The finals to select the Austin Neo Soul poetry slam team were Tuesday, and I placed 4th, so I’ll be representing Austin Neo Soul at Poetry Slam Nationals in Boston this August.
I kind of enjoyed going as a teamless haiku competitor, but it’ll be real nice to be able to wear a poet badge this year rather than my press badge and all-access badge of the past two years.
The top 5 that night were Korim, Doc, Glory B, myself and Margaret. Korim is now a two-time Neo Soul slam champ, and was on Neo’s team last year which won the Group Piece National Championships. I worked with Doc last year on the B-Sides team and she then went on to join Killeen and place 2nd in the nation (!) so I’m excited to work with her again. Glory B is on the B-Sides this year and Margaret as on the APS team last year. I’m looking forward to working with them.
It was a good night elsewhere for the B-Sides, as Desiree placed 1st at APS, Preston placed 2nd and Chucky Black placed 4th. We’re putting some work in, I’ll be excited to bring what we’ve been doing to Southern Fried this year.
I taught a haiku workshop this past weekend and brought under one place a few of the haiku resources and sites that I’ve used and referenced over the years. Here they are so that people can learn from them and take them and use them in their own workshops!
Issa’s Best does not have as much supplementary matter as the Basho book, but it’s 2.99 on Kindle, so if you’ve got a smartphone with a Kindle app on it (which every writer should ) or the kindle, it’s an excellent value. I wish it was organized a bit differently, but 3 bucks for the ability to pull up haiku by one of the Japanese masters at any time is an excellent value.
There are some other cheap kindle haiku options as well – I’ve started The Classic Tradition of Haiku recently and also love having it as a kindle/smartphone option.
That’s it for now, but I intend to keep this updated as I learn more. Feed me some more examples of haiku in the ‘real world’ – those apparently I get from other people.
Last night at Neo Soul was the last chance slam, which means next week is the finals! It’ll be at 9:00 at Midtown Live Sports Cafe, and it should be fantastic. Last year I placed 2nd to last. This year? Who knows! Hopefully better.
This past weekend was the Austin International Poetry Festival, and I partook by leading a haiku workshop and hosting a Haiku Deathmatch. The workshop went well for being my first time leading a workshop for non 7th-graders, and I’m happy to have that material available for the future. And the learning! I learned quite a bit putting it together, and I’ve got some editing to do for my haiku. The deathmatch went well too, and I didn’t do a terrible job hosting. It turned into an open mic followed by Joe Brundidge and I duking it out on stage deathmatch style and that was a lot of fun. Joe’s got a lot of haiku .
And the B-Sides are in full swing preparing for Southern Fride, and I’m doing things.
It has occurred to me that only rarely do I have anything of substance to say here.
Expect this to continue!
Tomorrow! I will do a poem without substance and a poem with substance over at the Return of the Spoken Groove. Doors at 7:30, show at the SpiderHouse Ballroom, funds will go towards the 2013 Southern Fried Poetry Slam team, which I’m on now. The poem without substance will be more fun to perform .
Recently, I failed to get onto the Austin Poetry Slam nationals team, and failed to get to the second round of the Write Bloody open submission competition. I thought I had a very good shot at both. With the Austin Poetry Slam, I went up first and lost some points as scores inevitably got higher throughout the night. With Write Bloody, I submitted everything to them in the wrong font, maybe that. Probably not that.
The year is 100 days old today, and I’ve been in 20 shows/open mics/poetry slams this year (+1 improv show). This makes the math very easy, and I’ve apparently been doing a show every 5 days. I recall thinking that my January was busy because it had a show a week, but apparently this is the norm. Last year I had been in 12 shows at this point, the year before, 7. Look at that work ethic!
This weekend I’m hosting a haiku workshop and a haiku deathmatch as part of the Austin International Poetry Festival; I’ve done neither before, we’ll see how they go. Friday is a show as well – it don’t stop! Not long after that, there’s the Neo Soul Last Chance Slam, followed by their Finals on the 23rd, so I’ve got another shot at a nationals team. Plus, Southern Fried practice is beginning, and I’ve got things to write and group pieces to figure out.
Austin Poetry Slam had their semi-finals last night and I placed fourth, so I’ll be competing for a spot on their team on final stage on Saturday. I don’t think I came in with the right set of poems, and had to burn a big one to through that I wanted toget hold onto, so I’ve got a set to figure out for Saturday. It’ll be fun whatever comes of it.
It’s National Poetry Month, which means that I could write a poem a day, but I might be too busy with poetry to write a poem a day.
April 2nd – Austin Poetry Slam Semifinals
April 6th – Austin Poetry Slam Finals
April 12th – show
April 13th – Austin International Poetry Festival Haiku Workshop leading
April 14th – AIPF Haiku Head to Head hosting
Somewhere else in April – Neo Soul finals
And improv and manuscript editing and submissions throughout.
And possibly working on a slam team?
But I like it this way. It’ll be a fun month even if I fail at everything.
Haiku are easy, right? Maybe I’ll at least do one of those a day.
Since I took up slam over three years ago now, Danny Strack has been not only one of the poets I enjoy the most, but also one who I respect the most as a person. He’s influenced my approach to slam and thinking a lot over the years and this is something which is easily seen in my recent streak of reading 33 poems without repeating at the Austin Poetry Slam.
Danny’s had a similar streak going, but it was one which started when we moved to our new venue at the SpiderHouse Ballroom, back in early 2011, I think. No one at the venue has heard Danny read the same poem twice there, which is pretty nuts. He is up to 99 poems now, and is set to break the poetry slam-wise record of 103.
We were up against each other this past week, where if I got into the third round I would hit 33 poems, and if he got into the third round he would hit 100. He made it into the second round, but I came up and got into the third round, so he is not at 99 and I’m a third that at 33. It’s been since the APS finals last year that I repeated a poem, but it needs to end because finals season is coming around again and I need to try to get on a team .
Which that’s coming up in a few weeks here. There are APS quarterfinals at the end of this month and semifinals and finals at the beginning of April. Neo Soul will also have their finals sometime in April as well.
In the meantime, I’ll be in Vancouver next week relaxing, hanging out with some friends, and also apparently doing a Haiku Deathmatch. I’ve also got a Write Bloody open submission to get submitted, a manuscript to work on, and SXSW valet and transportation work on top of the usual marketing work.
Time Sprung Forward today and it made me look really lazy, because now I woke up at 2pm.
Tuesday night is the Variety Showcase Showdown – after multiple variety shows in the fall, the best of the best are competing for over 1k in cash Tuesday night. Poetry, comedy, music, magic, other things which I don’t yet know about! Full details here.
Friday night is BedPost Confessions’ poetry show. I am very looking forward to doing poetry in front of this group – they’re the perfect audience for some of my pieces and I’m looking forward to seeing friends Ebony Stewart and Lacey Roop bring it as well.
Sunday night is my improv showcase, which is great, because since I don’t know what I’m going to do there yet, I don’t need to rehearse. Other than the classes I’ve already put in, but not having to figure out my set and get the performance of it nailed is an excellent feeling.
And I’ll have video of these performances to share afterwards, how fun!
Also this week is rather more work than I’d like – I have to be at valet by 9:30am tomorrow, damnit.