The intention for this blog is to be a place to find out about MN’s slam and spoken word communities. There will be followups of slams, interviews and photo shoots with spoken word artists (both local and touring), discussions of open mics and events here in Minnesota, explanations and discussions about slam rules and themes, and visual and audio media so that you know just what you might be getting into.
It won’t be a blog necessarily locked to ONLY the Minnesota spoken word scene, and if I happen to hit a slam or spoken word event out of town, I may cover it.
Personally, I am a writer and a photographer, and have been following the slam scene for less than a year. I compete regularly, a lot of the time out of a desire to improve upon my own performance skills. This isn’t a blog about my personal life, or my person, so it will be a rare occasion for me to blog about my own experiences as a spoken word performer. A lot of the poets and performers that I photograph and interview are now my friends- the spoken word community is very friendly, if nothing else. If you want to talk to a poet or performer about their work or the scene or how an open mic works, more likely than not, they’ll be happy to talk to you.
Right now, I intend to post Thursdays, with the first post of the month about the Soapboxing slam, the second about the SlamMN slam, and the last two posts being a toss up of posts either interviewing performers, following an open mic somewhere in town, or reviewing another spoken-word event.
The final intention for this blog is to both document and expose how wonderfully diverse and exciting spoken word as an art can be. From the storytellers to the slam poets to the stand up comedians to poetry readings to hip hop, there are so many amazing performers here in Minnesota, who are insightful, surprising, and always changing, you will often times get something other than what you were expecting.
1. The Calendar!
A great resource and really the central skill of MN Mic. Great for folks who want to know what’s going on in Minnesota Spoken Word, great for spoken word artists who want people to know it’s happening. How does it work? It’s just a google calendar that I compile from events that spoken word artists send to me via email (cole.sarar at gmail dot com) or via facebook event (we’ll get to that later). I update it a couple times a week, it’s always right there on the right side of the MN Mic webpage- Calendar of Events.
2. The facebook group. Are you on facebook? Would you mind getting an email from me twice a week, letting you know when the blog post is up and what events are going on in the next week or so, with links to the facebook events? Or do you have a facebook event you want to promote to folks? Join the facebook group- facebook is a great networking resource for all of us.
3. The Spoken Word Artists Page.
Are you a spoken word artist? Do you have a website? If you’ve answered both of those questions with a “Yes”, then you should email me a short (50 words or less) bio and a link to your website. When I started MN Mic, I really only knew some slam poets- but obviously, Minnesota has more to offer in terms of Spoken Word than only Slam- get me your short bio, and I’ll put it up. Are you looking for spoken word performers to be a part of your show/festival/education programming? Hopefully there will be a wealth of performers listed on the Bios page eventually, so you can research and find the performer(s) who is/are best for your needs.
4. Guest bloggers and photographers. You all know *I* don’t get paid for this, but this project is my baby, so it’s my labor of love. My guest bloggers and photographers *also* do not get paid for their hours of work. These have been performers from Minnesota’s spoken word scenes and photographers who are my friends from outside spoken word scenes, or friends of the guest bloggers. A lot of work goes into making a good blog post- these people are amazing and deserve our love and applause. This is, unfortunately, a resource MN Mic is not yet “rich” in. Do you go out to spoken word events? Do you think you could have fun writing a blog post about something you see? Contact me- tell me what event you want to cover, and I’ll give you the basic guidelines for posts here. I know I’m not hitting all the spoken word scenes in town- you could help MN Mic represent more of the twin cities’ spoken word scenes.
MN Mic is still super young- we started in early December of 2008, and elbow grease and good communication is what’s got us this far. Be an active part of the blog- the more you keep me in the know, and give me feedback, the more MN Mic can tie together the Minnesota spoken word community, and help support and promote it. -Cole