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

Stardust Poetry featuring the Lake Effect Poetry Battle for Rustbelt

Lake Effect Poetry is competing at the Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam in Detroit, MI on June 13 and 14.  The first two positions on the team will be filled by our current indie champs AKeemjamal Rollins and Siaara Freeman.  The remaining two spots will be determined by way of poetic slam combat at April's Stardust Poetry show.  This will be a one-round slam with a three-minute rule in effect, so bring out your BEST poem.  Poets competing for a spot on this team must be at least 18 years of age by June 13th and able to commit to being at the two-day event.  (Transportation / car-pools will be worked out once the team roster is finalized: you do not have to find your own way there.)  The two highest-scoring poets will win a place on the 2014 Lake Effect Poetry slam team!  There will be an open-mic before the slam begins.
By Vertigo Xavier


Lake Effect Poetry will not be sending a team to National Poetry Slam this year.

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).

Thank you.


Vertigo Xi'an Xavier
slamministrator, Lake Effect Poetry

By Vertigo Xavier

Lake Effect's Women of the World Grand Slam!

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.)
By Vertigo Xavier