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.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Rowie Shebala competes at the Sedona Poetry Grand Slam on June 7 against Arizona's best slam poets

Roanna Shebala, a Native American spoken word artist, of the Diné – Navajo – Tribe was born and raised on the Navajo Nation.

Given the gift of storytelling from her father she combines story, poetry, and performance.

Shebala constantly brings the voice of her heritage into her performance, and written work often treading into spaces where hearing native voices is unlikely.

In doing so, she hopes to reframe what it means to be a Native person for the masses, point out the appropriation of her people's culture, and reclaim an identity that has perverted by heavily edited versions of history, the invisibilization of indigenous peoples today, and the use of those people as caricatures for mass amusement.

Rowie Shebala will face off with poets The Klute, Verbal Kensington, Evan Dissinger, Joy Young, Gabbi Jue, James Gould, Lauren Remy, Valence, Lauren Perry, Spencer Troth and Maya Hall 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.


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.



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