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Despite a plethora of problems at this year's Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam, team Lake Effect had a blast at the event.  :-)

After discussion and much pondering, we have decided that we will not be sending a poet to compete at IWPS this year.  With the competition in Washington DC, we would be able to raise funds to get someone there, but we would rather turn our attention to building our community and focusing on TEAM competitions helps us do that.  Following this same thought, we will not be sending anyone to WOWPS next spring, either.  We WILL be sending a team to both Rustbelt and NPS in 2016.  That team may also be competing in some other regional and special events.  ;-)

A number of things are going on behind the scenes right now.  Hopefully, everything that's in the works will come together and make next year the best slam season north-east Ohio has seen yet!  :-D
By Vertigo Xavier

Art Auction - June 6th

Lake Effect Poetry is seeking donations for a fundraising Art Auction that will be held June 6 at the Barberton Gallery of Fine Arts! Can you help us?

Suggested items for the Art Auction include paintings, sculptures, posters or prints (not mass-market, preferably autographed by the artist), hand-made jewelery, hand-made craft items, rare books, and other collectable art-related items.

All money raised by the Art Auction goes toward getting the Lake Effect Poetry slam team to the Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam (and hopefully with funds left over to go towards next year's National Poetry Slam)!

If you have something to donate, please contact team slamministrator Vertigo Xi'an Xavier as soon as possible.

ARTISTS and PHOTOGRAPHERS: Vertigo and The Poet's Haven are willing to produce 11x17 prints for the Art Auction. If you work through a digital medium and would like to contribute art to the auction but do not have ready-made prints, contact Vertigo to arrange to have (exclusive to the auction) prints made. :-)

Whether you can help us here or not, please share this with any other artists or publishers you know that may be willing and able to donate.

Thank you so much!
By Vertigo Xavier

John Burroughs Wins Fourth and Final Spot on 2015 LEP Slam Team

The fourth and final spot on this year's Lake Effect Poetry slam team was captured by John Burroughs tonight at Mahall's in Lakewood, Ohio!  Together with Skylark Bruce, Azriel Johnson, and Jaehla Meacham, he'll be representing north-east Ohio at this year's Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam in June.

Slamministrator Vertigo Xavier (cough, me) will be the team's "alternate" after finishing second in two of the TS slams, stepping in only if some emergency pulls one of the team members out.  (And, hey, I'll be making the trip anyway.)

Now comes fundraising!  A team anthology is currently in the works, and one or two events will be scheduled in the next week or so.  Stay tuned!  :-D
By Vertigo Xavier

Jaehla Meacham Joins 2015 LEP Team After Win at Stardust Poetry Slam

If you thought the slam on March 21st was close, tonight was a doozy!  This time, there was only a .5 point difference between first and last place.  Victory went to Jaehla Meacham, who will compete with the Lake Effect Poetry slam team at Rustbelt Regional Slam in Rockford, IL this June!

Side note for those who were at the slam: After reviewing the score sheet, slamministrator Vertigo found a scoring error.  Jaehla should have had a 1 point time penalty deducted from her 27, giving her a final score of 26.  Some communication confusion occurred between Vertigo (who was competing in the slam) and Skylark Bruce (who was asked to emcee at the last minute) that resulted in the score announced at the slam only having a .5 point penalty.  This does not change the results of the slam in any way, as the second place poet (Vertigo) scored 25.8.

The fourth and FINAL Team Selection Slam of 2015 will take place Monday, May 4th at Mahall's in Lakewood.  The show will include feature poets Stephen Haven and Kathleen Cerveny, an open-mic, and the LEP slam.  See you there!
By Vertigo Xavier

Azriel Johnson Captures Second Spot on 2015 LEP Slam Team at Night Murmurs

After a close slam in which first and last place only saw a .7 point difference, Azriel Johnson has captured the second spot on the 2015 Lake Effect Poetry slam team!  He'll join Skylark Bruce and two still-to-be-determined poets representing north-east Ohio at the Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam in June.

The next Team Selection Slam will be April 18th at the Stardust Poetry show at Karma Cafe in Canton (4339 Dressler Rd. NW Canton, OH 44718).  See you there!
By Vertigo Xavier

Night Murmurs Slam Location MOVED

This Saturday's Night Murmurs event (featuring Marcus Calvert and Barbara Sabol plus Lake Effect Poetry's second Team Selection Slam) has been moved from its regular location due to a weather-related building issue (the sidewalk exploded in front of the recording studio and now the front door cannot be safely opened).  The Barberton Gallery of Fine Arts has graciously allowed us to move the reading and poetry slam to their space.  The gallery will open up at 2:00 PM with the work of George and Danya Kurka on display.  The Night Murmurs show will start at 7:00.  The BGFA is located at 33 3rd St. SE #103, Barberton, OH 44203, inside The Village at Anna Dean.
By Vertigo Xavier

Skylark Bruce wins Lake Effect Poetry Team Selection Slam at Writing Knights: Stark

Victory in tonight's Lake Effect Poetry Team Selection Slam at Writing Knights: Stark (at Cultured Coffee in Canton) has been claimed by 2012 and 2014 team member Skylark Bruce!  She is the first of four poets who will comprise the team heading to Rockford, IL this June to compete at the Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam!

The next Team Selection Slam will be this Saturday at Night Murmurs in Akron (Polymer City Records - 730 Portage Trail Ext. W  Akron, OH 44313).  See you there!
By Vertigo Xavier

UPDATE for March 16 Slam at Writing Knights: Stark

UPDATE: The WK:Stark workshop will take place at the Stark County Library (715 Market Avenue N., Canton, OH 44702) at 6:00. After the workshop wraps up at 7:30, everyone will head to Cultured Coffee for the open-mic and the Lake Effect slam.
By Vertigo Xavier

Lake Effect Poetry 2015 Team Selection

NPS 2015 was originally set to be in Newark, NJ, but something happened behind the scenes (I don't know details but would guess it has something to do with venues and money) that has led to this year's National Poetry Slam returning to Oakland, CA.  While this is great for NPS, as the team in Oakland did a terrific job running 2014's event and is sure to put on another spectacular show, it does leave Lake Effect Poetry facing the same problem as last year.  The cost of getting a team from Cleveland to the west coast is greater than we are able to raise funds for.  Unfortunately, this means we won't be competing at NPS again.

The Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam, however, will be in Rockford, IL on June 19 and 20, and is within our reach.

Without the need to adhere to PSI's rules for team selection, we will be simplifying how our 2015 team is selected.  We will hold four slams between March and May in Canton, Akron, and Cleveland.  The winner of each slam will take a spot on the team.

Monday, March 16, 6:00 PM - Writing Knights: Stark at Cultured Coffee - 309 Cleveland Ave. NW  Canton, OH 44702

Saturday, March 21, 7:00 PM - Night Murmurs at Polymer City Records - 730 Portage Trail Ext. W  Akron, OH 44313

Saturday, April 18, 6:00 PM - Stardust Poetry at Karma Cafe - 4339 Dressler Rd. NW  Canton, OH 44718

Monday, May 4, 7:30 PM - Monday at Mahall's Poetry and Prose Series at Mahall's - 13200 Madison Ave.  Lakewood, OH 44107

Poets may compete in as many of these slams as they wish, however a NO REPEAT rule will be in effect.  Repeating a poem used in a previous slam will result in an automatic score of 0.  Once a poet has won a slam, they can still compete at later events but will not be in contention for a second spot on the team.  (There's only one of you and we need four poets to fill the team roster.)  Each slam will have a 3 minute rule, with a 10 second grace period and then one-half point deducted from the score every 10 seconds.  No props, no costumes, no musical instruments, and must be your own material.  All the regular rules.  Every effort will be made to have five judges for each slam, but if unbiased judges are in short supply we will make due with just three.

Some smaller fundraising events will likely be scheduled leading up to the Rustbelt slam.  The team will leave for Rockford, IL on Thursday, June 18 and return to Ohio on Sunday, June 21.  (It is a 9 hour drive, and just once I would like to know what it is like to be well-rested before a major slam competition.)

Please help spread the word about these team selection slams!  We want them to all be STANDING ROOM ONLY events!  Bring a friend (or five)!
By Vertigo Xavier

Lake Effect Poetry's 2014 Team Roster!

After tonight's Stardust Poetry show, your 2014 Lake Effect Poetry team will consist of AKeemjamal Rollins, Siaara Freeman, Skylark Bruce, and Azriel Johnson.

While we aren't sending a team to NPS this year, this team will be competing at the Rustbelt Regional Slam in Detroit.

By Vertigo Xavier