Tag Archives: National Poetry Slam

Recap of Writer’s Block All-Nighter and Other Goings on


I know, I haven’t been on for a little while. Life gets busy, ya know? But I’m here, now, so let’s chat.

Friday night was my 15 minute feature at the Writer’s Block All Nighter at Kafe Kerouac. I went on after my friend, poet Ed Plunkett. He always brings amazing work to the table. So funny. I wish I could write more funny. When the mood hits, maybe…

My feature, it went well. I performed a few of my 30/30 pieces from this past National Poetry Month. I performed a couple of pieces I had just written within the past three days before. And a couple older pieces, including my title piece from my first chapbook (to be published in early 2013… don’t worry, I’ll keep reminding you.) It felt, good, but I do need to start rehearsing some out loud readings again. I don’t want a shaky voice. Time to get in front of the mirror!

I finally got to meet a facebook friend at the All-Nighter. A wonderful young poet named Ben Ditmars. He read from his book, “Night Poems,” and did a very nice job.

I wish I could have stayed longer, but between last year (when I DID stay all night) and this year, I moved in with my life-parrtner (the Mister, we will call him). The Mister does NOT stay up late often. And, on top of that, I ended up with a migraine. Fail. Had to go back home.

Saturday, I did make a return for a Haiku death match. We had 6 poets and two rounds before they started eliminating people. Yeah, it didn’t go so well Saturday. I just wasn’t in my haiku groove. But it was fun… and FUNNY. Two out of three judges had been there overnight, and they were slap-happy. This was a good learning experience, though… haiku about masturbation go a looooong way in a death match. 😉

It was a really good show, Vernell Bristow was an outstanding host and is making a wonderful coach/member of this year’s team. They ended up making 600.00 toward their funding to Charlotte.

If you wish to donate to help these remarkable poets (Vernell, Hanif Abdurraqib, Rose Smith and Gina Blaurock) get to Charlotte, please feel free to donate here: http://writersblockpoetry.rewritingovid.net/DonateToThe2012NPSTeam.php


On other topics, time to really hunker down and get Arts Fest preparations underway. I really want some new poems for Arts Fest. I have starts, just have to get in there and work them around. I really want to start up my crocheting again, too, though. Been itching to make some runners, etc. for my living room set. I’ll fit in. Somehow. I do know that I have to cut back on some things. I have been too tired, lately. I don’t want to burn out on life. Need to prioritize my need to do’s and want to do’s. I love to stay busy, but I have to have that calm time, too. Just every now and again.

Performance updates for the rest of May and early June… and an apology.


Hot diggity, ladies and gents.  Had the BIGGEST surprise this week.  They finally posted the Columbus Arts Fest schedule and I found out that I placed SECOND in the overall competition. That means a 40 minute set on June 2nd at the Word is Art Stage. I go on right after one of my poetry idols, the great Rose Smith, who placed third and gets a 35 minute feature; and right before the winner of the Arts Fest competition, Joanna Schroeder, who will have a 50 minute feature.

Before that, though, I still have my 15 minute feature on Friday the 18th, for the Writer’s Block all -nighter; and it looks like I will be part of a haiku deathmatch on Saturday, the 19th. Gotta school me some folks. 😉

It’s amazing, this past year in Columbus. I remember talking to a friend (friend, teacher, slammaster, poet extraordinaire), and telling him that I had three main goals for my first couple years or so in Columbus: 1. Continue to get published. 2. Make Arts Fest. 3. Make a National Slam Event within two years.

What can I say? Two out of three in the first year isn’t too shabby. I still have work to do Slam-wise.

As to Slamming…

I pretty much had a mini-breakdown after the Grand Slam for the National Team in mid-April.  I came in last. Some outstanding poets (Vernell Bristow, Hanif Abdurraqib, Gina Blaurock and Rose Smith) made the team and will represent Writer’s Block very well in Charlotte this year.  But I admit, fully, that I did not handle coming in last well.

I was tired. I was grumpy. I was fed up with coming in last or near last A LOT.  And so I grumbled. I doubted myself. I wondered if poetry was my thing after all. I alienated people. I ended up weepy and whiny.

And I’m sorry for it.

I try to be the “noble” poet, doing it for the art, etc. You know, that old chestnut. But I admit, I’m human… and sometimes my humanity overwhelms my nobility.  I really wanted to make that team. I wanted to make top 4, EARN my way to the team– NOT beat other people… I don’t think of it that way. I love these people too much to think that way.  I just wanted to be a part of something big and remarkable. And it really stung to know I have to wait another year to try again.  I have spent a lot of time waiting in my life… especially during my marriage.  It just really sucked the life out of me for about a week after the slam, and I wasn’t a good human being. And I really didn’t love poetry for awhile.  I tell you,  I wish I could take it back.

But, I learned that I have to get better. I learned that Imma gonna have to work HARD–especially going up against these poets here in Columbus. I have to make my language rock hard and razor sharp. And I have to learn to enjoy it again. I have to write for me again.  And I have to please myself with my words first and foremost. I won’t please anyone else if I don’t do that.

So, I am set to write this weekend. Formed poetry, free verse, it doesn’t matter. I just want to write.  Create something new and (hopefully) eloquent. And I want to have fun. And I will.

Poetic plans for the Month of May


After the bat-crap craziness that was 30 poems in 30 days in April (which I completed for the first time this year– yay me!), it is time to focus on May.

I do have a mini-feature coming up at Writer’s Block poetry (2250 N. High St. in Columbus). It’s part of an all night event set to raise fund for the WB National Poetry Slam team. I donated for a 15 minute slot from 10:45-11:00 Pm Friday, May 18th.

It’s for a good cause and it’s a great warm up for the feature at this year’s Columbus Arts Fest in early June. I’ll be posting more details on that as I get them.

On the writing front, working on a poetic invite for a client (remind me to tell you about my side gigs, sometime.), and I have a couple of ideas in gestation. Just notes and numbers, but I think they can turn into really good pieces.