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.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Canadian slam poet Mona Faith Mousa headlines the Sedona Poetry Slam on March 12 (CFG's birthday)

Mona Faith Mousa
Canadian slam poet Mona Faith Mousa headlines the Sedona Poetry Slam on March 12. Poets are invited to compete at the fourth 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.

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 the Sedona International Film Festival website.

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

Graham will also be celebrating his birthday on March 12, which he shares with writers Jack Kerouac, Dave Eggers, Carl Hiaasen, Naomi Shihab Nye and Gabriele D'Annunzio.


Mona Faith Mousa

Inspired by several Canadian and American slam poets, Mousa found herself in an addictive relationship with the written and spoken word. At 17 she hit the stage for the first time at Toronto’s well-known annual Open Minds Respect events. Nine year later Mousahas been on the road almost nonstop, having recently come off her 2015 Summer tour schedule to the southern United States, and Hawaii.

Mona Faith Mousa
Over the past 9 years Mousa’s mission has been to work to empower young adults engaging them in discussion. The mission is about promoting real love, love as an action that we commit to unconditionally. This love is about safe spaces no matter one's religion, social class, gender or sexual orientation. The mission is education & tolerance, no exceptions. It’s about a queer-positive and body-positive state of mind. The mission is mental health awareness, and letting people know that rescue is possible, that everyone's story is important . It’s helping turn scars into stories.
Mousa's charm and passion drive her and she is ready to take North America by storm, as one of Canada's most promising, up and coming performance poets.

Mona Faith Mousa
“[Mona Faith Mousa] has a maturity in her voice beyond her years,” wrote Will McGuirk, of Oshawa This Week, in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. “That is due to her openness to experience of a deeper order. Poetry arises from activity, sure, but more importantly from connectivity. Poems can be found in subdivisions, on courts, in driveways.

“One needs only the right equipment to catch them, equipment Mona has in ample amounts. She will show you where to look among the strip malls and the pylons. There are heroes in the suburbs.

“Mona is an awesome up-and-coming performance poet,” said Brendan McLeod, of The Fugitives, a spoken word troupe based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. “She's funny, charming, thoughtful and even a bit audacious. I heartily support her work as an emerging Canadian spoken word artist.”


What is Poetry Slam?

Host Christopher Fox Graham will also be celebrating
his birthday on Saturday,  March 12, which he shares
with writers Jack Kerouac, Dave Eggers, Carl Hiaasen,
Naomi Shihab Nye and Gabriele D'Annunzio.
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 Graham, who represented Northern Arizona on nine FlagSlam National Poetry Slams in 2001, 2004-06, 2010, 2012-15. Graham has hosted the Sedona Poetry Slam since 2009.


2015-16 Sedona Poetry Slam Schedule

The slam is the fourth 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 three poetry slams took place Oct. 10, Jan. 2 and Feb. 6 slam. Future dates include:
  • Saturday, April 9, featuring Ryan Brown
  • 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.