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.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Penultimate Sedona Poetry Slam takes place on Saturday, May 7

The Sedona Poetry Slam hosts the penultimate slam of the season on Saturday, May 7. Poets are invited to compete at the fifth slam of the 2015-16 season, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, 2030 W. SR 89A, Suite A-3, in West Sedona.

Finales are great, but it's the penultimate event when pulses race, scores are settled and a path to total victory is decided.

"The Rains of Castamere", "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", "Half Measures", "Islanded in a Stream of Stars", "The Blue Comet", "Lux Æterna" (on the "Requiem for a Dream" soundtrack), the Final Four, the one and only Enterprise-class aircraft carrier, The War of the Roses' Battle of Bosworth Field ... all were penultimates, and a few brought kings to the grave.

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 Contact host Christopher Fox Graham at to sign up to slam.

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.

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.

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 Graham, who represented Northern Arizona on nine FlagSlam National Poetry Slams in 2001, 2004-06, 2010 and 2012-15. Graham has hosted the Sedona Poetry Slam since 2009.

The slam is the last regular slam 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 and the Verde Valley at the National Poetry Slam in Decatur, Ga., in August. The first five poetry slams took place Oct. 10, Jan. 2, Feb. 6, March 12 and April 9.

The May 7 slam is the last one open to any competitor, and is the last chance poets have to earn a berth in the Grand Poetry Slam. The final Grand Poetry Slam takes place on May 28, to determine the team. The poets who make the team 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.

Marc Smith ("So what?!"), founded poetry slam in Chicago in 1984

What is Poetry Slam?

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.

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.

For more information, visit or the PSi channel on YouTube.

Marc Kelly Smith performing "Kiss It."

Dan Sullivan, J.W. Basilo, Shelley Elaine G. Randall performing slam poetry in Hamburg, Germany in 2011.

Slam New Orleans team members Desiree Dallagiacamo and Justin Lamb performing "The Friend Zone"

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