All poets are welcome to compete for the $75 grand prize and $25 second-place prize. Tickets are $12. Call Mary D. Fisher Theatre at 282-1177 or visit SedonaFilmFestival.org. Contact ChristopGraham at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up to slam.
Patrick Joseph Ohslund is an internationally touring poet and executive director of the spoken word and film making education nonprofit Digital Storytellers. His credits include opening for The Wailers, featuring at the Guatemala City Poetry Slam, touring through most of the United States featuring and spotlighting at such venues as The Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City, the Mercury Poetry Cafe in Denver and Da Poetry Lounge in Hollywood, Calif. When not getting lost in new places he leads weekly writing workshops in Oakland, Richmond and San Francisco. His poetry fluctuates between gusto driven lightning, light-hearted mad cap jubilee and carriage of personal testimony.
Carrie Jean has just blown onto the San Francisco Bay Area vocal scene sitting in with various bands in San Fransisco. Her singing style can be described as gusts of moonlit clouds with a soprano sweet like morning porch lemonade. She enjoys performing bluesy ballads and folksy dance tunes or anything that threads nostalgia, ether and the earth.
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 and inspire the audience with their creativity.
Poets in the Sedona Poetry Slam come from as far away as Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, competing against adult poets from Sedona and Cottonwood, college poets from Northern Arizona University, and youth poets from Sedona Red Rock High School’s Young Voices Be Heard slam group.
To compete in the slam, poets will need three original poems, each lasting no longer than three minutes. No props, costumes nor musical accompaniment are permitted. The poets are 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 prize money is funded in part by a donation from Verde Valley poetry supporters Jeanne and Jim Freeland.
The Sedona Poetry Slam will be hosted by Sedona poet Christopher Fox Graham, who represented Northern Arizona on nine FlagSlam National Poetry Slams in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Graham has hosted the Sedona Poetry Slam since 2009.
2015-16 Sedona Poetry Slam ScheduleThe slam is the first of the 2015-16 season, which will culminate in selection of Sedona’s fifth National Poetry Slam Team, the foursome and alternate who will represent the city at the National Poetry Slam in Decatur, Ga., in August.
- Saturday, Oct. 10
- Saturday, Jan. 2
- Saturday, Feb. 6
- Saturday, March 12, Graham's birthday
- Saturday, April 9
- Saturday, May 7
- Saturday, May 28 Grand Slam
The final Grand Poetry Slam takes place on May 28, to determine the team. The poets who make the team on May 28 to represent Sedona will share the stage at the week-long National Poetry Slam with 350 of the top poets in the United States, Canada and Europe. Sedona sent its five-poet first team to the 2012 NPS in Charlotte, N.C., its second to the 2013 NPS in Boston and Cambridge, Mass., and its third and fourth to Oakland, Calif.
Founded in Chicago in 1984 by construction worker Marc Smith, 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.