Hello dear readers.
What a week! Seattle schools are on Spring Break, so I decided to lock myself in my house and work my Young Adult novel. I am happy to report that it paid off in the completion of the 3rd draft with a better ending. However, it robbed me of nearly all my blogging time, so my usual slam run down will have to be sacrificed for the sake of the in-house retreat. A brief summary of the slam still makes it in, but first…some good news!
Good news! My poetry manuscript was chosen as a finalist for the indie publishing house Write Bloody. Out of 226 manuscripts, I made it into the top 18
along with some of my favorite writers, Jeanann Verlee, Carlos Andres Gomez, Jason Mcbeth and one of my besties Robbie Q. Now the hard part- of these 18, only 6 will be chosen for publication. Send me your positive vibrations, please!
Other good news! I have a poem in this month’s issue of Seattle Magazine. You grab a print copy or can see it online here.
And now…the slam!
I don’t know what craziness was going on at Spitfire this week, but our pastoral mural was missing and the lighting was made for a gulag interrogation room. It wasn’t pretty to watch, but it did create amazing shadows on the back wall. Here is my favorite of the poet Morris Stegosaurus, who did gorgeous work in the slam and made me glad he is back in Seattle.
Our feature this week was Sean Conlon from the Boston area, formerly of Hampshire College. Sean is a good friend who I met at iWPS this year and a hell of a writer. Sean doesn’t write a simple line of poetry, ever. He writes lines like, “screaming of infant birds nesting the eaves…the failure of the nuclear family.” My brain spent plenty of time catching up with him and my brain liked that. Sean is one of the most well read performance poets I know. He reads everyone, stage and page, and apparently he reads constantly. He told me that he reread my chapbook before coming to Seattle just so he could talk to me about it. It’s like that.
This attention to the craft of both poetry and performance really shows in Sean’s work. He has become pretty masterful on stage. He did about 7 poems all off page Wednesday night and you got the feeling that he could have kept going like that for a long time. At one point, someone walked up to hand him a glass of water during one of his poems and me managed to motion to the person, take the water, never break concentration with his lines and make it all look natural.
It is too difficult for me to pick a favorite poem that Sean did, although I’m tempted to go with “Dear Pornography.” Instead, I’m going to pick a favorite section of all of his poems…the end. He has a remarkable ability to find exactly the right ending for a poem. I think whenever I’m stuck for ending a poem from now on, I’m calling Sean. Overall, gorgeous work from a young, emerging talent.
The slam itself was great on Wednesday. Lots of different voices, lots of improvement among the poets we’ve been hearing for a while. Kudos to Brian Enriquez who slammed for the first time like an old hand. Brian has been a regular for a while and threw his hat in the ring last night. He was great. Keep it up Brian!
I also want to see Sunny Rivera come back to the slam. Sunny had the unfortunate position of going first and got knocked out. I want to hear more!
In the end, the prizes came down like this:
1st place: Sara Brickman
2nd place: St. Even
3rd place: Dain Michael Down