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 670,000 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, January 22, 2015

"Star Wars Medley" by Lindsey Stirling & Peter Hollens


So, yeah, this nerdy awesomeness exists on the Internet.

Published on Aug 9, 2013
Download the song direct from us: http://ldr.fm/26N43
Download the song from iTunes: http://bit.ly/13UIwoc

Get the Sheet Music here: https://lindseystirling.mybigcommerce...

Pre-order my new album Shatter Me on iTunes: http://smarturl.it/ShatterMe or on Pledge Music: http://www.pledgemusic.com/lindseysti...

NEW STAR WARS SHIRT: http://www.shopbenchmark.com/lindseys...

Watch Behind the Scenes footage from this vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0hTvU..., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozFKEC...

Peter's Channel: http://www.youtube.com/peterhollens
Peter's Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peterhollens...

Follow me in all these cool places ;)
https://www.facebook.com/lindseystirl...
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Huge thanks to http://www.halloweencostumes.com/ for letting us use their amazing costumes!

Arr. Tom Anderson - http://www.random-notes.com
Mix: Ed Boyer

Big thanks to our friends: Evynne Hollens - The Wookie
Josh Lenhardt - Darth Vader
Reilly Zamber - Boba Fett

John Williams is amazing, check out his original recordings for this here:
http://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Sound...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

In memory of legendary Jack McCarthy [May 23, 1939 - Jan. 17, 2013]


Seattle Poetry Slam - Ed Mabrey's Tribute to Jack McCarthy 



Jack McCarthy
Poet
May 23, 1939 - January 17, 2013
Jack McCarthy featured at the FlagSlam Semi-Final Slam on April 12, 2005. I remember he was quiet and gracious and delivered poetry in an unassuming, yet profound way.

He died Jan. 17, 2013, in Seattle, at the age of 73.

"He weaves wicker stories that creep slowly down the back stairs of your memory. He talks to you in your own voice." - Jim Dunn

Jack McCarthy's obituary in the Boston Globe

published Jan 27, 2013.


By Bryan Marquard
At some 200 lines, Jack ­McCarthy’s first published ­poem appeared in the Boston Sunday Globe in October 1976. Filling a page, “South Boston Sunday” describes a family stroll through the neighborhood of his youth, where even though the school busing crisis is an uneasy presence:

We will agree

This was the happiest day.

He thought the poem would launch his writing career, but that didn’t happen until another October, in 1993, when Mr. McCarthy took his youngest daughter to a poetry slam at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge. He got up to read and the positive response brought an epiphany: The poet’s voice and the audience’s ears were inseparable.

“For me, the live audience is really the only audience I ever think about,” he said by phone when he knew his death was near. “When I put something down on paper and publish it, my highest hope is that someone somewhere will pick it up and read it to a third party. My sense of audience does not stop with the person who reads the poem. I hope the poem goes on to another life.”

Legendary in Boston’s slam poetry scene, he became nationally known when he was among those filmed for the 1998 documentary “SlamNation.” A decade ago, Mr. McCarthy moved to Seattle, where he died at home Jan. 17 of complications from colon and lung cancer. He was 73.

A consummate storyteller whose métier was verse, he wrote and performed poems that inspired laughter with one line, tears the next.

In “Neponset Circle,” one of his favorites, a driver “can get us anywhere in the world –/as long as he starts from Neponset Circle.” Mr. McCarthy concluded with a couplet celebrating his wife: “Carol, my love,/you’re my Neponset Circle.”

“Drunks” draws chilling images from his alcoholism, his 40 years of sobriety, and the lives of others that ended badly: “we tried and we died and nobody cried.”

With just as sure a hand, he used the austere constraints of haiku to poke fun at aging:

Geezers dress funny;
we can’t dress like all our friends:
all our friends are dead

He collected his poems in books, and more await posthumous publication. Those who never saw Mr. McCarthy’s dramatic performances can still hear him on CDs or watch him on YouTube.

In the video for “Substances,” a recounting and recanting of past abuses, gestures augment every line. And videos for poems such as “I Wouldn’t Want to be Jesus,” linked on Mr. McCarthy’s website, www.standupoet.net, show how swiftly he engaged a crowd, even last May when he needed oxygen tubes to breathe.

“The only ambition he seems to have is to tell the truth as best he can in poems,” the poet Thomas Lux once wrote of Mr. McCarthy. “His work is direct, plainspoken, colloquial, authentic, lucid.”

Another poet, Stephen Dobyns, called him “one of the wonders of contemporary poetry. He writes — and often performs — dazzling narratives full of wit and humor, sadness and hard thinking. He should be cloned.”

The Internet extended Mr. McCarthy’s reach beyond his Boston fame long before he launched his own site. In 2000, several years after writing “Drunks,” he used a search engine for the first time “and the poem was there ahead of me,” he recalled in December. “I found it all over the world on websites.”

The oldest of four children, John Xavier McCarthy was born in South Boston. His family moved to Hingham and a scholarship sent Mr. McCarthy to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.

In autumn of his senior year, his mother died in a car accident. The following spring, his father died of a heart attack. The day of his father’s funeral, Mr. McCarthy received a scholarship to Dartmouth College.

While studying there, Mr. McCarthy watched a short film of Dylan Thomas reading a poem.

“I was so moved that I sat there by myself in the theater and tears were rolling down my cheeks, just at the way he used the English language,” he recalled. “And I said: ‘I want to do that.’ ”

Alcohol intervened, however, and he dropped out of school and into the depths of existence. He started attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in 1962 and returned to graduate from Dartmouth five years later.

He taught for a few years before working in information technology at banks and insurance companies. Mr. McCarthy married Joan Reynolds of Westwood in 1968 and they had three daughters. After their marriage ended in 1986, he stayed close to his children.

“He was always so full of good advice and reassurance,” said one of his daughters, Kathleen Chardavoyne of Charlestown. “He really struck the right balance between explaining to you why you did or didn’t want to do certain things, and letting you know he’d be there for you if you did screw up. I still remember a lot of the advice he gave me. I just worshipped him.”

Having decided he would not remarry, Mr. McCarthy nevertheless placed a personals ad on a whim in 1989, mentioning that he liked to bodysurf.

Carol Sinder, a former Californian, was intrigued by that detail and answered. They married in 1991 in St. Ann Church in Dorchester, where Mr. McCarthy sang in the folk group.

“Not only did I fall in love with Jack, but also with his poetry,” she wrote in an e-mail. “When I met him he only wrote poetry occasionally. I arranged for him to go to a poetry class with a famous poet, Galway Kinnell.”

Along with becoming a mainstay of the slam poetry scene, Mr. McCarthy took his writing to audiences near and far. His poem “Drunks” earned him an invitation to speak in Spain at an Alcoholics Anonymous convention, and he was a regular guest of students in the Poetry Soup Group at Newburyport High School.

“I think he gave them license to look at what’s behind the feelings they would often laugh off,” said Debbie Szabo, an English and creative writing teacher. “You know, teenagers are sarcastic, cynical, and snide, and Jack was the opposite of those things. He made them want to go out and write.”

The flame of fame bathes poets in a fainter light than other celebrities, but Mr. McCarthy was well-known enough around Boston that once while he was receiving Communion, the priest paused before handing him a wafer.

“When he normally would say, ‘Body of Christ,’ he said, ‘I love your poetry,’ and I said, ‘Thank you,’ ” Mr. McCarthy recalled. “I think very few poets get to have that experience.”

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. McCarthy leaves two other daughters, Megan McDermott of Madison, Wis., and Ann of South Boston; a stepson, Seth Roback of Seattle; two sisters, Hannah of Amherst, N.H., and Judith Winship of Boxford; and six grandchildren, the youngest born two weeks before he died.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 9 in Follen Church, a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Lexington.

Untroubled by the approach of death, and comparatively pain-free, Mr. McCarthy opened his poem “Victory” by writing:
What luxury
to know I’m dying
so comfortably

And with a nod to Dylan Thomas, who inspired his poetic aspirations a half-century ago, he added:
So forgive me, Dylan.
I will go gentle into that good night —
or afternoon, as the case may be.
There’s no rage in me, not any more
The years have been too kind;
allow the light the right to die.

“We’ve had 23 years, and this time was the most amazing journey,” Mr. McCarthy’s wife said a few weeks before he died. “Jack said, ‘If I believed in reincarnation I wouldn’t want to come back, because I’ve had such a good life.’ Now how many people say that?”

Bryan Marquard can be reached at bmarquard@globe.com.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pick your droid and let's battle at the Flagstaff Nerd Slam


Calling all dungeon masters, trekkers and inhabitants of Middle-Earth! Bookmans Entertainment Exchange and Firecreek Coffee Company - Flagstaff are proud to bring you the:

So fire up your X-wing starfighter and make your way to FIRECREEK on Saturday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. for a little friendly poetic competition and a celebration of nerdom. Sign up starts at 6 p.m. the day of slam. This event is free and open to the public. Come on down to see if you have what it takes to become Northern Arizona's ultimate nerd.

Prizes will be provided by Bookmans and other community partners for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Nerd Nerd panelists include John Quinonez, Vincent Vega, and Christopher Fox Graham.

This event is free and open to the public.

Big thanks to our community partners and fellow Nerds, Cab Comics.

Draw your weapons, nerd slam poets ....

Graphics by Daniel Nyari
Calling all dungeon masters, trekkers and inhabitants of Middle-Earth! Bookmans Entertainment Exchange and Firecreek Coffee Company - Flagstaff are proud to bring you the:

So fire up your X-wing starfighter and make your way to FIRECREEK on Saturday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. for a little friendly poetic competition and a celebration of nerdom. Sign up starts at 6 p.m. the day of slam. This event is free and open to the public. Come on down to see if you have what it takes to become Northern Arizona's ultimate nerd.

Prizes will be provided by Bookmans and other community partners for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Nerd Nerd panelists include John Quinonez, Vincent Vega, and Christopher Fox Graham.

This event is free and open to the public.

Big thanks to our community partners and fellow Nerds, Cab Comics.

TARDIS ready ....


"... coordinates set for the Flagstaff Nerd Slam ..."
-The Doctor

Hyperdrive ready ...


"You came to Flagstaff Nerd Slam in that thing? You're braver than I thought."
―Leia Organa, Princess of Alderaan

Maximum warp ...


"To boldly go to Flagstaff Nerd Slam,where no one has gone before."
-Capt. James T. Kirk

Ready to play ...


"On the other side of the Flagstaff Nerd Slam, it all looks so easy.
-Kevin Flynn

All aboard, heroes in a half-shell ...


"The Flagstaff Nerd Slam, cowabunga, dude!
-Michelangelo

Nature always finds a way ...


"Welcome to ... Flagstaff Nerd Slam."
―John Hammond, InGen CEO

Proton packs charged ...


"Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes! Volcanoes! The dead rising from the grave! The Flagstaff Nerd Slam! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together ... mass hysteria."
―Dr. Peter Venkman

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Friday, January 9, 2015

"14 Lines from Love Letters or Suicide Notes" by Doc Luben



Doc Luben is a writer, performer, and general person in Portland Oregon. Follow him at Doc Luben Poetry on Tumblr


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Performing during the Last Chance Slam at the Individual World Poetry Slam.

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Button Poetry is committed to developing a coherent and effective system of production, distribution, promotion and fundraising for spoken word and performance poetry.

We seek to showcase the power and diversity of voices in our community. By encouraging and broadcasting the best and brightest performance poets of today, we hope to broaden poetry's audience, to expand its reach and develop a greater level of cultural appreciation for the art form.