@ DuBois Center, NAU, Flagstaff. More information. I'll be presenting "Beyond Page vs. Stage: Slam Poetry as an Accessible Form" with Dan Seaman of Prescott. Here's the abstract:
Beyond Page vs. Stage: Slam Poetry as an Accessible Form logan phillips and Daniel H. Seaman
Since it’s inception in the mid-1980’s, the competitive art of Poetry Slam has only continued to gain popularity, media exposure and momentum. This year, the fifteenth annual National Poetry Slam will be held just four hours from Flagstaff in Albuquerque, NM. This offers a unique opportunity for our thriving literary community to reflect on the influence and discourse of slam poetry here in Northern Arizona.
Our brief presentation, followed by a small panel discussion, will seek to debunk the “stage vs. page” myth by exploring the characteristics of slam poetry not as the opposite of “page poetry,” but rather as another poetry form. Equally as valid of a form as a sestina or sonnet, slam poetry draws on a long tradition of oral expression and is marked by specific characteristics which define it clearly. These characteristics include distinct uses of repetition, length, subject matter, and yes, even meter. Equally informed by hip-hop, popular culture, stand-up comedy, forensics and “traditional” poetry, slam is very visible and accessible, often acting as an entry point into the literary arts for those who may not have been exposed to them otherwise. This initial exposure often leads to further involvement in the literary community, as we will show using examples from our own area.
Far from being mutually exclusive, slam poetry and the more traditional literary arts stand to gain much from each other. Nowhere in poetry are popular culture and our society so clearly reflected, defined and critiqued as within slam. One could liken the young form to a flash flood entering the wider river of words, adding not only new audience and power, but also seeking to define itself and find its place within the flow of the literary arts.