Let's be honest, participation in our slams has dwindled significantly since last summer. Many of our poets have moved on (whether for jobs, school, or actually, in fact, moving away) or lost interest in competing. We've had just-for-fun slams where nobody signed up to compete before, but now this has happened for the second time at a LEP qualifier. The message is clear: we need to take a year off and focus on rebuilding our community, focus on bringing new poets and patrons into the slam scene. While not going to NPS is disappointing (I was really looking forward to taking a team to Oakland), this is necessary.
In order to ensure we will be able to put a team together next year, we need your help. We need you to help us grow the audience at all the poetry shows that take place across north-east Ohio. If you have friends who write or enjoy reading poetry, bring them to a show. If you participate in writing workshops, encourage the other authors there to check out some open readings. Help us get new faces and voices active at the many shows in our region.
I also want to say THANK YOU to Joshua Gage (host of the Deep Cleveland Poetry Hour) and Azriel Johnson (boss of Writing Knights), whose shows we had planned to hold qualifiers at (in addition to my own Stardust Poetry events).
Vertigo Xi'an Xavier
slamministrator, Lake Effect Poetry
Lake Effect Poetry and The Poet's Haven present the First Friday Poetry Spectacular at Karma Café in Canton, Ohio! December 6th's show is the Lake Effect Poetry Women of the World Grand Slam!
This month is a special event to determine who will represent Lake Effect Poetry at 2014's Women of the World Poetry Slam in Austin, Texas March 20th through 22nd!
● This will be a 4-round slam. Points will be cumulative.
● The rounds will be 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 4 minutes, and 1 minute.
● Each round will have a 10-second grace period, after which points will be deducted.
● All poems must be original. This is a solo competition.
● No musical accompaniment is permitted. No props may be used in the performances.
The winner will be crowned Lake Effect's WOW Champion for 2014 and will represent northeast Ohio at WOWPS. (The winner will also be required to take part in fund-raising efforts prior to the trip.)
This competition is open to any poets who identify as women and will be at least 18 years of age by March 19th. The winning poet must be a registered member of Poetry Slam Inc. by the end of December.
An open-mic will precede the slam for anyone who wishes to perform without entering or whom is ineligible for the competition (ie: dudes).
This is an ALL-AGES/UNMODERATED event, meaning that everyone is welcome to attend and participate, but parents should be aware that some performances may contain adult language and content.
There is no cover charge to attend this event, but please show your thanks and support for the venue by buying food and beverages from the café. Karma has great sandwiches and wraps! (NO OUTSIDE FOOD IS PERMITTED IN THE CAFE, other than food-drive donations. We really shouldn't have to tell folks this. I mean, if you went in Red Lobster and sat down to eat a bag from McDonalds, they would throw you out. Please don't make me throw you out. Thanks.)
This will be at the Berklee Performance Center (136 Massachusetts Ave, Boston). Final Stage HAS SOLD OUT. However, it was announced at Friday's Slammaster Meeting that this year's Final Stage will be broadcast LIVE on the internet FOR FREE! A URL for this broadcast is not available at the time of this posting, but it will be posted on either the NPS site (http://nps2013.poetryslam.com), the Berklee College of Music site (http://www.berklee.edu/BPC), or the NPS Twitter and Facebook feeds (https://twitter.com/nationalslam and https://www.facebook.com/NationalPoetrySlam).
I broke tradition tonight in the draw by pulling the "B." We didn't have to go first!!! Salt City Slam went first, Sedona drew third, and Lawn Gnome got the coveted "D."
The bout was beautiful, every team's material flowed brillaintly, oftentimes with one team's poem setting up the next team perfectly. You couldn't have asked for a better lineup of poems even if it was coming from a prearranged set-list!
In the first round we sent up the Arianna / AKeem / Caira group piece "Black Culture" and scored a 27.8. Salt City's Willy Palomo scored a 24.9. Valence from Sedona scored 25.6. A group piece from Lawn Gnome scored 26.6. We were in the lead by 1.2 points!
Caira went up in the second round with "Something to be Burned," scoring 26.1 after a group piece from Sedona got a 25.7, a group piece from Salt City scored 27.7, and Lawn Gnome's Joy Young got a 27.1. Our lead was down to just .2 points...
In the third round, AKeem's "In Response to Women Who Say Men Can't Write About Rape" scored an even 28, as did Ryan Brown from Sedona. Lauren Perry from Lawn Gnome scored 26.2 and another group piece from Salt City picked up 28.3. Salt City moved into second, but we now had a 1.5 point lead!
Christine opened the fourth round with "My Passing 1988," leaving not a dry eye in the house and scoring 27.7. This provided a perfect setup for Lawn Gnome's The Klute's "Adam and Steve" piece, but it only scored 27.4. Salt City finished with a piece drawing comparisons between a poetry team (and the poetry community as a whole) and the Voltron Lion Force, scoring a 26.7. Frank O'Brien from Sedona closed the slam, scoring a 26 even.
At the end of the night, Sedona had a score of 105.3, Salt City had 107.1, Lawn Gnome had 107.3, and Lake Effect Poetry had 109.6!
We won tonight's bout!
First up was AKeemjamal Rollins with "How to Love a Closeted Man (From the Wrong Side of the Door)" scoring 24.6.
Next was Christine Howey with "I Gotta Go," which had the crowd chanting "TEN TEN TEN" but got a score of 25.1.
Then was Arianna Cheree's "Black Girl Problems I" which collected a 25.7.
Finally, up went Caira Lee with "Broken Sentences," scoring 26.2.
It was a fierce bout, with great work delivered by Portland, Jambala Soul/Bull City, and Hear Here. Lake Effect ended up finishing 4th in the bout. Portland picked up the 1. While a 4th place finish tonight means the team won't be in semifinals, we do still have our second bout tomorrow night. We will be up against Sedona, Lawn Gnome, and Salt City Slam.
We would like to send a special big THANK YOU to:
AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland
The DOBAMA Theatre
Mac's Backs Books
MoCa Coffee House
The Poet's Haven (yeah, I know, it's a bit tacky thanking my own press...)
The Root Cafe
Writing Knights Press
We do still have copies of the 2013 team anthology available, and our online art auction is still ongoing. The team might be on the way to NPS, but we also need to raise the funds to get our indie champion (to be determined in a slam after NPS) to Individual World Poetry Slam in October! :-)
So, I've fallen behind posting news updates here on the Lake Effect site. We post news on the LEP Facebook page regularly, but I keep forgetting to post the items here.
This Friday will see the 2-minute IWPS qualifier at the Root-N-Slam show.
Next Friday will see the 4-minute IWPS qualifer at the First Friday Poetry Spectacular.
We are only 51% of the way to this year's fundraising goal. We have raised 70% of the bare-minimum funds we need to get the team to National Poetry Slam in August, with nothing left over to send a poet to Individual World Poetry Slam in October.
Our next (and final) fundraiser will be the Showcase at the Dobama Theatre on August 1st. The team will be performing from the playbook, and we will have lots of raffle baskets there. PLEASE come out and support your slam team!
We have several items that didn't sell in the Art Auction we held at Mac's Backs. It wasn't that folks didn't want the items, we just had more items up for auction than what our bidders could purchase. Since there isn't time to stage another art auction before NPS, we have set up an online auction here on the Lake Effect website. We've also had some new contributions come in that have been listed as well. Check it out at: http://www.lakeeffectpoetry.com/auction/
If you haven't yet purchased a copy of the 2013 Team Anthology, please do so! This 52 page collection features work from the 2013 Lake Effect Poetry slam team: AKeemjamal Rollins, Christine Howey, Caira Lee, and Arianna Cheree, plus poems from: team alternate REDD; 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam representative Eris Zion Venia; 2012 Lake Effect team members T.M. Göttl, Carla Thompson, and Skylark Bruce; and 2013 point finalists Joshua Gage and Azriel Johnson. It only costs $10.00, and that includes free shipping! You can also still pick up the 2012 Team Anthology for $6.00, or get both anthologies for $15.00! Order at: http://www.lakeeffectpoetry.com/donate/