Hi folks, it’s your editor-in-chief, Cole Sarar. I’ve been super busy, but I wanted to know I’ve got some things in store for you soon. I’ve got some folks working on articles for me, as I’ve been super busy trying to make rent and preparing for the National Poetry Slam.
Awesome things that are happening/have happened locally that deserve mention.
1. I had a really amazing conversation with Ryan “Bugs” Williams-Virden a little while back, where we talked about activism and being conscious of local issues, and how that does and does not relate to slam poetry- also the relationship between slam poetry and the wider spoken word genre. I think it defined “slam” more clearly as a game, a sport, and a competition for Ryan, but also gave me a whole lot to chew on intellectually as a public voice in the spoken word scene. I’ve been thinking about it a lot since our meeting, and hopefully will come out with some ways to begin to address Ryan’s desires for more diversity (something that I’ve said a lot of times that I’m interested in having) and more local awareness and involvement (something that I’ve admittedly been a little blind to.)
2. I worked on a couple of community hiphop/spoken word sessions with Sha Cage and e.g. bailey over at the Bedlam (which we’ve all heard by now, is slated to leave its current location, for points currently unknown). Hopefully Sha & e.g.’s new project will find a new home, because it addresses some of the fact that there is a history and a “family” aspect to spoken word, and that there are a lot of folks who ought to get a taste of the different things that are happening. Def Poetics, as it is called, was just getting off the ground when I was last in, so I hope it keeps going so that I can see it develop.
3. I’ve got a number of local spoken word albums that I’m looking at reviewing, but due to my time constraints, have yet to put them to the close listens that I think they’re deserving of. Probably after the National Poetry Slam.
4. Did I mention I was on a slam team? The first all women’s slam is sending a team to the National Poetry Slam in St. Paul the first week in August, and we’re doing a fundraiser. Please come- it’ll be a complete blast and a great gender-bender.
We also put together chapbooks, and are putting together a great CD, which will be a cheap way to get your hands on a bunch of great spoken word.
5. I’m going on tour with a fantastic local poet/activist/hiphop artist this October. We’re going to rock your pants off, so buy a belt and bring a pencil, because you’ll want to take notes.
6. There are still a number of spoken word gigs in town that I’ve still not touched on- but luckily, I’ve got a couple of new MN Mic folks who will be checking in on them, and making sure I’ve got the calendar up-to-date.
7. The National Poetry Slam. Oh man. I’m so excited to see talent, both local (slam and non-slam: I’m excited to see the side events almost as much as the competitions- Bao Phi is leading the API open mic, I hear that some sweet dudes are doing the Hiphop open mic…) and national. I was interviewed about the National slam just recently. Hopefully we see that interview online soon!
8. Fringe! Holy crap, right on the tails of NPS, so many wonderful spoken word artists make the Minnesota Fringe Fest a completely beautiful and unique beast in the world of Fringe Theatre Festivals. Are you excited? I’m excited!
9. I’m going to workshop/meeting of minds regarding being a teaching artist, in a few. You’d best bet this will be information I’ll want to share with you.
10. Hiphop wedding! I know, I know, it’s not a publicly open event- but this is so cool, to see spoken word and local music embraced readily and consciously at the marriage of two lovely human beings. I got to act the photographer- maybe they’ll let me share a shot or two, when I’m done editing them. Sha Cage, Dameun Strange, Guante, Itchy…
11. So much more, but now I need to hop on my bike and get to this workshop.
More updates forthcoming.