After a nice hike in the moutains above Salida, we swam in the
I was surprised to see the room full, more dropping in and wondered why I even bothered to ask their names if I wasn’t going to remember them. Oh, the teacher in me. It says do this and this to break the ice, but doesn’t bother to tell the poet, “Now make sure you try and remember their names.”
On the plus side, I started out my workshop: “Spoken Word: Literary Fad or Movement,” by explaining my relationship to this very strange, amorphous genre. We talked a bit about the early Dadaist movement and played Kurt Schwitter and argued that that is arguably the birth of “spoken word,” because if there is any sense to be made in what he is saying it is in the hearing of it. I think the hearing of it creates a sort of happy satisfaction in the listener, which reading it on the page never would. But it would be nice to really understand what spurred people to write this way and how it expressed itself in society at large at the time. Likewise, getting a better understanding of how “Spoken Word” fits into the African-American and Native American traditions too. I have the material, but I don’t understand the importance of the preacher, stories in each tradition.Obviously the section on the beats, since I’m a fan is where the piece really begins to take off. Supplemented by passable material (really need to get better material for Jack) and bring up some other characters and the importance of performance in their work. Launching into the early origins of Hip-Hop (which I’m no expert on) was fun, and it was interesting to hear the teacher say, “Using Hip-Hop songs and lyrics as a way of talking about rhyme and rhythm would be an easy way to tap into kids’ culture…” Or something to that effect. And of course, more Cowboy poetry, more background. And frankly, I’m pretty fucking knowledgeable about slam.
All in all it was a good workshop, a good overview of what Spoken Word is, how it works, why now, and where is it going.The night's performance rocked. A really good show. My personal favorites: Hakim (of course), Kory Ford, and Jim Tipton. Overall, everyone was good and the show was structured so no body read too long. Then went to the Victoria for an Open Mike and my poem, "The Joint," was definitely the favorite of the line cooks. Line cooks love me. I'm one of them in my soul.
See you at the Win2andYouAreIn qualifier.