica Guadarrama and Christopher Fox Graham. He writes with the future in mind, his poems often revolving around the intimacy of human relationships.

Due to graduate from NAU in 2012, Brown also cultivates obsessions with baseball, skateboarding, and coffee, spending most of his time at school or at work, living the life of a pedestrian in a town where every destination is reachable on foot. Keys, wallet, cell phone, pen, and notepad: The essential tools for this particular poet.

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 Deuce
The 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.
The Jan. 7 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 Team
Competing poets earn points with each Sedona Poetry Slam performance between Dec. 3 and Saturday, May 5. Future slams will take place on Saturdays, 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. All poets are eligible in the slamoff except those already confirmed members of or coaching another National Poetry Slam or College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational or Brave New Voices team. Poets can compete for multiple teams during a season and still be eligible to compete in the Sedona team.

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.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ryan Brown, Aaron Johnson, Bill Campana and Sean Patrick Mulroy to feature in Sedona

With the first slam of the 2012 Sedona Poetry Slam season down, these are our upcoming feature poets
  •  Saturday, Jan. 7: Ryan Brown, Flagstaff, AZ 
  •  Saturday, Feb. 18: Aaron Johnson, Phoenix, AZ
  •  Saturday, March 10: To be announced.
  •  Saturday, April 7: Bill Campana, Phoenix, AZ. Also National Poetry Month
  •  Saturday, May 5: Sean Patrick Mulroy, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Many thanks to Jahnilli Akbar, of Brooklyn, N.Y., who rocked the first slam on Saturday, Dec. 3.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Klute wins the December Sedona Poetry Slam

After a high-stakes Haiku Death Match, TheKlute wins the first Sedona Poetry Slam of the 2011-12 National Poetry Slam Season.

Photo courtesy of Jessica Mason-Paul
With his Dec. 3 win, The Klute now leads the Sedona National Poetry
Slam Team Standings.


Benediction: Christopher Fox Graham, of Sedona
Round 1
Random Draw
Calibration:
Gary Every, of Sedona
Lauren Perry, of Phoenix, 27.4
Jack Egan, of Sedona, 25.4
Christopher Harbster, of Flagstaff, 26.1
Spencer Troth, of Flagstaff, 26.8
Mikel Weisser, of Kingman, 26.5
The Klute, of Phoenix, 28.2
nodalone, of Flagstaff, 27.5
Josh Wiss, of Flagstaff, 26.6
Valence, of Flagstaff, 27.8
Ryan Brown, of Flagstaff, 28.9

Sorbet: Jahnilli Akbar, of New York City

Round 2
Reverse Order
Ryan Brown, of Flagstaff, 27.3, 56.2
Valence, of Flagstaff, 26.4, 54.2
Josh Wiss, of Flagstaff, 27.0, 53.6
nodalone, of Flagstaff, 27.0, 54.5
The Klute, of Phoenix, 28.5, 56.7
Mikel Weisser, of Kingman, 27.1, 53.6
Spencer Troth, of Flagstaff, 25.4, 52.2
Christopher Harbster, of Flagstaff, 26.1, 52.2
Jack Egan, of Sedona, of , 000, 000
Lauren Perry, of Phoenix, 28.3, 55.7

Feature: Jahnilli Akbar, of New York City

Sorbet: Christopher Fox Graham, of Sedona

Round 3
High to Low
The Klute, of Phoenix, 27.9, 84.6
Ryan Brown, of Flagstaff, 28.4, 84.6
Lauren Perry, of Phoenix, 28.3, 000
nodalone, of Flagstaff, 27.8, 82.3
Valence, of Flagstaff, 27.4, 81.6
Josh Wiss, of Flagstaff, 26.9, 80.5
Mikel Weisser, of Kingman, 27.0, 80.6
Spencer Troth, of Flagstaff, 26.1, 78.3
Christopher Harbster, of Flagstaff, 26.5, 78.7
Jack Egan, of Sedona , 28.2, 79.9
Sorbet: Christopher Fox Graham, of Sedona

Final Scores
The Klute, of Phoenix, 84.6, winning Haiku Death Match 3-2.
Ryan Brown, of Flagstaff, 84.6, losing Haiku Death Match 3-2.
Lauren Perry, of Phoenix, 84.0
nodalone, of Flagstaff, 82.3
Valence, of Flagstaff, 81.6
Mikel Weisser, of Kingman, 80.6
Josh Wiss, of Flagstaff, 80.5
Jack Egan, of Sedona, 79.9
Christopher Harbster, of Flagstaff, 78.7
Spencer Troth, of Flagstaff, 78.3

Sedona National Poetry Slam Team
Slamoff Point Standings
4 points
The Klute, of Phoenix
3 points
Ryan Brown, of Flagstaff
2 points
Lauren Perry, of Phoenix
1 point
Jahnilli Akbar, of New York City
Jack Egan, of Sedona
Christopher Fox Graham, of Sedona
Christopher Harbster, of Flagstaff
nodalone, of Flagstaff
Spencer Troth, of Flagstaff
Mikel Weisser, of Kingman
Josh Wiss, of Flagstaff
Valence, of Flagstaff
0.5 points
Gary Every, of Sedona

All You Need is Love, in 156 countries


Ah, John Lennon, you lost poet, look what you did to the world.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tonight: New York City poet Jahnilli Akbar features at Sedona Poetry Slam

Sedona’s Studio Live hosts a poetry slam Saturday, Dec. 3, starting at 7:30 p.m. featuring New York City poet Jahnilli Akbar.

All poets are welcome to compete for the $75 grand prize.

Poets expected to slam tonight:
Jack Egan, Sedona
Shaun "Nodalone" Srivastava, Flagstaff
The Klute, Phoenix
Lauren Perry, Phoenix
George Yamazawa Jr., Durham, North Carolina
Thom Stanley, Sedona
Brian Towne, Flagstaff
Frank O'Brien, Prescott
Mikel Weisser, So-Hi (near Kingman)
Ryan Brown, Flagstaff
Gary Every, Sedona

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.

Sedona’s Studio Live hosts a poetry slam Saturday, Dec. 3,
starting at 7:30 p.m. featuring New York City poet Jahnilli Akbar.
Jahnilli Akbar
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.

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 Deuce
The 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.
The 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 Team
Competing 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. All poets are eligible in the slamoff except those already confirmed members of or coaching another National Poetry Slam or Young Voices Be Heard team. Poets can compete for multiple teams during a season and still be eligible to compete in the Sedona team.

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.

To slam:
Sign up at Studio Live by 7 p.m. or send a text message with your name to Graham at (928) 517-1400. Slots are first come, first serve.