Arizona April!

I'll be back in Arizona in April for another string of eclectic shows, I hope you can make it out! Video, DJ and poetry galore! New poems, new songs, revelry in general. All dates and details subject to change, please check back as the events approach.

  • Mon. 4/13, evening, Buena High School, Sierra Vista. Hosting and spoken word feature with Jasmine Cuffee and Carlos Contreras at the student poetry slam at BHS.
  • Tues. 4/14, morning, Buena High School, Sierra Vista. Workshopping with students. Closed to public, sorry!
  • Wed. 4/15, morning, Southside Community School, Tucson. Bilingual storytelling & workshopping with elementary kids! Closed to public, sorry!
  • Thurs. 4/16, evening, Bisbee. Solo spoken word and videoart showcase! More info coming soon.
  • Sat. 4/18, 9pm, Monte Vista Hotel Lounge, Flagstaff DJing with Emtron: Sonidero Verbobala, all the best dance music you may've never heard! More info here.

    sonidero verbobala in flagstaff, arizona

  • Mon. 4/20, Flagstaff Performing vocal samples with the loops & drums duo CLOUDPEOPLE.
  • Thurs. 4/23, 4pm, Rocket Gallery Tucson Solo spoken word feature at the "ARTivison" art reception as part of Tucson Youth Week. Rocket Gallery (270 E. Congress). Free.

    ARTivism with logan phillips


  • Thurs. 4/24, 10pm, Green Room Flagstaff DJing with Emtron: Sonidero Verbobala with Sambátuque.

Here is what has been happening in Mexico City lately: sonideros, the original Mexican street DJ's:

Prensa // Recent press

Ey internet astronauts, I've just come off tour with Verbobala after two months in Mexico, it was a mind-blowing time. A bunch of press came out of it, which we're grateful for. Most is in Spanish of course, but there's a bit in English later in the list. More soon!

Plus, below is some footage from a show that Sonidero Verbobala rocked in Coyoacán, Mexico City.

Click for PDF // haz click para leer el PDF:
Emeequis Verbobala

Local boy makes…

This is first in a series of posts that I've been meaning to make over the last few months of tour, but am only now getting to.

Like most people, I couldn't wait to leave the town that I grew up in. My entire world was a little place called Sierra Vista, and it seemed to me that it existed at the expense of everywhere else: I wouldn't be able to expand my horizons until I left and vowed never to come back. Sure, that's extreme, but the world is an extreme place at 18 years old.

Again, like many people, I used the change of scenery to reinvent myself. Moving to Flagstaff, I grew my hair long and started to read my poems in public. I played a lot of guitar with people I had just met. I skateboarded everywhere. These were all things that I hadn't been able to do in my hometown.

It has only been this spring––some seven years later––that I've made my peace with this place. Though I regularly came back to visit my parents, I still wasn't comfortable. Then, a few years back, I began to perform in Bisbee from time to time and discovered a generous and empathetic audience.

Word got around, and plans started to be made for coming back to my old high school. I've always liked working in schools, but I was nervous about this one. I had been a very different person in high school––would the place remember me that way? There was lots of anticipation.

On a Friday in late March I did two performances for about 500 students each, and had brought along two of my favorite poets from the Albuquerque scene: Carlos Contreras and Jasmine Cuffee. I didn't want it to be about me, I wanted to be about us, about the students: this was something that anybody could do. After the school-day performances, we came back to the library later that night for a performance open to the entire community. It was a great little crowd.

Jazz, Carlos, Adam (along for the ride), and I celebrated hard later that night. I woke up on my living room floor the next morning (it was a full house) with a groggy head. Carlos tells me "You're not going to believe this," and tosses a newspaper at me. I fail to catch it, and it hits me in the face. And there it was: my mug on the front page. Holy shit. What a surreal thing.

 logan phillips herald front page

Then the following Monday we did something like four workshops with about 30 students each. We tried to touch on everything in a very short time: free writing, revising, reading for a peer group, performing for a crowd, and even organizing a slam. Turns out that it worked, because a month or so later the school held their first-ever poetry slam.

And the student council asked me to speak at the Class of 2008 graduation, which I did last Thursday. The day had started with near-disaster: I was traveling to Sierra Vista from New York City, where Verbobala had just played our last date of the spring tour. Arriving to JFK, the airline had lost my reservation, and I was moments from missing my plane.

But no, the angels were smiling, and I made it to graduation. I may be the first person to ever give a graduation speech whose theme is I really don't know what to tell you. I had been racking my brains on the plane, and I realized that it would seem false to me if I suddenly got up in front of that crowd and tried to feign wisdom. I really didn't know what I could say that would be all-encompassing and relevant... except, well, that: I don't have it figured out perfectly and neither does anybody else. But that's OK. I then told a story I wrote a few years ago called "Sun Said Shine," and pulled from it a few tips that I thought might be useful. The newspaper was there again.

The infamous Sierra Vista wind was in full force, it was like the X-Games version of a high school graduation. Far cooler than speaking was getting to shake the hand of each one of the 596 graduates immediately after they received their diploma. What a unique moment to be a part of. Crazy damn kids. The world is theirs.

It's all been a really big honor, one that I never saw coming. Big thanks are in order to the principal Tad Bloss and the amazing librarian Mary Kohn, without whom I might have never made peace with this weird little place where I spent sixteen years of my life. And I helped bring poetry into the "cool" at my old HS. That feels good.

San Antonio, TX: Puro Slam

Returning to feature solo at one of my favorite slams in the country! PuroSlam proudly presents Slam Journeyman Logan Phillips Atomix 1902 N. McCollough San Antonio, TX 78212 210-733-3855 Tuesday, May 6th, 2008, 9:30 pm $3

Our Lady of Perpetual Tour

Tucson, Arizona, EE.UU. Adam and I have been wondering what saint deserves some prayers every time we almost completely screw up on tour. For example, when we leave $5,000 worth of equipment sitting just off of 4th Ave. in downtown Tucson at midnight on a Sunday. What saint was responsible for us turning the van around and finding it there before anyone else did?

Tour with Verbobala (and all its applicable tech) is a grime ballet of one thousand swirling details. Everyday, very specific and small tasks have to get done in order for everything to line up correctly. Sending ahead press releases, booking parties to fill in dates, buying 100’ VGA cables, catching the shuttle, updating the website, etc. The good news is that by and large tour is going great. But it’s easier to notice the near-disasters, for example, realizing in Portland that I forgot my passport in Arizona.

This happened last week at 2 A.M., hours before we were scheduled to pick up the rental car and drive to Vancouver. Ensuing panic. What are the border rules? What’s up with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative? Was it pushed back again? Spring and I swung by to pick Adam up at 8 A.M. When I told him, he started laughing, much to his credit. But it was the Nervous Laugh, the one that sounds like homicide waiting to happen. We went anyway, my Dad spent his Sunday morning scanning my birth certificate, and we stopped in Seattle to print it out. Long story short, we made it into Vancouver on Sunday, April 20th.


Among the few upsides of the whole incident was the opportunity to feel fear of a border again. I hadn’t had that feeling since traveling in Central America and the Caribbean in 2006. The way that borders do that thing, oscillating between being Ports of Entry and Border Walls. Borders are like the surface of water. They can let you pass right through, or they can kill you. We’re taught to fear borders, and to think it would be easier to Just Stay Home.

Meanwhile, Moisés is having to deal with all of that on a constant basis. He flew from Mexico City to Mérida, Yucatán last week, in order to get a quick interview with the U.S. Embassy there. Since the Tucson Poetry Festival had passed while his artist work visa was still officially “pending,” he decided that it was time to cut our losses and apply for a tourist visa. Last Monday it was denied, and he was not told why. Maybe because the Festival had applied the work visa. Maybe because of an incident when he was a kid. Probably because the U.S. government is afraid that he will sneak away to pick strawberries or clean our toilets, nevermind that he’s an established international video artist. Apparently, US burrocracy has now driven Moi nuts and he has run off into the Yucatán jungle with some Irish girls that he met. We haven’t heard from him in days. Who could blame him?

We are a three-person group, missing our third member. Adam and I get along famously, and there are a lot of good times, but they’re always tinged with a certain bitterness that Moi Isn’t Here, that Moi Would Love This, that This Would Be Perfect With Moi. Sure, he’s been working hard in Cuernavaca, uploading pieces to our server so that we can use them in performance (and thus manifest his presence, a digital illegal immigrant). But he’s not getting to hear the applause, do the interviews, meet the people, travel. We have been told by crowds that the legal situation adds a certain urgency to our shows, which maybe it does. But Moi Isn’t Here. We talk about this a lot, and Adam called it Mourning Moi. I called it Moining. A-haha. Sin llorar, cabrones, como dice él.

So Moi lights candles to San Judás, Saint of Lost Causes. Adam and I keep up on the grime ballet, bouncing between airports and venues. Good things are happening. It looks like we’ll be touring from here on out. And we’re figuring out who to pray to.

PR for 26th Annual Tucson Poetry Festival


Tucson Poetry Festival 26—Poetry and Voice


The year 2008 marks the 26th Anniversary of Tucson Poetry Festival, the longest running event of its kind in Arizona!  Tucson Poetry Festival (TPF) was founded in 1981 with the mission to celebrate—and expand the audience for—contemporary poetry. TPF has provided people with the opportunity to hear over 150 superb visiting poets in this unique annual experience, including some of the most celebrated poets of our time, as well as talented local and emerging poets.

This year, poets from Tucson and beyond join us to celebrate all aspects of Voice in poetry, as a stylistic convention and a performance tool.  This festival showcases a broad and diverse range of poetic voices—written, spoken, and signed.

This year, we have partnered with The University of Arizona Disability Resource Center who, as co-sponsors of the Festival, will provide accessibility services including ASL translation for all Readings and the Panel Discussion. 

Thursday, April 10, 2008—Sunday, April 13, 2008

All tickets are available at The Historic Y the day of the event; no advance tickets.
Individual readings—$10
With student ID—$5
Small group sessions—$10
Festival Pass good for all events—$50
20% off groups of 10 or more


U of A Poetry Center, 1508 E Helen Ave

Thursday April 10th
7:30 pm
            Performance by Ayisha Knight (free)

The Historic Y, 300 E University

Friday April 11th
7:30 pm            Readings by:  The Will Inman Award Winner, Benjamin Alire Saenz, Wanda Coleman; Book Signing to follow

Saturday April 12th
Small Group Sessions in the Historic Y Conference Room
10:00 am
            Wanda Coleman
11:30 am            Benjamin Alire Saenz
1:00 pm            Rebecca Seiferle
2:30 pm            Sherwin Bitsui           

7:30 pm            Reading by Ayisha Knight, performance by Verbobala Spoken Video,
Book Signing to follow

Sunday April 13th
11:30 am            Breakfast & Panel Discussion on “Poetry and Voice” and “Other People’s Poetry” Reading: Moderated by Paul Fisher (free event w/ bagels & coffee)
2:00 pm            Verbobala Small Group Session
3:00 pm            High School Contest Reading w/ Contest Judge Rebecca Seiferle (free)
5:30 pm            Readings by:  the High School Contest Winner, Sherwin Bitsui, Rebecca Seiferle; Book Signing to follow
8:00pm            Community Poetry Slam hosted by Lindsay Miller ($5 suggested donation)


Ayisha Knight is the daughter of a white Jewish mother and a Black Cherokee father by birth, but was raised in a community of single mothers who raised her as their own.  Questions of her cultural and linguistic identity always evoke quizzical expressions, astonishment or resignation to the fact that she can't be described in one checked box on college applications.  As a Deaf woman whose primary language is ASL, her vision of the world is unique.  Her passions for art, storytelling, theater and education have been forming a tapestry for many years now.  Ayisha Knight is the only deaf poet who has ever appeared on Def Poetry Jam.

Poet and fiction writer Benjamin Alire Saenz, the son of a cement finisher and a cook, was born in his grandmother's house in Picacho, N.M. He studied at the University of Iowa and Stanford University as a Wallace E. Stegner fellow. His first collection of poetry, Calendar of Dust (1991), won the American Book Award. He is the author of a collection of short stories, Flowers for the Broken (1992), the novel Carry Me Like Water (1995), several children's books and a collection of poems, Elegies in Blue (Cinco Puntos Press, 2002). He teaches creative writing at the University of Texas, El Paso.

Wanda Coleman is the author of Bathwater Wine (Black Sparrow Press, 1998), winner of the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. A former medical secretary, magazine editor, journalist and scriptwriter, Coleman has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation for her poetry. Her other books of poetry include Native in a Strange Land: Trials & Tremors (1996); Hand Dance (1993); African Sleeping Sickness (1990); A War of Eyes & Other Stories (1988); Heavy Daughter Blues: Poems & Stories 1968-1986 (1988); Imagoes (1983); and Mercurochrome: New Poems (2001). She has also written Mambo Hips & Make Believe: A Novel, published by Black Sparrow Press in 1999.

Verbobala Spoken Video is a bi-national video performance group based in Cuernavaca, Mexico and Tucson, Arizona. Of diverse ethnic backgrounds, the members include video artist Moisés Regla, a Mexican of French and Spanish decent, acclaimed media designer, Adam Cooper-Terán, a Chicano of Russian and Yaqui decent, and Border poet Logan Phillips, an American of Irish and Slavic decent. This diversity is also reflected in their artistic backgrounds, as each comes to the project with experience in distinct areas including slam poetry, underground hip-hop, new media, experimental linguistics, electro-acoustic music, contemporary ritual and video installation.  Verbobala creates bilingual site-specific performance art that challenges the traditional concept of artistic genres. Like international borders, the separation between artistic forms and languages has become increasingly amorphous and irrelevant. Their pieces play with the limits between cinema and literature, performance and installation, orchestration and improvisation, English and Spanish, audience and artist.,

Rebecca Seiferle's poetry collection, Wild Tongue, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in Fall, 2007. She was awarded a Lannon Foundation Fellowship in poetry in 2004. Her third poetry collection, Bitters, won the Western States Book Award and a Pushcart Prize. She has also won the Hemley and Bogin Awards from the Poetry Society of America, the Poets & Writers Exchange Award, and has work included in Best American Poetry 2000. She is the Founding Editor of the online magazine The Drunken Boat ( and her poetry, translations, and essays have appeared in over twenty-five anthologies.

Sherwin Bitsui is originally from White Cone, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. Currently, he lives in Tucson, Arizona. He is Dine of the Todich'ii'nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Tl'izilani (Many Goats Clan). He is the recipient of the 2000-01 Individual Poet Grant from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, the 1999 Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Literary Residency Fellowship and more recently, a 2006 Whiting Writers' Award. Sherwin has published his poems in American Poet, The Iowa Review, Frank (Paris), Lit Magazine, and elsewhere. Shapeshift is his first book.

Paul Fisher is a theatre education specialist, performing artist, and published poet. He is a regular performer with Monolog Cabin, Orts Theatre of Dance, and Sweatlodge. Paul is the Founder and was the Director of the nationally recognized Arts Education Program for the Tucson Pima Arts Council. He is a private consultant specializing in the use of creative thinking and performance as a tool. In 2003 he received the Buffalo Exchange Arts Award from the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona. He is currently working with the Development and Training, Staff Development and Human Resources Departments of the INTUIT Corporation.

For the past 13 years, the High School Contest has incorporated young writers into our program, encouraging them to express their experiences through poetry. The young writers submit three poems in English, Spanish, or Tribal Languages, which are judged by an acclaimed Spanish-speaking writer to be eligible for gift certificates from local bookstores and the chance to read at TPF.  This year’s High School Contest Judge is Rebecca Seiferle.

For 24 years, the Statewide Poetry Contest (Will Inman Award) has inspired adult writers to share their poetry with nationally known poets who select their poems for cash prizes, publication in our program and the opportunity to read at the Festival.  This year’s Statewide Poetry Contest Judge is Wanda Coleman.

For More Information:
Tucson Poetry Festival


Everything is green and wet outside the train windows. Typical weather for Cornwall, they're telling me. I'm four hours into a five-hour train trip from London, on my way to the TipofyourTongue Festival where I’ll be for the next week. “A far way to come for just a week,” a woman on the train just told me. She’s right. But oh-so worth it. This trip has been some fourteen months in the making, and it’s hard to believe I’m an hour from Penzance. The end of the train line. Home of the fest.

I’ve successfully smuggled fifty copies of the first Verbobala Spoken Video DVD into the UK. Luckily my bag wasn’t checked, and I didn’t have to try to explain a MÉX-USA videoetry collective to a bored Customs cop. Moisés and I went into one of our now-familiar VSV work binges to pull together the DVD in time for TipofyourTongue, and I’m happy and grateful that it turned out.

Four hour flight, MEX-DFW Three hour layover, DFW Seven hour flight, DFW-LGW Five hour train ride, Paddington-Penzance

Not to mention the waiting and the rush, the cat-naps and the free booze (I highly recommend Mexican airlines for their generousity). Here’s my schedule, should you be in Cornwall this week:

Thursday, October 18th: The Exchange Verbobala Spoken Video performance / installation The last performance of VSV without Moi and Adam, and my first foto exhibition ever!

Friday, October 19th 7:30pm: Acorn Arts Centre Solo poetry performance.

Saturday, October 20th 10am: Penzance Arts Club The Words Between Your Teeth Master class performance workshop focusing on the linguistics and theatre of performance poetry.

Saturday, October 20th 7pm: Acorn Arts Centre MCing a night show.

I’m very excited to see and be a part of all this... more soon!

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

Verbobala Spoken Video in Tucson, Arizona

verbobala spoken video

So I haven't mentioned this here yet. But I have a new project, called VERBOBALA SPOKEN VIDEO that Moisés Regla and I founded earlier this year in Cuernavaca. We use live video, experimental audio, and new media to create site-specific performance art. It's poetry in the widest interpretation possible. Our first show was not long ago at the amazing Arcosanti Spoken Word Fesival, and since then we rocked our home show, the CuernaSlam de Poesía in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. While talking to people about the project in Flagstaff, they were calling Verbobala (say Ver-bo-ba-la) a band. You could call it that.

A week from today I'll be home from New York and Verbobala will be playing our largest show yet, at the Hotel Congress in downtown Tucson. We'll be in collaboration with heroes Flam Chen and Adam Cooper-Terán as part of a fundraiser to send Team Tucson to the National Poetry Slam for the first time ever. A worthy cause.

I swear this is going to be completely crazy. Hosted by my super cuate Aaron Johnson! Fundraiser for beloved Team Tucson! Poetry from Jewel Blackfeather! Bullhorns! Public disturbance! Music! Too good! Too good!

Hotel Congress. Do not miss this show. Tickets on sale here.

smells like tigers flyer

SMELLS LIKE TIGERS! A Fundraiser for the First Ever Tucson National Poetry Slam Team.

Talent from Arizona and beyond comes together to raise money for the first ever Tucson National Poetry Slam Team! Verbobala Spoken Video, featuring Logan Phillips, Flam Chen, Adam Cooper-Terán, and Moisés Regla, is a collaboration between a Border poet from Arizona and a video jockey from Mexico City. They create site-specific performance art that celebrates the forgotten past, the strange present, and a few possible futures. Verbobala causes a scene. This will be the largest Verbobala show to date, thanks to collaboration with Tucson's first-class spectacle spinners, Flam Chen. With performances by the Tucson National Slam Team--Lindsay Miller, Kelly Lewis, and Teresa Driver--as well as poet Jewel Blackfeather, local bands Crossing Sarnoffand One Eye Open, raffle for awesome prizes, and more! Hosted by Aaron Johnson.

DATE: Saturday, July 21st, 2007 – Doors at 6pm

LOCATION AND TICKET INFORMATION: Club Congress - 311 E. Congress All Ages $9 in advance $10 at the door

SCHEDULE: 6:00 pm - Doors Open 6:30 pm – Poetry by Jewel Blackfeather 7:00 pm – Music by One Eye Open 7:30 pm – Poetry by The First Ever Tucson National Slam Team: Lindsay Miller, Kelly Lewis, Teresa Dawn Driver 8:00 pm – Music by Crossing Sarnoff 8:30 pm – Raffle for awesome prizes 8:45 pm – Verbobala Spoken Video featuring Logan Phillips, Flam Chen, Adam Cooper-Terán, Moisés Regla

For More Information: Tucson Spoken Word Network at

Kicking off the July tour!

Well, I just hopped the infamous Aeromexico flight 696--MEX->PHX--yesterday afternoon. Tonight in Flagstaff I am kicking off a 19-date, 3-state tour and would love to see you. Yes you. You who hasn't come for a visit to Mexico yet.

Click here to see all the dates, and please help spread the word! This is going to be a good time!

Border walls, dinosaurs & white fluffy puppies,


7th Annual Slab City Slam

slab city slam

I'll be in Arizona on Memorial Day weekend! After missing last year, I'll be back at one of my favorite poetry events in the world (literally). The Arcosanti Slab City Slam! I'll be performing a BRAND NEW PERFORMANCE ART PIECE ON FRIDAY NIGHT and cohosting the slam on Saturday all day. I'll be taking a lot of risks. You'll probably see me burst into flames. We'll see if that's in a good way or a bad way. Jewelynx is convinced it will be in a good way.

Arcosanti is halfway between PHX and FLG on I-17. If you've never been there, coming is worth it just to see the place itself. More info below:

The Arizona Spoken Word Festival and Slab City Slam returns to Arcosanti for its 7th year, on May 25, 26, and 27, 2007. Slab City Slam is a performance poetry competition for bragging rights as state slam poetry champions. Ten teams of poets from across the state will compete in three fast-paced, funny, exciting, and heart-wrenching rounds that will last all day and into the night on Saturday, May 26th. This highly anticipated spoken word event offers an opportunity to see what variety Arizona’s literary performance community has to offer.

A special night of performance kicks off the festival on Friday, May 25th, at 7pm. Prescott-area poets Doc Luben and Dan Seaman will present solo spoken word performances, Flagstaff’s The Family will perform acoustic bluegrass and roots music, and Arcosanti’s Dan Kelliher will perform a late-night solo set of original songs.

Saturday, May 26th begins when the action kicks into high gear in the beautiful Colly Soleri Music Center at 10am, with the first of three rounds of slam poetry at its very best. Slam is audience-judged, high-energy, competitive performance poetry. Ten teams from throughout Arizona square off for an uncensored, no-holds barred competitive poetry extravaganza. Phoenix-based improv comedy group Galapagos will perform between poetry rounds throughout the day. The competition is followed by a live bronze trophy pour in the Arcosanti bronze foundry, followed by a major spectacle performance by Tucson’s master fire performance troupe Flam Chen ( Then, those who are still standing slip into the night for a bonfire after-party and informal poetry share around the fire.

Sunday, May 27th rounds out the weekend, with the low-impact Haiku Death Match and Boys v Girls Haiku Slam in the Arcosanti Ceramic Apse. Finally, participants and audience are welcome to enjoy a relaxing afternoon by the Arcosanti pool before cleaning up and heading home.

* The event is entirely free and open to all members of the public, though donations for use of the site and the performers are strongly encouraged. * Camping is available on Arcosanti’s property, both Friday and Saturday nights, for $5.00 per night. * Arcosanti’s Visitor Center will be open all weekend, offering tours of the Arcosanti project, the world famous Soleri Windbells for sale, meals in the Arcosanti Café, snacks in the Bakery, and beer and wine at the Part-Timer Pub. * Parking is limited, please carpool. * No underage drinking, glass in the amphitheatre, or pets (except AAO) are allowed. * All artistic content completely uncensored and potentially life-altering. Be warned.

Arcosanti is located 65 miles north of Phoenix, and 2 1/2 miles northeast of Cordes Junction. Take exit 262 off I-17 and follow the signs for Arcosanti.

Summer tour 2007! NYC! ABQ! FLG! Oh my!

Hello lovers & fighters, apes & lizards, Good news. I'll be back in the States for six weeks this summer, performing in Arizona and New Mexico on my way to spread the word about Mexican poetry slam at the 2007 National Poetry Slam! This means that I will get a chance to see a lot of people whom I haven't seen in awhile. This makes me excited like a Neanderthal going camping.

Also, I have the chance to be in NYC for ten days in July! I have never been before, and am looking forward to it. They tell me that after Mexico City, NYC shouldn't be a problem. We'll see. I have a few dates booked, but I am looking for contacts in New York. If you know of anyone involved in poetry and / or performance & video, please help me out! I could really use it.

The gigs page is now back in action and is filling up with dates. If you know of an event that I should check out in any of the below places, please don't keep it to yourself, luva.

July 1-7: Northern Arizona / Phoenix July 8-18: NYC July: 19-25: Southern Arizona / Tucson / Bisbee (?) July 26-August 4: New Mexico / Albuquerque / Santa Fe August 4-11: Austin, TX, 2007 National Poetry Slam.

See you soon?

Back from the Flagstaff tornado wordfire

This post is a little more blog-style than usual. Just back from Flagstaff and facing the seven hours of class I'm about to give...

So, after drinking beer and watching YouTube until sunrise with CX Kidtronik, Frosty and Kwame in a hotel room in PHX, the cab came to take me away. I was drunk and was continually messing up English greetings. I said, for instance, good evening. They would say, good morning, drunkard. Like Christopher Lane said when I left, everything resets when you sleep. Unless you don’t sleep, then you’re yesterdayman in a today world.

I spent all of Earth Day in an empire of airports. I probably slept with my mouth open. After snow flurries in Flag, it was near-rain in LA. Only when landing in DF did it warm up again. Metaphor what you will.


So what was it like? Euphoria tornado beer forest caffeine remix handshake cellphone performance word collapse. It reminds me what Derrick Brown was saying on stage at the show, how good it feels to meet genuinely kind people. Writing that doesn’t seem to convey the right idea. But right from Lane’s friend Colby at the airport the first time, I met a lot of great people in that 72 hours.

Coming into Flag, we didn’t make one single stop before we hit El Charro café on San Francisco. The kids from Brooklyn were looking for nachos and margaritas. A cultural experience, basically. The place kills, as it always has. American-Mexican chiles rellenos and sopapillas... the rest of the night was spent between the minivan, Aaron Johnson’s apartment, Day’s Inn, my sister’s house, the south side, etc.

The next day I picked up the books from the printer on the east side. Thanks go out to Jim for doing an amazing job. Right away I started stuffing and addressing envelopes: all of you that ordered last week will be getting the goods in the next couple days. Let me know if it takes longer. Now, what books are left are here in Cuernavaca, or sitting in a series of boxes across Arizona.

The soundcheck was hectic but was the chance to see everyone under one roof after months of planning: Saul, Derrick, Buddy, Lane, Aaron, Frosty, CX, Kwame, the Orpheum crew, volunteers, etc. Saul is a kind, calm and focused man. It was really interesting talking with him. Then Derrick, Buddy and I hit up the Black Bean, which is a strange sort of ritual everytime Derrick comes into town. Except now they have tequila shots and Derrick has to eat tiny, baby-bird bites. We should have combined the two. It was great to see Buddy again, it had been a couple years. The two of them are on tour in a rented Mustang.

I ate lasagne with my family and generally was cold even inside the house. Then Biskit, Leena, Jewel and Melinda showed up, exploding the place. We all left to the Orpheum, Jewelinda voltron chaos bliss. The show was very, very good. I think I got to see more people on the sidewalk before hand than any other time. I went on a little after nine, shouting ernest gibberish. My set went very quickly, afterwords some people said they expected more, but that is what the show called for. I forgot to say a lot of things that I meant to. Like a shout out to Kingman High School and Sedona Red Rock. Ooops. I’m not sure if Flagstaff realized that the dinosaurs really, really are coming back. Joke’s on them.

Buddy and Derrick have both evolved since I last saw them, both of them are playing with music now, and I thought it worked very well. I had of course heard a lot about Saul’s performances, and knew his work, but it was the first time seeing the two together. It seems like the three of them (Saul and the band) did exactly what they wanted to do, smoothly. Trying to describe the mix of musical genres that they span would only make it sound like a soundbit-laden fusion band, of which they are the opposite. A lot of bands combine sounds in a very intellectual, intentional way, which never works as well as realizing that at one time Bad Brains were playing rap, punk and reggae all at the same time and there’s really no reason for further “innovation” or pseudo-creations of genre-combos. Music is one. It all just flows, as it should.

Flagstaff was euphoric and looking for an afterparty. There was some confusion at the Orpheum and things scattered a bit. It happens, maybe as it should.

Would it be overly dramatic to call the experience life-changing? Of course. But that's just fine. The night reminded me how much I love so many people that I'm now far from, and how much I owe so many of those people. Jesica reminded me how important high school shows are. All of it together reminded me that I can't wait to tour again.

Thanks to Christopher Lane for the idea and the opportunity, thanks to Aaron Johnson for making it happen. Thanks to everyone for coming out, everyone who bought one of the new books, and everyone that said hi. I’ll see you in July.

Bienvenue au Café Cheri(e): An American Poet Performing in Paris

A packed house at Café Cheri(e) on this lucid and hot Paris summer night. All up and down Boulevard du Belleville most is quiet: cargo trucks covered in graffiti, the Vietnamese, the Thai district. It’s a Tuesday, and like everywhere, slam makes for a packed house even on a weeknight. The place is bathed in a sweaty red light coming from a chandelier of red bulbs hanging over the heads of the crowd. Spring and I have to squeeze our way in. Smoking is still legal here, and it’s in full effect, the red light falling through it. 9:30pm and the sun hasn’t begun to set outside. Though we arrive after the thing has started, anyone who has been to a few hundred slams over the years (or even a few, I guess) would know exactly what was happening without speaking a word of French.

The infamous Pilote le Hot is a the helm, he’s screaming for scores from the three judges. Maybe 60 people inside, another 30 sitting at tables outside. Pilote and K’trin-D remember me after I introduce myself. We competed against each other in the same bout in Albuquerque at the National Poetry Slam last August. Pilote is in a state I recognize right away: Host Mode. The scattered brain, the running, the yelling, the grinning, all conclusive symptoms. In the midst of it though, he asks me if I would like to read a sacrifice poem before the second round, no matter the language.

“Do you think it would go over well?” I ask, unsure. So far, the widely-held belief that the French are assholes has proved false, but I can imagine that a gringo shouting at them in English from a stage could possibly push them to blows.

“Oh yes, man,” Pilote says in his trademark accent and crooked grin. “Do it.”

It doesn’t take much convincing. After being in a country whose language I don’t speak, where most things seem strange to me, being at a slam is somehow calming, a spot of familiar in a sea of crazy Europe. I drink a beer, talk to a few of the poets around, most of whom speak a little English. “All us poets speak the same language,” one of them tells me.

My heart is beating like it hasn’t before a performance in a long time. The poets have assured me that the crowd will be into it—or at least they probably won’t boo me off the stage, even if they understand very little. I think of the first time I saw Pilote perform, back at the 2003 National Poetry Slam in Chicago. Obviously a lot less people spoke French in that room that speak some English here.

Pilote is back on stage. By way of my introduction, he says “it’s not his fault that he is American,” both in English and French so that we’re all on the same page. The crowd is welcoming and claps even louder as I get on stage, rather than starting to die off, which seems to be the American way of doing things.

“Bonsoir, ça va?” I say into the cordless mic, “Bueno, hablo mucho español and I speak English but je ne parle pas français, but I’m going to learn. Thank you for having me.” I do “The Boy’s Pockets,” maybe over exaggerating the movements a little, as Pilote has told me to perform my ass off, or something like that. I forget the poem about halfway through, as I sometimes do when I’m unpracticed. I freestyle it, weaving back into the poem.

The crowd is generous. Several people approach me later to ask questions about me—and even better—about the poem. The meaning of the word matches for instance: “Lashes?”

“No, matches. To light your cigarette.” A free beer for le artiste, good cheer. They started with around eighteen poets at the beginning of the night, and the cuts are fierce in the second and third rounds. Ángel Pastor is in the house and performing tonight, which is a definite treat. The Spanish-born poet also journeyed to Albuquerque last summer and Danny Solis reportedly called him “a national treasure” after Solis featured here in Paris. And at around 80 years old, Pastor definitely is a treasure.

Standing no more than 5’5”, with long white hair and a long white beard, the man rarely uses a microphone, as he sings cante jondo at the top of his lungs. Old, revolutionary songs modified from time to time to fit modern day. The crowd always loves him and has a chant that they sing every time he comes off stage. After eleven years, the original Paris Poetry Slam (now one of many) is as developed as any slam I’ve seen. While K’trin-D is onstage, some of the other poets are mouthing her poem along with her.

France has had its own National Poetry Slam for the last four years, the 2006 event hosted sixteen adult teams from all over the country and ten adolescent teams. And unlike their American counterparts, these poets are all paid by the state to compete. Everything from rail tickets to lodging and food are covered, which is why the tournament most grow slowly—it requires a massive amount of financial support.

The French National team will be competing at the United States National Poetry Slam for the second time this August in Austin, Texas. Lead by K’trin-D and Pilote, the team will perform in French while their poems are projected in English behind them. If you’re in Austin, they’re worth checking out.

Learn more: La Fédération Française de Slam Poésie: The United States National Poetry slam: Slam Productions (France):

ici, Paris

Paris, France I performed at the Paris Poetry Slam. The French are gracious and know more English than Americans know French. In other news, doesn't it seem like neanderthals really loved camping? We start moving west again soon. I'm performing in Phoenix on the 26th, info on the shows page. Here are some poems. In English.

Paris Gossip II

And you, Saint, came from whereever you came and slayed the dragon that grew each night from the prostitute's house.

For this, people were able to leave their houses at night. For this, you eventually were made into stone and placed next to Jesus.

Paris Gossip III

And you, Bishop, left, your head in your hands, after being beheaded by the dancing Pagans.

You, Bishop, holy, stood from the guillitine-- too holy to die there, picked up your tall hat with what it contained, and walked from this city,

to die where you chose, leaving the blade questioning itself and the people questioning their faith in the blade.

(Now, in the place you chose to lay your head for good, there is a fountain. Women who drink of it will always love their husbands.)

I've Sold Out.

As the 2006 tour winds down, a glance at the infamous Merch Crate tells me this: it’s been a successful trip. Over the last two months, 8,000 miles, five states and 30+ shows, I’ve sold out of every single bit of merch that I had. After two printings and over 400 copies, the book Sun Said Shine is officially gone. There are no plans for another printing, I’d rather spend the money on the next book, whose working title is “This Line Drawn Across Footprints.” The manuscript is finished, Pedro Dia has returned to illustrate, I’ve just lacked the time and finances to put it out. It will happen, this time with more proof reading. The CD Fourteen Ways to Move the Tongue is gone after 100 copies. Likewise with La Calaca T-shirt, a big box of 100 shirts is now one shirt: mine. There might be more CD’s, but that particular shirt is done.

Thanks to everyone who has passed me some money in exchange for any of the above. It means more than you could imagine, and I have no one but you to thank for supporting me during my first four months as a ‘professional’ poet. I promise I didn’t blow all of it on booze. Yet.

Don’t forget though, you can always

via PayPal.

Return to NORAZ

This is going to be a special one, so I'm posting it here on the ol main page. Wednesday, May 17 2006 Logan Phillips feature performance The Well Red Coyote Book Store, Sedona, AZ 6:00pm Come see and hear what the road teaches. This is my only performance in NORAZ during this tour.

"The Well Red Coyote Book Store is located at 3190 W. Hwy 89-A at the corner of Dry Creek Rd. and 89-A. Call 928.282.2284 for more information about this and future events."

Pure Chaos Whirling at the Puro Slam

San Antonio, Texas, EUAfirst printed in the Arizona Poetry Newsletter

The lightning is flashing so much it looks like some god is changing channels in the sky. The freeway between Austin and San Antonio is one long city, but the only people who live here are the billboards and the streetlights. They’re afraid of the lightning, and so am I. The show in San Antonio starts in half an hour and all the radio can talk about is the hurricane-force winds in the east that are moving toward I-35. The Puro Slam, though, is one of the few shows that’s worth risking electrocution to see.

lees y graf

Outside of Sam’s Burger Joint, the mood is right: sirens, those pre-storm winds, an orange sky, cars pulling up right and left. Anthony Flores and his lady Dee Dee are climbing out of a car and squinting in my direction. Anthony has become one of San Anto’s best poets, and it’s good to see him here. Shaggy, doorman / scorekeeper / announcer / brains-of-the-operation is already inside, his hand buried in some green alien’s head that they use as a tip jar at the door.

Eleven PM and the show finally begins. This is, without a doubt, one of the greatest poetry slams in the country, certainly one of the most unique. It’s a Tuesday, almost midnight, and there’s over a hundred people in the dark and swanky room, many huddled around the drink specials at the bar. It’s beer, it’s poetry, it’s cursing and it is good. Thanks to this being Texas, eighteen-year-olds are also allowed in, though the government says they must stay sober. But there is not a lot of sobriety at the Puro Slam.

Tonight’s host is Ria, who skips announcing the rules and gets straight to insulting the audience, which they love. The woman controls the room with a drink in one hand and her purse in the other. First on the mic is Anthony, as it should be. All you can really ask of poetry slams these days are just a few moments of startling originality, and Anthony brings the unique. “Playing with words is like playing with knives” he chants as he mimes knife juggling, keeping infectious rhythm with his hands clapping as he reads.

The room loves it, as they should. It’s a good crowd, but many of the well-known poets like Anthony are taking the night off from competing: San Anto just had their Grand Slam last week, so everyone is ready to relax. And something else unique has happened here in this city: both Anthony and his daughter, Amanda Flores, have made it on the team that will go to the National Poetry Slam in Austin this August, making them probably the first-ever father / daughter team on a Nationals-bound poetry slam team. It’s like I’m telling him during the first round: writing group pieces is going to be great for them. The second that the crowd realizes they’re seeing a family on stage together, I’m sayin the tens will be in the bag, which is the kind of thing you worry about when going to Nationals.

Ria is onstage making fun of a rookie poet who just performed in a muscle shirt. He deserves it. Puro Slam is not known for being kind: the crowd’s heckling is known throughout the nation. It’s a strange thing, to be in a room full of people watching a poet shaking and sputtering through a played-out rhyming poem, when someone suddenly begins The Carwash Clap. You know The Carwash Clap, if you know Carwash. It’s an unmentioned rule here in San Anto: at the first sign of the crowd starting The Carwash Clap, the poet had better get off stage quickly.

I have no sympathy. A good poetry slam is just a bit mean around the edges: like a carnival with rides, bad cotton candy and a certain menace in the colors of the merry-go-round. At a good poetry slam, anything can happen, which is why the crowd is here.

The first round ends. I’m called up to feature. People have been buying me Red Bull and Vodka for about the last hour and a half. I’m a livewire walking a tightrope in front of a crowd that will either riot or rejoice in a few minutes. I just rip through the poems, lots of yelling, insulting and laughing. I feel pretty well at home when being cut no slack. Cheering and clapping breaks out during my sestina about the border. No Carwash Clap in sight, they’re with me.

It’s 1:30 in the morning when I look around and wonder if anyone still remembers a poetry slam is going on. Ria is loaded, as is everyone else. It’s one of those rare moments when an entire group of people all devolve at once, leaving their normal selves at the door and basking in poetry, chaos and laughter. It’s the Puro Slam and we’re headed toward sunrise.