KPS Slammaster's Blog


OK, it's taken me a whole week to get this up and I don't even have any pictures of the show, because the show was SO DAMN GOOD I forgot to take pictures.  But here's what you need to know about the Kzoo Poetry Slam in August in case you missed it.  We had our best turnout yet.  The open-mic list was full of poets, and musicians of varying styles and ages.  There were four slammers.  Ashnee won the slam, the poetic duo of D.C. & Yolanda came in second.  After the slam Nayahtone took the stage and burned the place to the ground. . .in a most metaphorical way.





FEATURE POET: As soon as I know, you'll know.

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We had a few more folks at the July slam than we had at the June slam.  That's an encouraging sign. There were only three people who signed up to slam, but they were three of the most talented young poets I've seen in years.  Fable, Christina and Nathan (aka Nay-a-tone).  Ashnee did a wonderful job with her first slam feature; I totally knew she would.  I really hope this new incarnation of the Kzoo Poetry Slam takes off.  I'd love the opportunity to send some of my new friends to compete in a national slam someday.

Fable & Nathan

Fable (left) congratulates 1st place Nayatone (right) on a slam well won.

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Had a great time at the first Kzoo Slam at The Globe on Wednesday.  Eight open-mic sign-ups, five slammers and of course Kinetic Affect.  Both audience and staff were gracious and enthusiastic,  couldn't have asked for a better atmosphere for performance poetry.  Hope to see more folks on July 7th to help the slam grow.

June's Slam Winner Cornelius Shaw (aka Preacher C.)

2nd Place: Greg Bliss

Snagged Preacher C's pic from FB.  Thanks to Suzan for sending the other snapshots; I was having so much fun I forgot to take pictures.

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This blog is for sharing information and honest dialog with the community of poets and patrons that the Kzoo Poetry Slam is attempting to serve, so I’d be liar if I said that the slam on Thursday was everything I’d hoped for.  Attendance was low, and that’s always disappointing, but not entirely unexpected on a holiday weekend when the weather is unseasonably awesome.  So, long story short. . . I totally understand and forgive you (YES, YOU) for missing the show last week.  Some of the folks who did make it out: Eric, Nikki, Nathan, Kirk, Brishen, Azizi, Dave, Dale, and forgive me if I forgot your name, all threw down some damn fine poetry and song.  Dale played a mean guitar (FYI- the Kzoo Slam open-mic welcomes all types of performance art.) and our feature poet, LOGIC, “forget-about-it”- the man spit fire from his soul ! !  I am inspired and renewed by poetry, exponentially so the more folks I’m able to share the experience with.  The next Kzoo Poetry Slam is on May 6th, if you come, you will not be disappointed.

Oh yeah- Azizi beat Nathan in the second round by 0.2pts.  That’s his 3rd win; I’m sure glad he’s on our team for the upcoming Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam.

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Back in my student days I learned that the best way to avoid the anxiety of public speaking was to volunteer to go first, to jump right in before the panic could take hold.  On those rare occasions when I slam (YES, I have slammed, and NO, I don’t like it. Love the players- hate the game.) I always volunteer to perform in the first round.  So when Gabe and Kirk said they wanted to move the Kzoo Slam from Saturday to Thursday, I was all about it.  Being the kickoff event for three nights of kick-ass poetry and spoken word seems perfect to me.  Now I can sit back and relax on Friday and Saturday and just enjoy the show.  I love firsties !!

By the way, we had a fine turnout for our first solo slam on Thursday night, but there were still a few seats left unfilled- you know who you are.  There was a good mix of old friends and new faces.  Two extra virgin poets, that means folks who had never read their poetry in public before.  And another Kzoo Slam first, our top two poets in the first round: Philip and Brishen Miller; round two was a father vs. son slam off. 

Sorry Dad, you got served.

1st place Brishen Miller 29.9

2nd place Philip Miller 29.0

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It Feels Like Renaissance

I wish I had a recording of the Kzoo Slam last night, so I could better describe it to the unfortunate souls who weren’t there.

I think of every show as a unique work of art.  Different people with different voices, different experiences, and different poetic styles, all come together to create a unique artistic experience.  Sometimes it’s like an abstract kinda jazz, sometimes it’s a symphony.  No two shows are ever alike. . . you know, like snowflakes, or A-holes.

Watching old friends and new friends sharing (and by sharing, creating) art last night was inspiring, humbling, exhilarating, and exhausting.  It reminded me of the best times I spent at Dirty’s Outhouse Poets’ Café in the mid 90’s, it reminded me of the heydays of the Kzoo Slam at Kraftbrau 99-05ish.  It felt like a renaissance.



P.S. Apologies for not having actual pictures from the show, they were way too blurry.  I will attempt to adjust my camera settings for the next show.

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Last night was the first Kalamazoo Poetry Slam in over two years, and it was more than I dared to hope for. There was something even more amazing than the great venue, passonate well written verse, and the engaged and appreciative audience, there was a community. Every one I’ve met over the past two days has reminded me of an old friend. It made me feel simultaneously old and young again, or to paraphrase the poet,

“they write, like warriors
they walk and talk like they mean it
they are alive
and now I am too.”

Our first 2010 slam winner (with a perfect 30 score) is “Z” a fantastic poet, who hosts the Tuesday night open-mic at Blaze Hookah Lounge. Don’t be surprised if you run into me there real soon.

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This is Dave, Kzoo Slam web designer, blog administrator, and patron saint of the techno-clueless.
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