Poets Wanted for the Seventh Avenue Streetscape

Categories: Poetry, Public Art

7th Ave Streetscape Haiku by Aaron Johnson, art by Eve Vrla
The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture's looking for local poets for its ninth annual 7th Avenue Streetscape exhibition.

Up to four poems that aim to "broaden public thinking about reuse, recycling and a greener environment" will be selected for be selected for a yearlong public art display on the art panels at Glenrosa Street and Seventh Avenue.

See also:
- View Renderings and Weigh in on Future Projects by Scottsdale Public Art
- Tempe's University Drive to Get a Bike and Pedestrian Makeover in 2013
- Valerie Vadala Homer to Retire from Post as Director of Scottsdale Public Art

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SB1348 Heads to Governor's Desk to Establish an Arizona Poet Laureate

Categories: News, Poetry

As of last week, Arizona was one of eight states without a State Poet Laureate, a position established in states and countries around the world, in which a local established poet educates students and residents about poetry and literature.

For the last 18 months, members of the Arizona Commission on the Arts worked with Senator Al Melvin on SB1348, legislation that develops a position and selection process for an Arizona Poet Laureate, who will serve as a educational liaison between public agencies, private nonprofits and schools.

And now, the community and the Commission just have to wait for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's signature of approval.

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Rita Dove on Poetic History, Her Book Sonata Mullatica, and Her Upcoming Visit to ASU

Categories: Events, Poetry
rita dove 2010.jpg
Rita Dove
If National Poetry Month had its own celebrity spokesperson, you couldn't do better than Rita Dove.

She has the kind of musical voice that makes everything she says sound like poetry, and she is frequently photographed wearing bright lipstick.

She also has a laundry list of major credentials, like the Pulitzer Prize and a 2011 National Medal of Arts from President Obama.

Dove is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, but from1981 to 1989, she taught creative writing here in Arizona, at ASU. She'll be back in the Valley April 12, to deliver the annual Lorraine W. Frank Lecture for the Arizona Humanities Council, sponsored by ASU's Project Humanities, in honor of poetry month.

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Steampunk Sonnet Slam at Gotham City Comics & Coffee

Courtesy of Aaron Johnson
Johnson's "Jobot" costume at the Alwun House Steampunk show.
If your inner-Shakespeare's dying to get out, clad in a leather corset, dust-stained goggles, and rustic thigh-high boots, you might want to mark down Gotham City Comics & Coffee's Steampunk Sonnet Slam.

This Saturday, June 11, from 6 to 8 p.m., local poet Aaron Johnson will be hosting the fiction-driven poetry slam at the Mesa comic book store, located near the intersection of Main and MacDonald streets.
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Slammed: Phoenix Poetry Events in October

Categories: Literary, Poetry
via David McKelvey on Flikr
Phoenix is a city with many unsung virtues, one of which happens to be its active poetry scene.

With open mics scattered across the Valley happening almost every night, there are plenty of opportunities to hear and speak the written word.

And over the next two weeks, a few additional events are adding to the busy buzz of poetic activity in town.

Check out details on the annual Poetry Industrial Complex, the new weekly Pink Slip Poetry Slam, and the one-off Benefit For Jeremiah Blue after the jump ...

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Spotted: Restless: An Arts Anthology

photo by Claire Lawton
Looks like there's a new arts rag in town.

Restless is an East Valley arts anthology (we nabbed ours at POOL, in Mesa, and have been told you can also grab a copy at Evermore Nevermore) that just released its first issue. Inside you can expect to find creative writing, illustration, photography and poetry from creatives all over "with a strong emphasis on those from the cities and communities of the East Valley."

It was started by Amber Brosovich, David Crummey and Owen Stupka, who say Issue One was much postponed due to Glee.

They're currently looking for artists and writers for future issues. (For issue two, they're looking specifically for illustrations and fiction in the retro-futurism genre.)

Submissions must be sent by Sept. 24 to submissions@restlessanthology.com.

Get $100 for Your Poetry at the Anthology Invitational

Categories: Poetry
dwayne bitches.jpg
The key is to emote, like poet Dwayne Bitches. Oh, and to pick a cool name.
Thought the sappy love poems you wrote in your high school notebook were worthless? Think again. Those gems could be worth $100, if you manage to dig 'em up and perform 'em well at the Anthology Invitational Poetry Slam, 8 p.m. on Friday, May 22 at Club Mardi Gras, 8040 East McDowell Rd. in Scottsdale.
How do I score some cash, you ask? It won't be easy. Seven well-known Arizona poetry venues from Flagstaff to Phoenix to Tucson were asked to provide one of their top poets to compete in the event.
Those seven performers -- who include International Poetry Slam Champion Ed Mabrey of Black Pearl Poetry and professional writer Christopher Fox Graham -- will be joined by the first seven people to sign up at 8 p.m. on the night of the event.
Rules after the jump...
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Poet Plans to Bomb Phoenix Next Week, and Other Less Bizarre Poetry Month News

Categories: Poetry

Bet you didn't know April is National Poetry Month. Even if you did, there are millions more across the Valley who didn't. How best to get modern Americans interested in rhyme schemes, haiku and iambic pentameter? Bring a six-foot bomb to the heart of a city near you.

Photo by Lorraine Perrotta
This bombshell is a real beauty.
​That's the crazy scheme nationally recognized poet and former LA Weekly writer S.A. Griffin is planning. Griffin purchased a defunct U.S. military practice bomb for $100 from some dude on Craigslist in November of last year and set about drilling, grinding and refurbishing it into a sleek pinstriped capsule filled with poetry from the world's poetry greats (and not-so-greats). "I'm taking one of the most iconic images of destruction of the 20th century and turning it into something positive," he explains.  

Details on Griffin and the bomb's Phoenix visit, and more upcoming poetry events, after the jump.

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