Archive for the ‘Chicago’ Category

Ken Nordine — “What Time Is It?”   Leave a comment

R-667478-1341524324-7196.jpegKen Nordine Album Cover: “How Are Things In Your Town?” 1972

Growing up in the Chicago area as a teen and young adult, I often I would listen late night jazz on the radio. One of the shows was that of Ken Nordine reading his poetry while playing jazz. He has one of the best radio voices anywhere. You may have heard his voice and didn’t know who it was, since over the years he has done a lot of voice-over TV commercials. Since his radio show in the sixties, he has done several Word Jazz albums. One of his albums that I have is “How Are Things In Your Town,” which includes, “What Time Is It?”

kenne

Poetry Slam Winner   2 comments

sSlamWinner IIIorg grunge art blogBluebonnet Poetry Slam Winner (April 24, 2004) — Grunge Art by kenne

Based on the premise that a good poem deserves a good performance, in November 1984 a Chicago construction worker, Marc (Slam Papi) Smith, started an open mic night at the Get Me High lounge called the “Monday Night Poetry Reading.”  This was the beginning of the Poetry Slam movement. The signature of Mark’s led slams was the audience yelling,”SO WHAT?!” It was his way of declaring that everyone in the room was just as important for participating as he was for starting the movement.

In the early 2000’s, Carol and Stan Schneider started the Bluebonnet Poetry Slam in Conroe, Texas. Like in Chicago, in the beginning the Bluebonnet Poetry Slam took place in saloons in the Conroe area, and yes, we brought in Marc to conduct the slams. The slams became so popular, the organizers began to work in conjunction with the Friends of Conroe to schedule the annual event at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds where 300-400 attended the event, which attracted some of the best slam poets from around the country. In 2001 & 2002 the Bluebonnet Slam winner was National Poetry Slam champion, Taylor Mali. (See Taylor preform in video below.)

In time the Bluebonnet Poetry Slam died as a result of it’s popularity and moving out of a more intimate saloon setting. Poetry slams must have that “SO WHAT?” element where it can give poetry a stage to say what poets say is valuable, even when we don’t reach the complete potential of a given poem. Slams bring poetry back to its origins, an art experienced through oration and performance, rather than strictly in print.

In a true sense of the word, poetry slams are grunge poetry.

kenne

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