Posts Tagged With: #berkeleyslam

The Berkeley Slam featuring JAZ SUFI!

Our feature, Jaz Sufi!

THE LONGEST RUNNING POETRY SLAM IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA!
Bringing you some of the best poetry from across the world, every week, since 1999.

https://www.facebook.com/events/755538534518634/
https://twitter.com/berkeleyslam
http://berkeleypoetryslam.tumblr.com/

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Last week was a fantastic show — the workshop was full, the slam list was packed, and the audience loved every second of it. This week, your feature is Jaz Sufi! If you’ve been to the Berkeley Slam, you’ve probably seen Jaz hosting, slamming, or just running around the Plough. Now come see her feature!

Your host for the night will be Dre, with house band Three Blind Mice!

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Jaz Sufi is a poet, a Bay Area native, and delighted to make your acquaintance. At 18, she became the slammaster of the Legendary Santa Cruz Indie Slam and the youngest slammaster of a PSI-certified venue in the country. Later that year, she assistant coached her team to place 8th at the 2011 National Poetry Slam. She competed on the city of Stockton’s Pierced Ear Poets team in 2012 and 2013, as well as being voted audience’s choice both years at inkSlam, and represented San Francisco at the 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam. She was also a featured poet at the 2011 USF Creative Justice Art Show, and will be published in the upcoming Hurt to Hope Anthology. Sometimes Jaz is sad in her poems, and that’s fine, but sometimes she’s not, and that’s fine, too.

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UPCOMING

November 19: Aleysha Wise
November 26: Sock Puppet Slam! Just like a regular slam, but sock-style!
December 3: Donny Jackson
December 10: Ela Barton

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!
Workshop: 6:30 p.m. 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/

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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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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Berkeley Poetry Slam featuring ZACHARY CABALLERO and GOOD GHOST BILL!

Berkeley Poetry Slam featuring ZACHARY CABALLERO and GOOD GHOST BILL!

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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The regular slam is back this week and we have Good Ghost Bill and Zachary Caballero all the way from Austin, TX. They’ve been a part of some of the most successful slam teams to come out of the weirdest city in Texas.

Come sign up for the slam and get points to qualify to the Berkeley Slam rep at IWPS this year!

Your host for the night will be Toaster!

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UPCOMING
May 28: Good Ghost Bill and Zachary Caballero
June 4: Carrie Rudzinski
June 11: Jared Paul
June 18: TBA

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/

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5 Questions with David Winter

David Winter Author Photo

 

by Jason Bayani

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Tonight our feature at the Berkeley Slam is David Winter. He’s been published in several lit journals and is currently an MFA candidate at THE Ohio State University. This is his first time featuring at the Berkeley Slam and we’re exciting to have him come through. So let’s get this 5 Questions thing going…

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The Berkeley Poetry Slam featuring DAVID WINTER

david

 

THE LONGEST RUNNING POETRY SLAM IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA!
Bringing you some of the best poetry from across the world, every week, since 1999.

http://berkeleyslam.org/
https://twitter.com/berkeleyslam
http://berkeleypoetryslam.tumblr.com/
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David Winter wrote the poetry chapbook Safe House (Thrush Press, 2013). His poems also appear in Atlanta Review, Union Station, Four Way Review, For Some Time Now: Performance Poets of New York City and other publications. David is currently an MFA student in Creative Writing at The Ohio State University and an Associate Poetry Editor for The Journal. He has taught creative writing in jails, at an LGBT senior center, and at Ohio State.

Your host for the night will be Jaz Sufi!

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UPCOMING
May 21: YOUTH SHOW with Jazz Monique Hudson! Priority on the list goes to poets under 18!
May 28: Good Ghost Bill and Zachary Caballero
June 4: Carrie Rudzinski

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/

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5 Questions with Brynn Saito

by Jason Bayani

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To kick off Asian / Pacific Islander American Heritage Month at the Berkeley Slam, we have  the enormously talented, Brynn Saito as our feature. Her first book, The Palace of Contemplating Departure was the winner of the Benjamin Saltman award and subsequently published by Red Hen Press. She’s a graduate of UC Berkeley and holds two Masters degrees from NYU and Sarah Lawrence. Bottom line, she’s dope, let’s get to the questions.

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5 Questions with Joaquin Zihuatanejo

by Betsy Gomez

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“This week’s feature needs a place to stay. Can he crash at your place?” With those words (or some approximation of them), Joaquin Zihuatanejo and I ended up become fast friends, spending many an hour discussing everything from slam to comic books to movies to a shared love of fried chicken. I didn’t know his work before he stayed at my house, but I pretty quickly learned that Joaquin is every bit as compassionate, fearless, inspirational, energetic, funny, and wise as his poetry is. There’s that old nugget about talking the talk and walking the walk — I’m pretty sure it started with Joaquin Zihuatanejo.

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5 Questions with Jamie DeWolf

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by Jason Bayani

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Jamie was one of the first guys I met in slam. We also lived together for a few years. People always ask me questions about it when they find out like it must have been all insane and crazy but I’m pretty sure when it came to living habits, I was probably more strange.

He’s one of the first people I’ve ever met who managed to make the art happen at the same time in several different spaces. I’ve always had a deep appreciation for what he creates on paper or film. Sometimes I think some of his most intriguing art  is what happens the moment he hits the stage. It’s not just the pushing or discomfort he can make you feel at times, but the kind of pull you feel into accepting your base urges. It’s a kind of transformation not a lot of poets feel comfortable in inducing. But Jamie is right at home with it.

He’s become so much more than a poet over the years. He’s a filmmaker who directed the movie, Smoked, and is responsible for several of the Youth Speaks produced videos going viral right now. He’s one of the most sought after hosts and is running what is probably the biggest monthly event in the Bay Area. He’s a segment producer and has often been featured on NPR’s Snap Judgement. And he’ll still come by and perform at the slam or coach teams every once in a while.

He’s been interviewed a lot because, as many of you know, he is the great grandson of L. Ron Hubbard and a vocal opponent of Scientology. But I was hoping to get more of a peek into his artistic processes and find out what makes the work he creates.

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5 Questions With Jade Sylvan

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by Jason Bayani

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We are back with 5 Questions after a brief hiatus (mostly because we went two weeks without a feature). Our slam team selection process begins this week as the first round of semifinals kicks off. Our feature is Write Bloody author, Jade Sylvan. Jade recently released, Kissing Oscar Wilde, an autobiographical novel that travels the familiar territory of the Bohemian artist in Paris, while serving to break and deconstruct the conventions most commonly associated with it. She’s a multi-talented artist and member of the 2013 Boston Poetry Slam Team. She also released the film, Ten, this year and has been published in Pank and Radius.

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