Sister Radio Fundraiser Live!

What’s the only thing better than four fantastic spoken word poets performing live? Four fantastic poets performing live as part of a fundraiser for the Sister Radio Documentary project. If you were not fortunate enough to attend this stellar event at Castleburg Brewery, never fear! We got you.

Truly, this is an all-star hall-of-fame dream team of poets on par with the Tune Squad of Space Jam fame. Except for poetry, not basketball… Maybe they’re also great at basketball? Who knows!

Starting the lineup real strong was former P&C guest Lydia Armstrong. She’s built a reputation at local open mics and other performance venues as a poet who is as bold as she is eloquent. Often focusing on topics such as mental health and suicidal thoughts, dark family history and old boyfriends. Lydia also has the widely recognized ongoing photography project Thicket of Trash.

Morgan Potts was up next. An alum of VCU’s rockstar CUPSI slam team, she was kind enough to fill in for another poet who had to drop out last-minute. Thanks Morgan!! We haven’t had her as a guest for an interview yet, but after her stellar performance during this event, you’d better believe we will! Stay tuned…

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand in the red corner, making his glorious return all the way from the Prose & Cons PILOT EPISODE……… Aden Ware!!! Great to have you back, friendo. Aden’s deceptively casual style often speaks from his experience as a mixed-race man in America, a perspective we don’t often hear about. He also draws a lot of sly references to pop-culture and throws in the perfect amount of his comedic personality to create a listening experience unlike any other.

AM Pressman is another former P&C guest and a member of the highly competitive slam team The Writer’s Den. The Writer’s Den hosts slams on the last Thursday of every month. This month features national poetry slam champion Black Chakra! Pressman brought the ruckus Saturday night with their characteristically strong verse and biting delivery.

You can still donate to the Sister Radio doc! Get one of their cool shirts or something! Get involved! It’s a rad project.

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Word Nerds!

Once in a generation, the greatest poetic minds converge into a single evening. It is a beautiful gathering of precious souls and creative spirits, the likes of which will never be seen again. Until the next time.

Word Nerds! is the brainchild of Ben and Dom, a Prose & Cons live event hosted by the effervescent Stir Crazy staff. Of course, we could not do it alone! We are blessed with our acquaintance of Michele, Imani, and Roscoe of The Writer’s Den as well as Richard Rose, Lanvi Nguyen, Koreena Lawson, Dante Ruff (Lithium God), and Priest. Dom and I even perform our own pomes!

If you couldn’t make it out this time, never fear! We’ll be doing more soon. Stay tuned, and thanks for listening.

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Imani Thompson and AM Pressman

GRAND SLAM CHAMP Imani Thompson and PAGE POET SLAM CHAMP and VCU SLAM CAPTAIN Pressman Pressman from The Writer’s Den delight our ears and hearts with their pomes of love and anguish. Ben and Dom are also present.

Catch their slams the last Thursday of every month at Infuzion RVA. Doors open at 7, pomes start at 8.

 

Local Voices Live!

Mikemetic is a man of many modes and balances life as a father, musician, community advocate, and educator with a constant influx of new creative engagements each year. He is an Honorary member of University of Richmond’s Alpha Psy Omega Theater and Dance Society, a former Style Weekly “Top 40 Under 40” selection, and an author with a number of forthcoming titles. His 2017 release “Hood Haiku Volume One: Sidewalk Science” earned him the characterization as “part Public Enemy, part Zora Neale Hurston” and has allowed him to continue pushing forward the dialogue around art, culture, and identity. Mikemetic has also been a volunteer at WRIR for over a decade with 8 years as host of Middle East Coast Mecca, and several more years as a regular contributor and guest host on Mellow Madness and a number of other shows.

A.M. Pressman is an Indonesian-American poet living in Richmond, Virginia. Their work has appeared on Button Poetry and Write About Now, and explores issues of mixed Asian identity, family, faith, and trauma through personal narratives. They are currently an undergrad student at VCU. Their work has appeared on Button Poetry, Write About Now, Slamfind, and other publications. Pressman is the 2015 VCU Grand Slam Champion, 2016 CUPSI Best Poet Nominee, 2016 Southern Fried Indie Finalist, 2017 WOWPS and IWPS Representative for Washington D.C.’s Beltway Slam, and 2016-2017 President of VCU’s internationally ranked poetry team, Good Clear Sound.

Lydia Armstrong lives and writes in Richmond, Virginia, with her two cats. Her work has appeared in Voicemail PoemsBlotteratureNeonThe Axe FactoryArsenic Lobster, apt, and others. Her poem, “The November We Are Fifteen,” was selected for the Crack the Spine Anthology XV and The Best Small Fictions 2017 (Braddock Avenue Books). She was a 2017 nominee for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. In 2016, Lydia helped operate Slam Richmond, a local spoken word venue, and facilitated writing workshops in conjunction with Slam Richmond open mics, in high schools, and for private groups. She is currently working on a novel.

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Poetry + Short Narrative Open Mic @ Fallout

Wednesday, April 18, 7:00, 117 N. 18th St.

Come support National Poetry Month at Fallout with their exciting new Open Mic Series. Free to attend! If you want to perform, get there by 6:30 to sign up. 18+

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RVA Lit Crawl

April 20-21

The second annual Lit Crawl is upon us! This year’s events will be staged in various venues throughout Carytown and will feature dozens of local authors. We will be there to record readings and perhaps even give out some P&C swag! For more information, check out their website.

 

Michelle Dodd and Rob “Robalujah” Gibson

On the last Thursday of every month, poets and poetry enthusiasts gather at Infuzion RVA for The Writer’s Den Poetry Slam. Poets include members of The Writer’s Den slam team, as well as walk-on performers. Slams provide a unique experience: during the course of three rounds, poets advance (or are eliminated) based on the combined scores of judges from the audience. The growing success of these events is due largely to the efforts of the founder of The Writer’s Den, Roscoe Burnems (one of our guests for our second-ever show, along with fellow TWD teammate Monica Edwards).

Last month, I attended my second Writer’s Den Slam. Upon arriving, I was asked to be a judge. I was given a small whiteboard and an unexpected dose of anxiety. How do you judge a poem? How do you compare one poet to another? Turns out, it’s as simple as it is stressful. I decided on a handful of basic criteria and tried to keep my cool when my score was met with pained yelps from the back of the room.

Each poem had its own distinctive style and tone. Some were bitter, cursing an ex-lover. Others downright hilarious. Two particularly charismatic performers were Michelle Dodd and Rob “Robalujah” Gibson.

“The Dodd is good…” “All the time.” “All the time…” “The Dodd is good.” Michelle Dodd is the only member of the Writer’s Den who receives her own battle cry before each performance. Michelle is a black woman who was adopted by a white family, and much of her poems revolve around feeling out of place and uncomfortable in her own skin. She is also a musician, often incorporating ground-shaking vocal performance into her poetry. Michelle Dodd is a powerhouse poet. She has published two books of poetry, which you can find on her website.

Robalution. Robalujah. Robalu. Rob Gibson is a poet, artist, musician, and coach. This man breathes verse. While we were recording this episode, I saw that Rob was writing or doodling on some scrap paper while we spoke. Afterward, we saw that he had sketched each of us in the room.

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Writing this, I realize that I actually know very little about Rob. Maybe that’s part of his charm.

During our conversation, Michelle mentioned that another member of The Writer’s Den once said that all poets can be classified as of the elemental “benders” from Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra: water, earth, fire, and air. Michelle is a self-described water poet, Rob an air poet. This seems about right to me. Michelle’s poems will wash over you with total emotion. Rob is whimsical and daring with his poetry, like Aang riding the wind on his glider.

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