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 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.
Maya Asher is a poet and therapist, in that order. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing, a Bachelor of Science in special education and rehabilitation, and Master of Arts in eehabilitation counseling from the University of Arizona. She is a licensed professional counselor. Asher is a published poet, performance artist, teaching artist, and arts organizer. She has performed poetry at national competitions across the U.S. since 2005. She co-founded the longest running poetry slam in Tucson, Words on Fire, in 2004. She is the facilitator of Poetry and Healing for Spoken Futures and staff member for Tucson Youth Poetry Slam. The craft of writing and the art of performance have taught her about the art of living fully and the craft of creating change.
Mickey Ran is a poet, feminist, warrior, teacher, and community builder who has lived and loved in Tucson since 2005. Her mission in life is to foster authentic conversations of equality and empathy among all types of people. She loves consensual hugs, so don't be shy and come say "Hi."
|Poets Laura Lacanette, Maya Asher and Mickey Ran, left to right, |
will perform at the Sedona Poetry Slam on Saturday, May 2, at
the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, 2030 W. SR 89A, in West Sedona.
All three poets are veterans of the Tucson slam poetry scene.
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. Contact Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up to slam.
Tickets are $12. Call Mary D. Fisher Theatre at 282-1177 or visit SedonaFilmFestival.org.
The slam is the seventh of the 2014-15 season, which will culminate in selection of Sedona’s fourth National Poetry Slam Team, the foursome and alternate who will represent the city at the National Poetry Slam in Oakland, Calif., in August. There are seven slams in the regular season, six in Sedona and one in Clarkdale. The final Grand Poetry Slam takes place on June 6, to determine the team. The May 2 slam is the final "open slam" of the season and thus the last chance for poets to compete and earn a berth in the Grand Poetry Slam.
The poets who made the team on June 6 to represent Sedona will share the stage at the National Poetry Slam with 350 of the top poets in the United States, Canada and Europe, pouring out their words in a week-long explosion of expression. 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 to Oakland, Calif., in August.
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.