Poesía En Voz Alta . 07

Poesia en Voz Alta 07

English version here. For English-only readers.

Hola a tod@s, Me da mucho gusto invitarles a tod@s al festival PoesíaEnVozAlta.07, que comenzará esta semana en la ciudad de México. El año pasado me quedé con ganas, no logré asistir a pesar de que presentaron unos artistas increíbles. Puede ser que éste es el festival de poesía contemporánea más importante de la República. Bien experimental, bien organizado y bien chingón. Ahora voy a estar, y espero que tengas el chance de dar una vuelta también. Es 100% gratis. Casa del Lago, parque Chapultepec.

Ahora, este año me alegra muchísimo en invitarles a nuestra participación del festival. Nuestro groupo Verobala Spoken Video cerrará el primer sábado del festival, el 29. Habrá video, poesía bilingüe, y locura. Será nuestro show más complejo hasta la fecha. Ven. Será una noche única y transgredora. Aquí viene más informes, y para los que no andan pa ca, dicen que habrá un webcast en vivo en el sitio de la Casa del Lago.

SÁBADO 29 SEPTIEMBRE 2MIL7 19:00 Casa del Lago Juan José Arreola (de la UNAM), Bosque Chapultepec, México DF. en presentación única: Sociedad Acústica de Capital Variable (méxico / spoken word) Gwenaëlle Stubbe (bélgica / poesía performer.spoken word)

y VERBOBALA el spoken video de Adam Cooper-Terán, Logan Phillips y Moisés Regla

entrada gratis gratis gratis 1ª. Sección del Bosque de Chapultepec Entrada por puerta al Zoológico en Avenida Reforma NO FALTES CA

Ver todo la cartelera del festival:

Hey everybody, I'd like to invite you to the festival Poesía en Voz Alta.07, which will begin this week in Mexico City. Last year I wasn't able to make it, but the festival was my first news of the spoken word movement in Mexico. It's possible that this is the most important contemporary poetry festival in the country. Experimental, well-organized, and bien chingón. This year I'll be there, and I hope you can drop by too. It's 100% free. Casa del Lago, bosque Chapultepec.

Now, this year I'm really happy to be able to invite you to our contribution to the festival. Our group Verbobala Spoken Video will close the first Saturday night of the festival on the 29th. Expect video, bilingual group performance poetry, and locura. This will be our most complex show to date. Come check it out. It's going to be a unique night. More information is below. If you're not currently in central Mexico, I hear you'll be able to check out the LIVE WEBCAST.

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 29TH 2THOUSAND7 7:00PM Casa del Lago Juan José Arreola (of UNAM), Bosque Chapultepec, Mexico City. One night only: Sociedad Acústica de Capital Variable (méxico / spoken word) Gwenaëlle Stubbe (bélgica / poesía performer.spoken word) and

VERBOBALA the spoken video of Adam Cooper-Terán, Logan Phillips and Moisés Regla

free free free 1ª. Sección del Bosque de Chapultepec Entrada por puerta al Zoológico en Avenida Reforma DON'T MISS IT, KID

Poesía en Voz Alta.07

Poesía escénica / Poesía con ritmo Luis Bravo (uruguay /poesía multimedia) Mardonio Carballo (México/ poesía náhuatl/ hip hop) (40 min) Shamshad Khan (gran bretaña /poesía performer.rap) Sesión Poética Jueves 27/19:00 hrs. Entrada libre

Poesía escénica / Poesía con ritmo Conferencia La puesta oral de la poesía: la antigüedad multimedia Luis Bravo Viernes 28/ 18:00 hrs.

Mesa Redonda De la escritura a la voz Participan: Luis Bravo, Gwenaëlle Stubbe, Logan Phillips, Shamshad Khan y Matthew Brogan Modera: Pedro Serrano Sábado 29/ 13:00 hrs.

Poesía escénica / Poesía con ritmo Sociedad Acústica de Capital Variable (méxico / spoken word, hip hop) Gwenaëlle Stubbe (bélgica / poesía performer.spoken word) Verbobala: Logan Phillips y Moisés Regla (méxico.estados unidos / spoken video) Sesión Poética Sábado 29/ 19:00 hrs.

Poesía escénica / Poesía con ritmo Sesión Poética Relicario (méxico / décimas.son jarocho) Harryette Mullen (estados unidos / poesía afroamericana) Jueves 4 de octubre / 19:00 hrs. Explanada

Poesía escénica / Poesía con ritmo Sesión Especial: Slam Poetry Sábado 6 de octubre / 19:00 hrs. Explanada

Poesía escénica / Poesía con ritmo Sesión Poética Juan Gelman y César Stroscio (argentina / poesía tango) Roselia Jiménez y Enriqueta Lunez (méxico / poecanto tojolabal.poesía tzotzil) Shigeru Matsui (japón / poesía tanka.poesía visual) Jueves 11 de octubre /19:00 hrs. Explanada

Poesía escénica / Poesía con ritmo Sesión Poética Carlos Tachisavi y Angelo Moroni (méxico.chile / poesía ñu-savi, teatro y percusiones) Arnaldo Antunes (brasil / spoken word) Sábado 13 de octubre / 19:00 hrs. Explanada

Video from Mexican Slam

Some friends have put together some video from La Roma Slam de Poesia that I've been hosting for Tochtli Productions every month since March. More on Mexican slam poetry at: slammexico.com. I love being a part of this.

In order of appearance: myself, MC Ewor, Tizano.

Myself, Oscar de Pablo:

Hosting the First Mexican Poetry Slam

Sí, sí, voy a traducirlo al español, esperame tantito...Rabid and homegrown, the first regular, open, Chicago-style poetry slam lights fire in Mexico City, asking no permission and needing none.

The Red Fly Tavern is tucked into an old buiding on a quiet street in Colonia Roma, smack in the middle of Mexico City. Steps away is a plaza with soaring trees and fountains. I’m standing across the street from the Tavern, happy and a little amazed about what is about to happen. It hasn’t been especially easy getting here. Untangling the Mexico City subway on a Friday night after a 50 hour work week is recipe for delirium and loss of direction, but not impossible. I cross the street.

Dispite my plans and years of interest, I wasn’t the one to organize the first Mexican poetry slam. I heard about it from a friend who saw it announced on a website, and I immediately dropped all my weekend plans to go. The credit for bringing the first open, regular, Chicago-style poetry slam to Mexico City goes to two women, both of whom are standing at the top of the stairs in the Red Fly when I walk into the space.


Cara Cummings is a Washington State native who has traveled around the world for the last decade, finally landing in Mexico City four years ago. There she met up with Imuris del Valle, a Mexico City born-and-raised asskicker with a unique talent for making big plans and following up on them. Together, they founded Tochtli Productions, and have spent the last two years organizing mostly hip-hop events in the city.

Then, recently, they suddenly decided to go in another direction. Despite the fact that she hadn’t attended a poetry slam in eight years and had never organized or ran one, Cara presented the idea to her compañeros, and off they went. But really, Mexican poetry slam has been years in the process, and lately the signs have been everywhere that it was coming: more interest in performance, various spoken word festivals and an exploding hip-hop scene. That’s not to mention the long, rich history of national poetry, from bombas in Yucatan, to décimas in fandangos, topadas and more.

But tonight is the first that promised to be free and open to all, judged by the audience. Both Cara and Imuris are looking very stressed. A reporter for the national newspaper Reforma, Óscar Cid de León, caught wind of the event, and published a story on the first page of the Cultura section the day of the slam. The night has the potential to explode. The room above the bar is small but perfect. Strange lighting and interior design, a great sound system and a small stage.

I had already emailed Cara, and they both seem happy to see me. They write my name on the signup list, and get swept up again in the swirl of organizing. Cid de León strikes up a conversation with me, and a few minutes pass. Soon we’re ready to start. The judges have been picked, and they ask me to give the “MC speil” to the crowd in Spanish. I ask the judges if they have yet slept with any of the participating poets. They say no and giggle. That out of the way, I explain the other, lesser important things, such as grading scale and what to look for in a poet.

So we’re all set to start. I meet David, who is to host the event. He’s a nice guy, with a great voice for the job. Then it comes out: we have no calibration poet to kick off the evening. Cara, Imuris and I, with our heads in a circle, quickly give up on all other options: I’ll calibrate then help David host. And so it ends up that I co-host the first ever Mexican poetry slam.

I introduce myself and explain that my poem was originally written in English and is directed at my compatriots in the US. I perform “Sin Voz” in Spanish. It’s hard to tell how it goes over, since it’s a translation and also the first poem of the night. The judges give me something like 18 out of 30. No problem, we’re off and running.

Ten poets in the first round. Two women, eight men, a good mix of participants coming from poetry and hip-hop backgrounds. Some of the poems are very, very good, though it’s obvious everyone in the room is getting used to this new format. I have to repeatedly mention the importance of booing and cheering the judges’ scores. Then, sometime just before the second round, it hits me: we’re arrived. Looking around from near the stage, with Cara scribbling numbers, Imuris snapping fotos, the DJ playing music between poets, poets getting ready for the mic and a screaming audience––we’ve arrived. This is it. Poetry slam has arrived, rabid, in Mexico.

By the time we take a break between the second and third rounds, the room is packed, with people spilling out of the door and craning their necks to see the stage. The beer is too expensive, but people are thirsty, and things are getting wilder.

To start the last round, I ask the audience’s permission to do a poem in English. They agree, and I go into “The Boy’s Pockets,” a bit slower than usual. It goes over really well. The third round, “La ronda de la muerte,” we cut to four poets. In the end, a guy named Oscar de Pablo takes it, and later it comes out that he is a published poet. The general concensus is that a few of the MC-poets made better connections with the audience, but tonight it was the published poet that took it.

It turns out the Tochtli girls have big, big plans. The Roma Slam will be every first Friday, with winning poets collecting points that will go towards their participation in the first-ever Mexican Grand Slam in December. The plan is for me to co-host from here on out. Another group already is throwing another, one-off slam later this month in another part of the city. It’s obvious: this is the spark. Before 2007 ends, I could see there being at least five regular slams in the Mexico City area.

After the slam, DJ Aztek sets up, and there is a dance party / freesytle MC battle that lasts for hours. Many of the poets freestyle, and a few MC’s show up just for the battle. At 3am, we’re back at Cara’s apartment a few blocks away, with everyone laughing and reviewing and making plans for the next slam. So it goes.

So it’s official. The international poetry slam movement has arrived to the largest Spanish-speaking country on the planet. Next stop everywhere.

Foto From Where I Live

On a rainy Cuernavaca morning, here in the middle of the Centro, I have stumbled across the exhibition of a fotógrafo that describes better where I live than anything I can imagine myself writing. It's called México Tenochtitlán by Francisco Mata Rosas. It has been published as a book by Ediciones Era and is being exhibited online along with an amazing video version of the work. As a writer it pains me to say it, but there are some things that can't be described in words...

francisco mata rosas

francisco mata rosas

francisco mata rosas

francisco mata rosas

francisco mata rosas

Border Policies Claim the Lives of 205 Migrants in Arizona Alone

Released recently from los compañeros de la Coalición de Derechos Hermanos: In the fiscal year that began on October 1, 2005 and ended on September 30, 2006, two hundred five migrant deaths were documented in Arizona. Numbers from the Pima, Yuma, and Cochise County 152 males, 48 females, and 5 individuals whose gender is still unknown. This also includes the documented deaths of 8 children, whose number make up approximately 4% of the total number of migrant deaths this past fiscal year.

Most tragic is the alarming number of unidentified migrants who die on the Arizona-Sonora border. This fiscal year’s count included 93 migrants whose identities are as of yet unknown, 45% of the total number of migrant casualties. Since 1995, more than 1/3 of all border deaths remain unidentified.

“In addition to the pain caused by the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of men, women and children in our communities every year, is the agony that comes with not knowing the identity of so many,” says Anna Ochoa O’Leary of Derechos Humanos. “Hundreds and hundreds of families must endure the torture of not knowing what has become of their loved ones.”

As the immigration “debate” continues to provide fuel for political positioning as the elections near, the human rights crisis continues to be ignored, or worse, in some instances used as justification for calls for more militarization of our border. Xenophobic and racist rhetoric is routinely given free range, while demands from border communities for meaningful dialogue on these issues have received no attention.

As a small, non-profit human rights organization that seeks to bring change and justice to the border, Coalición de Derechos Humanos began in 2003 to systematically document the deaths along the Arizona/Sonora. For twelve years our bloated federal agencies have refused to provide true accounting for the deaths, as corroborated by the GAO in its latest study, Border-Crossing Deaths Have Doubled Since 1995; Border Patrol’s Efforts to Prevent Deaths Have Not Been Fully Evaluated.

“We call upon our communities to come together in our demand that our leaders put an end to border deaths by implementing immigration and economic policy reform that address the issue of migration, and by immediately demilitarizing our borders. As we have witnessed for more than a decade, and as the increasing loss of human life serves to attest, our current border agencies are rich in resources, and extremely poor in human decency, failing in their obligations to humanity,” stated O’Leary.

The list of migrant deaths is available on the Derechos Humanos website: http://www.derechoshumanosaz.net/deaths.php. This information is available to anyone who requests it from us and is used by our organization to further raise awareness of the human rights crisis we are facing on our borders.

Poesía en Voz Alta

English translation of this post. Más noticias de poesía slam mexicano.

Lo encontré un poco tarde, pero lo encontré de todos modos. El festival de la UNAM que se llama "Poesía en Voz Alta" ya empezó el jueves pasado. Más información está desponible en el sitio del Casa del Lago.

Este año tienen por lo menos un poeta estadounidense que se llama Amiri Baraka. Él es bien conocido, el movimiento slam en los EUA debe mucho a él. Hasta ahora no he tenido el placer de verlo en vivo, pero casi todos metidos en el movimiento sabemos de él.

Sin duda éste es un fuente importante de poesia contemporánea / moderna en México. Segun los organizdores, se puede encontrar mucho en el festival: poesía encénica, poesía con ritmo, hip hop, spoken word, poesía maya/zapoteca/náhuatl/quechua/guaraní contemporánea, dub poetry, y más.

No he encontrado ninguna mención de concursos de poesía slam, ni un veradero poetry slam, pero de todos modos este es un gran paso adelante en el proyecto.

Espero investigarlo más al fondo. A ver si puedo asistir uno de las sesiones.