Beginning his performance poetry career in October 2000, Graham has been a member of six Flagstaff National Poetry Slam teams, representing Flagstaff in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Originally from Montana, Graham was raised in the East Valley of Phoenix. He earned a degree in English from Arizona State University before serving as slammaster of FlagSlam in 2001 to 2002. He toured 36 states on a three-month poetry tour with Keith Brucker and Josh Fleming in summer 2002, then later moved to Sedona in 2004. In 2009, he founded the Sedona Poetry Slam, which has sent teams to the National Poetry Slams in 2012 and 2013.
Graham will be one the host as poets The Klute, Verbal Kensington, Evan Dissinger, Joy Young, Gabbi Jue, James Gould, Lauren Remy, Valence, Lauren Perry, Rowie Shebala, Spencer Troth and Maya Hall face off at the Sedona Poetry Grand Slam.
On Saturday, June 7, the best poets in Arizona will compete in the 2014 Sedona Poetry Grand Slam, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, 2030 W. State Route 89A, Suite A-3.
Tickets are $12. To purchase tickets, click here.
The slam is the final the 2014 season, which culminates in selection of Sedona's third National Poetry Slam Team, the foursome and alternate who will represent the city at the National Poetry Slam in Oakland, Calif., in August. Poets in the slam come from as far away as Phoenix and Flagstaff, competing against adult poets from Sedona, college poets from Northern Arizona University, and youth poets from Sedona Red Rock High School's Young Voices Be Heard slam group.
Slam poetry is an art form that allows written page poets to share their work alongside theatrical performers, hip-hop artists and lyricists. While many people may think of poetry as dull and laborious, a poetry slam is like a series of high-energy, three-minute one-person plays.
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. The poets will be judged Olympics-style by five members of the audience selected at random at the beginning of the slam.
At Nationals, the Sedona National Poetry Slam 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 sent its first team to the 2012 National Poetry Slam in Charlotte, N.C., and its second to the 2013 NPS in Boston and Cambridge, Mass.