Monthly Archives: June 2014

Re-Imagining Progress: The Power of the Word

Re-Imagining Progress: The Power of the Word

This Sunday you can see poetry legends Patricia Smith and Willie Perdomo along with Lorna Dee Cervantes, Denise Jolly, Sonya Renee, Josh Healey, and a whole host of incredible poets including Berkeley Grand Slam champs, Katelyn Lucas and Jason Bayani. You can see this entire show for free! But those seats are going quick so you will need to register with the event here or you may not be able to get in and bear witness to what will be an amazing night of poems!

https://reimagening-progress-power-of-word.eventbrite.com/

WHEN: Sunday, June 29, 2014, 5:30 pm (Doors will open at 4:45 pm for seating.)

WHERE: The David Brower Center at 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704. One of the Bay Area’s most advanced green buildings, the nonprofit David Brower Center is an inspiring home for environmental and social action.

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https://www.facebook.com/events/817577711594954/

THE LONGEST RUNNING POETRY SLAM IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA!
Bringing you some of the best poetry from across the world, every week, since 2000.

http://berkeleyslam.org/
https://twitter.com/berkeleyslam
http://berkeleypoetryslam.tumblr.com/

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This Wednesday, the Berkeley Slam is excited to present our first ever SUPPORT THE BAR SLAM! We’ve been at the Starry Plough since the very first slam nearly fifteen years ago, and with all the love and support we’ve gotten from them, we want to give some back. This will be a night of drinks and the drinking thereof, with drinking games and drink specials for poets and audience alike!

Read on for the rules!

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Sign up works the same: the list opens at 7:30 and closes at 8:10, with ten poets* chosen through random draw. The twist: when it’s your turn, you come on stage and draw a second number. The audience will chant up until that number, and it’s your job to chug your drink until they stop. Failure results in a penalty game!

That’s not all for the audience, however. Everyone who buys a drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic!) gets a free slam bingo card. Take a drink every time you hear one of the squares. First one to bingo gets a free drink!

* All competing poets must be 21+ and will be asked to show ID after the draw is completed. All poets are required to buy at least one drink for the game, with subsequent drinks offered at a discount.

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UPCOMING

June 25: Battle of the Bay!
July 2: Sam Sax
July 9: Tova Charles and Zai Sadler
July 16: Return of the Poet Swap! Come watch your favorite poets do poems inspired by your OTHER favorite poets!

THE STARRY PLOUGH
3101 Shattuck Avenue, 510-841-2082
(1 block uphill from the Ashby BART).
EVERY WEDNESDAY
$7 – $10 sliding scale (most nights)
Cash Prizes!
Sign-up: 7:30 p.m. Show: 8:15 p.m.
ALL AGES before 10 p.m.

Slam Rules and Info: https://berkeleypoetryslam.wordpress.com/about/
Berkeley Slam History: https://berkeleypoetryslam.wordpress.com/history-2/

Categories: Uncategorized

5 Questions with Carrie Rudzinski

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by Danez Smith

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*editor’s note*

5 Questions is back and we have a good one for you today. We are very excited to have Carrie Rudzinski featuring at the Berkeley Slam this Wednesday. She’s toured all over the world, was a finalist at WOWPS this year (and the year before!), and has been published in several lit journals. She’s a talented writer and a moving, powerful performer on the stage. Come to the show this Wednesday and see for yourself!

AND our interviewer this week is one of the hardest working poets in the game, today: New Shit Show grand slam champ, one of the stars of Chasing Mehserle, Youth Speaks program associate, and author of the soon to be released, ‘[insert] Boy from YesYes Books, Danez Smith!

So let’s kick this off.

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1. So you lived everywhere and once told me you lived nowhere. I was wondering how have your travels and your many, many homes transformed your writing? Is your process informed by where you are currently rooted?

I think traveling so much has led my homes to be rooted in people, less in cities or buildings or beds. That definitely effects who I am and how I’m writing. Denver specifically transformed my writing because it was the longest I had stayed anywhere in two years. So I was able to invest and listen and grow within a community for the first time since I left Boston. Of course it’s always going to be a balance of where I’m at physically and where I’m at emotionally and how they blend. I love that it can take a while for a country or city or experience to be loud enough inside me to be noticed but when I scoop them out they can transport me to that balcony in India or that truck stop in Iowa.

 

2. The first time I heard your poetry, I knew I was a fan from the moment you said ‘street light arms’. Your images often strike with a wild abandon. Where do your images come from? How do you build the body of your poems? What poets have influence that wild beast of an imagination of yours?

Mmm it was mutual love at first CUPSI.

I am a visual learner, I studied film in college, and it was a huge compliment when people would tell me during my early (very image heavy) work that it felt like watching a film. I’ve always started poems by collecting images in a word bank and having pages of notes: I’ll sit in a room and let word association take over while I make a list of things I can see. By having a thick word bank, I’m able to jump into a poem with a lot of the work already done and juxtapose surprising images. I really like making up words.

Some of my biggest influences have been Brian S. Ellis, Omoizele Okoawo, April Ranger, Rachael Mckibbens, and Gypsee Yo.

 

3. What poem(s) do you want to marry?

Sherman Alexie’s poem “Tiny Treaties.”

 

4. You’ve become a major player on the touring market and you have conquered all the slam finals that there are to finalize in. Where do you see your career in 10 years? What dreams are you muscling into reality?

Oh God, I can’t plan my life more than three to six months in advance and you’re talking about 10 years. You and my dad are asking the same questions. I have a lot of artistic dreams outside of poetry I want to develop over the next few years but I know that poetry is so necessary to my survival – it just keeps opening doors and I keep going through them and feeling lucky. I think I’d like to drop everything at some point and just tour for a full straight year without anything else on my plate again. And teach more. I just taught at Cal State Northridge for six weeks and it was an incredible experience. There’s a couple big dreams I’m working on making happen this year but I’m gonna keep my head down and rub some rabbit feet for now.

 

5. What has poetry taught you about yourself?

That my voice can be and is important.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

Berkeley Poetry Slam featuring CARRIE RUDZINSKI

carrie

THE LONGEST RUNNING POETRY SLAM IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA!
Bringing you some of the best poetry from across the world, every week, since 2000.

http://berkeleyslam.org/
https://twitter.com/berkeleyslam
http://berkeleypoetryslam.tumblr.com/

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This Wednesday, the Berkeley Slam is excited to bring you the incredibly talented Carrie Rudzinski!

Come sign up for the slam and get points to qualify to compete at Berkeley’s IWPS finals in the fall!

Your host for the night will be Jaz Sufi!

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Named “Best Female Poet” at her first national poetry competition in 2008, Carrie Rudzinski has since performed her work across the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and India. Ranked 7th in the world at the 2013 Individual World Poetry Slam, Carrie also placed 14th at the 2011 Women of The World Poetry Slam and 2nd at the 2011 Underground Individual Slam at NPS. Her work has been published in such collections as Words Dance, Muzzle, OnMag, Catalyst, and Alight. Her most recent book, The Shotgun Speaks, was published in 2013 and is available on Amazon.

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UPCOMING
June 4: Carrie Rudzinski
June 11: Jared Paul
June 18: TBA
June 25: Battle of the Bay!
July 2: Sam Sax

THE STARRY PLOUGH
3101 Shattuck Avenue, 510-841-2082
(1 block uphill from the Ashby BART).
EVERY WEDNESDAY
$7 – $10 sliding scale (most nights)
Cash Prizes!
Sign-up: 7:30 p.m. Show: 8:15 p.m.
ALL AGES before 10 p.m.

Slam Rules and Info: https://berkeleypoetryslam.wordpress.com/about/
Berkeley Slam History: https://berkeleypoetryslam.wordpress.com/history-2/

Categories: Uncategorized

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