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, March 27, 2013

What does Necessary Poetry want to do?


Help support us on Kickstarter. Donate to help us publish Holy Spoken Word - Necessary Poetry's 1st Anthology: A multimedia anthology, showcasing the amazing writing, artwork, and spoken-word performance of the Necessary Poetry collective.

Click here to help support our efforts on Kickstarter. A donation of even $10 or $20 would do wonders to get us to our goal.

 The poets are some of the best in Northern Arizona:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Visit Kickstarter and support "Holy Spoken Word" - Necessary Poetry's 1st Anthology

"Holy Spoken Word" is Necessary Poetry's 1st Anthology:

A multimedia anthology, showcasing the amazing writing, artwork, and spoken-word performance of the Necessary Poetry collective, a group of poets from Sedona, Flagstaff and Prescott.

Click here to help support our efforts on Kickstarter. A donation of even $10 or $20 would do wonders to get us to our goal.

Necessary Poetry is the collaborative effort of over 15 Arizona slam poets.

Sparked by a common love for written and spoken word, and a collective desire to inspire and motivate positive creative expression, we've joined together to publish a multi-media anthology of our best individual and cooperative creations - Holy Spoken Word. We are a passionate band of dedicated volunteers, and this stunning collection of words, artwork, and recorded performances is sure to seduce minds and ignite hearts everywhere.
BUT, POETRY IS BORING. Not this poetry! This poetry is raw. This poetry is relentless. This poetry captures smiles - it takes mouths hostage.

The poets are some of the best in Northern Arizona:


FAQ


  • Words are our religion... so in a way, yes. But in the way you probably meant it - um, no.
    The poetry submitted to Necessary Poetry may have religious themes or imagery from various traditions, but the project as a whole is secular and nonreligious. While some of the poets themselves may be religious or spiritual, others are secular, agnostic and atheist. The title "Holy Spoken Word" stems from the poets' belief that if anything is "holy," then surely it must be poetry and its power to connect peoples across time, languages, cultures, religious and spiritual or nonspiritual traditions.
  • Because everything is poetry. The way the rain falls, the way the light bounces off a glass, the way you cried hard when your first love dumped you because your freckles freaked him or her out... Inspiration can be found anywhere, and we're passionate about presenting ours in a way which connects us all on a human level. 
  • Hell, no!  Necessary Poetry's contributors have all agreed that any monies received from the sale of this anthology will be used to fund a series of workshops on writing and expression, and to support the efforts of aspiring poets and spoken word performers in our community.
    The hardworking poets hope to use those resources to fund workshops and efforts to bring poetry to a wider audience and encourage those who want to want to speak to find the poet and Holy Spoken Word within themselves, whatever that may be.

    Click here to help support our efforts on Kickstarter.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Josh Wiss wins the fifth Sedona Poetry Slam of the 2012-13 National Poetry Slam season

Josh Wiss wins the fifth Sedona Poetry Slam of the 2012-13 National Poetry Slam season, held March 17, at Studio Live in West Sedona.

Josh Wiss of Flagstaff and Phoenix, wins the fifth Sedona Poetry Slam of the 2012-13 National Poetry Slam season


Round 1
Random Draw

Calibration: Christopher Fox Graham, of Sedona

Gary Every, of Sedona, 3:17, 24.5 (after 0.5 time penalty)
Tom Lamkin, of Chicago, 1:41, 23.0
Evan Dissinger, of Flagstaff, 3:23, 27.1 (after 1.0 time penalty)
Bradley Blalock, of Sedona, 1:46, 23.7
Jackson Morris, of Flagstaff, 2:16, 26.3
Josh Wiss, of Flagstaff, 1:57, 28.8

Teaser: Christopher Fox Graham, of Sedona

Round 2
Reverse Order
Josh Wiss, of Flagstaff, 1:40, 28.9, 57.7
Jackson Morris, of Flagstaff, 2:22, 27.5, 53.8
Bradley Blalock, of Sedona, 2:30, 26.6, 50.3
Evan Dissinger, of Flagstaff, 1:35, 26.8, 52.9
Tom Lamkin, of Chicago, 1:02, 25.9, 48.9
Gary Every, of Sedona, 4:28, 26.0 (after 4.0 time penalty), 46.0


Host poet Christopher Fox Graham claims his Scots-Irish
heritage from Clan McElwee, from County Fermanagh,
in the province of Ulster.

Feature: Crìsdean Sionnach Greum for St. Patrick's Day


The March Sedona Poetry Slam falls on St. Patrick's Day, and will give the poets the added opportunity to celebrate two of Ireland's greatest contributions to the artistic world, poetry and whiskey.

Ireland is home to a numerous list of the world's best poets, including Jonathan Swift (1667–1745), Oscar Wilde (1845–1900), James Joyce (1882–1941), C.S. Lewis (1899–1963) and Patrick Kavanagh (1904–1967), three Nobel laureates: W.B. Yeats (1865–1939), Samuel Beckett (1906–1989) and Seamus Heaney (born 1939), as well as poet and revolutionary Pádraig Anraí Mac Piarais (1879–1916), one of the three leaders of the Easter Rising who was executed for his role in the rebellion that later led to Irish independence.

In celebration of his Irish heritage, Graham will host the slam and perform some Irish poems under his Gaelic name, Crìsdean Sionnach Greum.

Round 3
High to Low
Josh Wiss, of Flagstaff, 1:12, 28.5, 86.2
Jackson Morris, of Flagstaff, 2:42, 28.0, 81.8
Evan Dissinger, of Flagstaff, 2:50, 27.9, 80.8
Bradley Blalock, of Sedona, 1:23, 27.1, 77.4
Tom Lamkin, of Chicago, 1:28, 27.1, 76.0
Gary Every, of Sedona, 3:34, 26.2 (after 1.5 time penalty), 72.2

Sorbet: Christopher Fox Graham, of Sedona

Victory: Josh Wiss, of Flagstaff

Final Scores
Josh Wiss, of Flagstaff, 86.2

Jackson Morris, of Flagstaff, 81.8

Evan Dissinger, of Flagstaff, 80.8

Bradley Blalock, of Sedona, 77.4
Tom Lamkin, of Chicago, 76.0
Gary Every, of Sedona, 72.2

Sedona National Poetry Slam Team
Slamoff Point Standings
12 points
Josh Wiss, of Flagstaff✓✓
9 points
Ryan Brown, of Flagstaff✓✓
The Klute, of Phoenix
7 points
Evan Dissinger, of Flagstaff
Jackson Morris, of Flagstaff
Joy Young, of Phoenix
6 points
Christopher Fox Graham, of Sedona
4 points
Leo Bryant, of Richmond, Calif.✓
3 points
Charles Levett, of Phoenix
Jeremiah Blue, of Phoenix
2 points
Ashley Swazey, of Phoenix
Austin Reeves, of Flagstaff
Bert Cisneros, of Cottonwood
Gary Every, of Sedona
Lauren Perry, of Phoenix
Lynn Gravatt, of Sedona
1.5 points
Josh Floyd, of Flagstaff
Taylor Hayes, of Flagstaff
Valence, of Flagstaff
1 point
Bill Campana, of Mesa
Bradley Blalock, of Sedona
Houston Hughes, of Fayetteville, Ark.
Jackie Stockwell, of Flagstaff
Jasmine "Jazz" Sufi Wilkenson of Santa Cruz, Calif.
Jordan Ranft, of Santa Rosa, Calif.
Ky J. Dio, of Flagstaff
Lauren Deja, of Phoenix
Little Blue Lyon-Fish, of Phoenix
nodalone, of Flagstaff
Robert Gonzales, of Flagstaff
Rowie Shebala, of Phoenix
Slammy D, of Flagstaff
Susan Okie, of Washington, D.C.
Tom Lamkin, of Chicago
Vincent Vega, of Flagstaff

✓ = won a Sedona Poetry Slam

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Celebrate St. Patrick's day with a Sedona Poetry Slam on Sunday, March 17

Sedona’s Studio Live hosts a poetry slam on St. Patrick's Day, Sunday, March 17, starting at 7:30 p.m. hosted by Sedona poet Christopher Fox Graham.


Tickets are $10. On the day of the slam, tickets are $12. Click here to get your tickets now.


All poets are welcome to compete for the $75 grand prize and $25 second-place prize. The prize is funded in part by a donation from Verde Valley poetry supporter Jeanne Freeland.

The slam is the fifth of the 2012-13 season, which will culminate in selection of Sedona’s second National Poetry Slam Team, the foursome and alternate who will represent the city at the National Poetry Slam in Boston and Cambridge, Mass., in August.

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.

Poets who want to compete should purchase a ticket in case the roster is filled before they arrive.

The local poets 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 sent its five-poet first team to the 2012 National Poetry Slam in Charlotte, N.C.

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.

The slam will be hosted by Graham, who represented Northern Arizona on six FlagSlam National Poetry Slams in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2012.

Contact Graham at foxthepoet@yahoo.com to sign up to slam.

Host poet Christopher Fox Graham claims his Scots-Irish
heritage from Clan McElwee, from County Fermanagh,
in the province of Ulster.

St. Patrick's Day Slam


The March Sedona Poetry Slam falls on St. Patrick's Day, and will give the poets the added opportunity to celebrate two of Ireland's greatest contributions to the artistic world, poetry and whiskey.

Ireland is home to a numerous list of the world's best poets, including Jonathan Swift (1667–1745), Oscar Wilde (1845–1900), James Joyce (1882–1941), C.S. Lewis (1899–1963) and Patrick Kavanagh (1904–1967), three Nobel laureates: W.B. Yeats (1865–1939), Samuel Beckett (1906–1989) and Seamus Heaney (born 1939), as well as poet and revolutionary Pádraig Anraí Mac Piarais (1879–1916), one of the three leaders of the Easter Rising who was executed for his role in the rebellion that later led to Irish independence.

In celebration of his Irish heritage, Graham will host the slam and perform some Irish poems under his Gaelic name, Crìsdean Sionnach Greum.

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.

All types of poetry are welcome on the stage, from street-wise hip-hop and narrative performance poems, to political rants and introspective confessionals. Any poem is a “slam” poem if performed in a competition. All poets get three minutes per round to entertain their audience with their creativity.

2013 Sedona National Poetry Slam Team


Competing poets earn points with each Sedona Poetry Slam performance between September and May. Every poet earns 1 point for performing or hosting. 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 2013 National Poetry Slam in Boston. Poets can compete for multiple teams during a season and still be eligible to compete in the Sedona team.

For poetry slam standings, videos from past slams, and updates, visit foxthepoet.org. For poetry events in Northern Arizona, visit NecessaryPoetry.Com.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 the day of the event, available online at studiolivesedona.com.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

"A Compilation Love Poem," by Abby Meade and Stephanie Whitaker

Poets poking fun at other poets in a slam scene is a wonderful thing. This was a slam poem performed by two poets in the FlagSlam scene, performing in the style of the poets. Abby Meade's performance of Josh Floyd was the most spot-on.



Photo by Robert Chandler Gonzales
Abby Meade, left, and Stephanie Whitaker debut "A Compilation Love Poem" at the Cozy Slam.
A Compilation Love Poem
By Abby Meade - Stephanie Whitaker

Christopher Fox Graham: (read by Abby)
Even though I don’t remember your name, you meant something, and in that one night we spent together, your golden hair glinted in the moonlight.

Your eyes like daggers to my soul reminded me that I could never have you.

I know we met when we were 12, but braces looked cute on you, and you made cropped pants look cool.


Jackson Morris: (read by Stephanie)
Thanks, CFG, but I think I got it from here.

As I looked down at our intertwined fingers, I wanted to pinch myself, because who could love a self-deprecating geek like me?

Your sparkling blue eyes like pools rippled with thoughts I couldn’t read. I wanted to take you in my arms and protect you from the monsters in your dreams.


Josh Floyd: (read by Abby)
Girl, you deserve the monsters! You are worse than any nightmare I ever had.

I used to be a rapper, but even that didn’t hurt me as bad as you.

Now it’s just me and my first love: My skateboard.

Nothing you do is going to separate us.

 She fills the holes you punched into my soul.


Vincent Vega: (read by Stephanie)
I want to rip your heart out of your ribcage and watch it beat in my hand as the blood drips to the floor.

I love you like a horror movie, screams and pain and fear wrapped up in gore and tied with a cute pink bow.

The one you wear on Wednesdays.

The one I want to rip from your curls and tie around your neck so I can listen to you gasp for air.

Blue is a good color on you.


Christopher Fox Graham: (read by Abby)
You still sleep with the blue stuffed dog you had since kindergarten, and I was always jealous.

I wanted your full attention, but you… you had your own plans.

And when you left for college, even though we hadn’t spoken in months, it was like a weight off my shoulders.

I know you’re better off without me.


Jackson Morris: (read by Stephanie)
That night, we lay under the stars and listened to the chorus of crickets around us.

It was the perfect ending to our moonlit picnic, and though the blanket was a little itchy, when you pointed out Orion’s belt, I smiled.

When you think back on us, smile over the memories that might be a little bitter now, but are mixed in with the good ones.


Josh Floyd: (read by Abby)
The aftershocks of your words still ripple through me, like giants stepping through the cities of my mind.

The riot is over, but the wreckage remains I’m trying to clean up after you, but girl, earthquakes reverberate, and this one leaves me *gasp* breathless.


Vincent Vega: (read by Stephanie)
Your soul is too free, so I’ll lock you into a cage and watch you wither away, because I like skinny girls.

I’ll treat you like a woman should be treated: chained up and tortured with my love.

 I want to know that when I leave, you’ll still be there when I get back.

But I also want you to be comfortable, so I’ll only use the best handcuffs on you.

Because, baby girl, I love you.