Posts Tagged ‘“Spoken Word”’

Baltimore Poetry & Spoken Word Calendar

February 4, 2009

Well I am blogging less and calendaring more.  I am now coordinating the Event Calendar and Newsletter for Poetry in Baltimore.  I am hoping to convince some other brave souls to work with me on this endeavor.  It is amazing how many events occur in Baltimore.  I am already over 65 events for February alone.  So go check it out.  You can send me new events or changes to daviddrager@poetryinbaltimore.com. Use the same email if you are interested in working with me on this exciting project. 

So now you have no excluse, come out to a reading or an open mic.  Try a new venue.  You will be glad you did.

The calendar:  http://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=dwdrager%40comcast.net&ctz=America

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VERBATIMondays January 5th

January 8, 2009

The features on Monday were Green Tea and Archie the Messenger.   Green Tea was an instant hit with the crowd.  And I felt the same way.  She sang a-capella with a percussionist.  Green Tea combines strong jazz / blues influence with her own lyrics and songs. 

Archie the Messenger returned to Baltimore for this week.  His performance poems/ spoken word pieces were so well known that a number in the audience kept up with him reciting his pieces.  He has a powerful presence and incredible timing.  But I will need to see him again to know how I feel about his poems.  Keeping track of the performance, the words, the sense of what was straight vs. irony left me feeling that I was only scratching the surface of his work.

Another highlight of the night was the host, Rebecca Dupas, who did four pieces including a new piece that I liked.  There were a number of strong performances at the open mic, but not nearly as strong as last month.  I don’t like the come on strong sexually-explicit pick-up poems disguised as love poems.  Perhaps this is a cultural issue, but the women listening did not seem impressed either, especially when it went over the top. 

I did Letter from the Future  at the open mic.  I think it touched some people.  I would not be surprised if it turned a few people off.  It will be interesting to see what the response to this poem is as I read it to different audiences.  There certainly is alot of room to either touch alot of raw nerves or inspire people.    I was hoping to do a new Spoken/Chanted piece “Never Forget”, but I did not have time.  This piece may answer the question that is on the minds of alot a folks at VERBATIMondays and The Art of Conversation, “what is this wierd white guy doing here?”.  I will post it after I have a chance to perform it.

3rd Friday PerVerse – December 19th

December 24, 2008

This was my first time at PerVerse. ( I guess “the first time” is a bit of a theme here.) This reading was for the new edition of the journal Poems Against War. Patric Pepper and Reginald Harris were featured. And of course there was an open mic. I liked the open mic and featured poets. The highlight for me was Reginald Harris’s reading.   I was really impressed with his poetry and delivery.  The low point was getting a call from my wife to run home because our hot water heater was turning our basement into a swimming pool.

In the open mic I did Prophecy and To Albert.

Poetry in Baltimore – 2nd Sundays – December 14th

December 17, 2008

This was my first time at Minas, it is a nice space for smaller readings.  This reading was a Benefit for Hearts Place Shelter, you can still donate just follow the link.  This reading is reviewed on the poetryinbaltimore forum so I will only mention what my personal favorites were.  I liked most of the open mic poets, my favorite were the two women who read together a poem that updates the Persephone myth.  I liked Miriam Botwinik reading which focused on childhood nostalgia.   I also liked Ron Williams performance poetry pieces.  

Overall there was a strong left-liberal political focus in the poetry.  I was okay with it until one of the featured poets pulled out a copy of the Revolutionary something or other and starting reading a piece of political polemic.

In the open mic I read Bad Speed Date and Bryce Remembered.

Art of Conversation – December 13th

December 15, 2008

There was a big crowd at the Art of Conversation.  It was standing room only for late arrivals.  Mo’ Optic was the featured poet.  I was really impressed with her poetry and delivery.  I especially liked the unique musical quality of her delivery.  Unfortunately she does not have a web site, or CD yet.  There is a CD on the way.  So you will have to be patient.

I got a very vivid reminder of the power of words when a poem that I read touched a raw nerve.  Unfortunately, it was not the nerve I was planning to touch.  I am not going to get into it here except to say that it is a cross-cultural poem that involves three cultures and there is certainly room to offend each of the three if done wrong.  So when I figure out how maintain the edge while still get folks to hear my point I will put it online.  But for now you can see the other poem I read Solstice.

There were a number of strong poems in the open mic.  The most interesting turn of the evening was an impromptu freestylin’ dual between that started at the end of the last poem.  The poem was by a male poet whose refrain is “when you gonna give me some ass”, needless to say it was not the most popular with some of the women.  Mo’ Optic took up the challenge and E stopped it after Mo’ scored a TKO.

The Art of Conversation – December 6th

December 8, 2008

Big crowd at The Art of Conversation last Saturday night.  Omekongo Dibinga was featured.  I liked his world-wide focus, his inclusivity and his strong delivery.  He had poems on how Africa is portrayed in the media, the situation in the Congo and on poets on ego trips.  A lot of people read / performed.  Among other highlights several strong poems about women overcoming domestic violence.  A young woman who is a Senior at Hopkins sang, she has a great voice and her own style.

I read Bryce Remembered.

VERBATIMondays December 1

December 7, 2008

This was a big week for me – out for three events this week.  This is my first time at VERBATIMondays and I was glad I went.  The feature was Influence who gave an inspiring performance.  At least half of those performing have been/could be featured.  Unfortunately a number of poets were having trouble remembering their work.   But a number of poets were right on.  One young woman (I am sorry I don’t have her name) was so inspiring that Love the Poet tossed her her pen.  There were a number of exceptional theatrical poems including ones by One Wise African & Lamont Carey.  Even Aquil Mizan got into the act and did a stage fall.   There were also several powerful sung poems.  Other performers tonight included Rebecca Dupas, Labtecwon and E the Poet Emcee.   I also learned an important lessson: never chew gum while performing.

I did two of my poems “Prophecy” and “Christina’s World”