Logan Phillips' Sonoran Strange Poetry Book Release to Feature Alberto Álvaro Ríos

Courtesy of Performance in the Borderlands
ASU will be sponsoring a release party for Logan Phillips' first full-length poetry collection and performance piece, Sonoran Strange, on February 11.

This week ASU's Performance in the Borderlands Project will host an event celebrating the release of Tucson poet Logan Phillips' first full-length collection, Sonoran Strange. The evening will feature readings and performances by a variety of local writers and artists, including Arizona's first Poet Laureate, Alberto Alvaro Rios.

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Porsha O Crowned 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion in Tempe

Categories: Poetry, Review

Zaida Dedolph
Porsha O presents her winning poem at the Individual World Poetry Slam championships.

This year's Individual World Poetry Slam, sponsored by the Arizona Humanities Council, was thought-provoking to say the least. The event lasted four days at multiple local venues, and led up to a final bout at Marquee Theatre on Saturday, October 11. The iWPS finals offered exposure not only to this year's top contenders, but to the culture of slam poetry.

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Phoenix to Host Individual World Poetry Slam October 8-11

Red Greg
Phoenix is about to get a whole lot Slam-mier.

Seventy-two competitive slam poets walk into a coffee shop in Phoenix. This is not a joke. There will be no punchline.

The Arizona Humanities Council will play host to the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam, a four-day event that pits "presentative poets" against one another. The competition itself exists as a series of timed bouts, each judged by five randomly selected audience members. The top 12 competitors will move on to the final round on Saturday, October 11, hosted at Marquee Theatre.

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Copper State Poetry Slam Hits Playhouse on the Park in Phoenix July 26 and 27

Categories: Events, Poetry

Courtesy Jeremiah Blue/Copper State Poetry Slam
Competitors take the stage at last year's Copper State Poetry Slam in Phoenix.

Don't expect to hear a lot of "roses are red, violets are blue" at the Copper State Poetry Slam this weekend. There's a time and a place for childlike rhyming, but this Southwest slam competition isn't it.

The third annual state poetry championship takes over Phoenix Theatre's Playhouse on the Park on Saturday, July 26, and Sunday, July 27.

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Phonetic Spit to Host Spoken Word Workshop at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

Categories: Events, Poetry

Courtesy of Phonetic Spit
Phonetic Spit regularly hosts spoken word workshops Valley-wide
Arguably when one thinks of art, one thinks of the visual and tangible. Paintings, portraits, photographs, and sculpted pieces dominate both museums and immediate word association. But there is something to be said for the power of another art form, one that comes from a deeply personal space: spoken word performances.

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, ever the modern progressive, hosts an interactive writing workshop courtesy of Phonetic Spit, a local group that has partnered with such organizations as the Arizona State University Young Writers Program, Mesa Arts Center, and the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

During the afternoon of Saturday, July 19, Slammin' in Suburbia encourages creative expression through spoken word, poetry, and hip-hop. The free event is designed for participants of all ages and all comfort levels -- including those apprehensive of public speaking.

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5 Life Lessons Learned from Maya Angelou

Categories: Literary, Poetry

York College ISLGP via Wikimedia Commons
Maya Angelou died at her Winston-Salem, North Carolina, home on Wednesday, May 28. She was 86. Her artistic achievements included working as an actress, dancer, poet, and novelist, while her cultural impact as a creative voice and civil rights activist spanned both the globe and generations.

Some of Angelou's more significant historical moments include the 1969 release of her first autobiography, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, working alongside iconic activists such as Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr., and reciting her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at Bill Clinton's 1993 presidential inauguration.

But perhaps the most memorable parts of Angelou are the words she left behind. Here are the five most valuable life lessons we learned from her.

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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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