Monthly Archives: January 2016

Misconstruing ‘Slam Poetry’ in Popular Media

Hi everyone! Today I’m posting in response to a frustrating effect I’ve noticed in the public perception of ‘slam poetry.’ For my research, I subscribe to Google News updates which send me daily emails with links to every media article posted that day containing the words “performance poetry,” “spoken word,” or “slam poetry.” Usually these emails are just event bulletins or interviews with poets; however, sometimes unexpected pieces pop up. This past week, I received notice of at least three articles where journalists were describing Sarah Palin’s endorsement speech for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign as “slam poetry”(see video, transcript of the speech; see articles in NY Mag, NY Times, Flavorwire).

Excerpt from NY Mag article "Sarah Palin to Trump Backers: Establishment Can't Tell Us We're Not "Red Enough"" http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/01/palin-trump-endorsement.html#

Excerpt from NY Mag article “Sarah Palin to Trump Backers: Establishment Can’t Tell Us We’re Not “Red Enough”” http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/01/palin-trump-endorsement.html#

Palin’s speech was long and rambling, full of incoherent, disconnected statements, delivered with over-the-top pep, and assumedly it is for those reasons that the sources described it as ‘slam poetry.’ This frustrates me because it indicates a cultural perception that performance poetry is simply passionate babble, lacking artistry or formal constraints. In this post I will briefly explain why this use of the term ‘slam poetry’ to describe Palin’s speech is inaccurate, misinformed, and rather rude. More after the jump!

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Crowdfunding: Tips & Tricks

Hi everyone! Last spring I ran a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund the publication of my first poetry collection and the production of my first poetry video. It was successful beyond my expectations, and now both the collection and the video have been finished and released (you can purchase Homing here and view “Polos” here). The production of both of these projects would not have been possible without the start-up capital I raised through Kickstarter, so I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who supported my campaign and made this work possible. Although the funding period is closed, my campaign page is still up if you’d like to check it out, here.

I was lucky enough to do my Kickstarter campaign right after fellow Loud Poet Kevin Mclean had successfully run his. Yesterday he and I discussed our campaigns for the Loud Poets vlog series on our new YouTube channel. That video contains some of the tips and tricks I list here; I’m publishing this post to have a handy written guide and to add a couple tips not included in the video. Here’s the video if you’d not seen it yet:

Check out more suggestions after the jump!

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