I’ve been working on an idea for a new series of Blog Posts called “My Talented Friends,” in which I spotlight the work (artistic or otherwise) of someone I love.
First up…BUDDY WAKEFIELD!
I met Buddy when I moved to Seattle 10 years ago and went to my first Seattle Poetry Slam. I had already been on the DC Slam Team before moving here, and I remember talking to the DC Slammaster on the phone about my new scene.
Nikki Miller: “So, who’s hot in Seattle?”
me: “BUDDY WAKEFIELD is hot in Seattle.”
Nikki: “Oh, I’ve never heard of him.”
Ten years later, I doubt there is a performance poet in the country who hasn’t heard of Buddy Wakefield. Most can quote you several of Buddy’s lines if not entire poems. Since 2000, Buddy has won the Individual World Poetry Slam (!) TWICE (!!), defended the title at the International Poetry Slam in Rotterdam, toured all over the world as a spoken word artist AND opened on tour for both Ani DiFranco and Sage Francis.
I really can’t say enough about how much I admire Buddy’s work. He proves himself again and again to be one of the freshest writers in the country while fully owning the stage in performance. You can hear echos of Buddy’s unique sound at every slam venue in the country. His footprint on the sound of spoken word poetry is so big, most people don’t know they are hearing it.
These days, Buddy tours with the Revival (this year’s is called “Elephant Engine High Dive Revival Tour“) along with Derrick Brown and Anis Mojgani. This year, the tour has added a fourth member, the insanely talented Shira Erlichman. Watch for the Elephant Engine tour to touch down in Seattle on November 21, location TBD. More tour dates available here.
But, here is the SUPER BIG NEWS about My Talented Friend Buddy. Buddy’s first live spoken word album, LIVE AT THE TYPER CANNON GRAND is being put out by Ani DiFranco’s own independent label Righteous Babe Records! The word on the street is that this album is a definitive spoken word collection that will probably help characterize the movement that is performance poetry.
The official release date for the CD is October 13…BUT the CD will be available on the Revival Tour AND if you order the CD through Buddy’s website, you can probably get your hands on one before the release date.
Also, you should click on Buddy’s home page just to see an insanely cool website. And, if you’ve never heard Buddy Wakefield before, take a look at this performance of his poem “Jean Heath.”
I truly believe that Buddy Wakefield is one of the most exciting writers and performers out there today. Drop everything to attend the Elephant Engine High Dive Revival Tour on Nov. 21 and see for yourself.