Dom Flemons youtube blowout

It is time, amigos, for a new Dom Flemons post. Three years ago I wrote about him when he had just made the big move Out East. Now, I'm happy to report that Dom is continuing with his Conquest of the World. With his current band, Carolina Chocolate Drops, he is touring the world. Word has it he's Big In Europe, which he should be. I just caught up with him in NYC, where we ate some slices and he played old accordion. Then, back in his room, he played Peruvian-style wind pipes with blues guitar. The kid is wild, and the kid is going to blow up. It inspired me to dig out some old video of him I shot at his request back in 2004. I was renting a room in a small house in Flagstaff, I sat him down, got creative with the lighting, and let the borrowed camera roll. Back then (way oh so back then in 2004) there was no YouTube, except for those real, organic, gooey tubes of yours. So I sat on the video. Until now (cue drums).

Here's Dom. There's more here.

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.

Verbobala mailing list

After years of people asking, I finally have a email list. It's focused on Verbobala, which makes sense since that's just about all I'm focused on these days. We'll send along tour dates, news, and spanglish albures. If you're interested, drop me a line with your email address and I'll send you an invite. Also, if you want to be emailed when this site is updated, you can subscribe to

More soon! It's all happening!

Books and DVD for sale online again!

Great news, internetters. After more than two years, I have books available for purchase online again! Since living in Mexico, I've not been able to keep up with my D.I.Y. method of sending out merch bought online, until I got down with my friend Mo Browne and her company They're a clearinghouse for indy poetry publishing, and you'll have no problems whatsoever ordering from them. I have received tons of requests for this, so here you go! Coming soon for the first-ever Verbobala Spoken Video US tour: new stickers, new shirts, new DVD's, lucha masks (!), new posters and more. The tour dates are on NuestroSpace, hope to see you soon!

Merch currently available online: All items are sold through my friends at, which is SSL secured and completely safe. I vouch for them 100%.

  • This Line Drawn Across Footprints, book, 2007. Second printing.
    16 poems, including 4 in both English and Spanish. Some of my best-known work from the last few years, written mostly in Flagstaff.
  • Where Do Airplanes Build Their Nests?, book, 2007. Second printing.
    23 poems, all in English (except one). Work from the 2006 world travels: London, Spain, Guatemala, the Carribean, Ireland, Mexico, etc.
  • Jiutepunk in the Solspace, DVD, 2007.
    Verbobala Spoken Video's first DVD, containing highlights from nearly every performance in 2007, in the US and México. Hours of Spanglish video performance art!

Debate periodístico acerca del spoken word

Últimamente el periódico mexicano Milenio a través de su suplimentario "Laberinto" ha publicado un par de notas que son---por lo menos a mi aparecer---bien interesantes, las dos acerca de las nuevas tendencias de la poesía aquí en México. La primera, entitulada "Poesía al limite," de Rocío Cerón, echa una miradita hacia las "nuevas" formas literarias: el spoken word, los slams de poesía, performance, etc. (Y también, por cierto, incluye una foto de nuestro grupo Verbobala Spoken Video, tomada durante el festival Poesía en Voz Alta.07 de la Casa del Lago) Después viene otra nota, "Di no al spoken word," por Heriberto Yepez, atacando la validez de lo que se llama spoken word. Obviamente no estoy muy de acuerdo con ese infeliz, pero su comentario sí trae unos puntos interesantes y hasta ciertos. A mí, me parece poco útil entrar en cualquier debate de cuales formas de arte si son validos y cuales no, aunque estoy seguro de que escribir de este tipo de polémica está bien para vender periodicos. Prefiero pasar mi tiempo creando mi propio arte, en vez de intentando de quitar el derecho del próximo de hacer lo suyo, solamente porque su arte no es lo que yo considero "arte." ¿Qué es arte? ¿Qué es cultura? ¿Quién tiene derecho de inovar, jóvenes o adultos? ¿Indígenas o estadounidenses? ¿Español o inglés? Son todas cuestiones sin respuestas, y aunque es interesante considerarlas de vez en cuando, yo creo que hay espacio suficiente en este mundo para que cada quien tiene la oportunidad de crear su arte como le da la gana.

Lo que sí está muy bien es que ya la poesía está tomando una nueva fuerza en la sociedad mexicana actual---la poesía en todas sus diversas formas.

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

Preview of the new Verbobala piece “WORK”

Regular readers of the site will have noticed that I'm not posting new material nearly as often as in the past, and that most of the posts in the last few months have been videos. Signs of the times, amigos.

Hola a tod@s,

well, we're two months into jamming on the new Verbobala piece, whose working title is, well, "WORK." This will be the first piece that we've created completely from scratch, rather than a combination of our solo work. We wanted to give you a glimpse of it now.

The piece will premier at the finale of the 26th Annual Tucson Poetry Festival on April 12th, 2008––US visa gods willing. After that, we'll be touring throughout the US: to the Pacific Northwest, the East Coast, and Texas. There are also plans for the UK this fall. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please let them know.

This video shows off a bit of the shooting we've been doing for the piece. Lots of interviews and time spent in unusual pieces: pulque farms, mesoamerican observatories, illegal mezcal bars. Most of the work thus far has been done in Mexico, though once we start traveling the piece will take on a much more global feel. The video doesn't include any original poetry yet... but imagine pantoums of remixed interviews, Lorca meets Eduardo Galleano meets Cummings, Mexican slam poetry, etc. etc.––this video is just a taste.

Here's the link

There is also higher quality available.

And of course a compilation of some of our 2007 performances.

The audio is a Verbobala remix of the Zizek crew from Argentina. Jacob Cooper of Bark Bark Bark has recently agreed to collaborate on WORK's score. The Tucson premier will also feature a collaboration with spectacle experts Flam Chen.

We have lots of tricks up our collective sleeve, and hope to see you soon.

Ink & airplanes,

Adam, Logan & Moisés

Update on the Arcosanti spoken word festival

Business / organizer stuff: This may or may not be of interest to general readers of this site, but if you've participated in the Slab City Slam / spoken word festival at Arcosanti in Arizona over the last seven years, you might be interested in these two letters explaining why the festival won't be held in 2008. Not what I had hoped for, but así es. The letters are here:

A Letter of Thanks to the AZ Poetry Community(s):


More than 8 years ago, three lovers of word collaborated on a mesa in Central Arizona to create a place and time for the Poetic Community(s) of our state to gather. The purpose was simple and stated: “Create a ‘neutral ground’ for poets and poetry groups to express, experience, and share outside of their normal venue and perception“.

For a year, Ira Murfin and Dan Seaman contacted, queried, listened, negotiated, brainstormed, and re-thought this process within all the groups and parameters that could foresee-ably be involved. The Arcosanti Spoken Word Festival & Slab City Slam was then born in 2001.

Many fantastic individuals stepped up to the task of helping produce this festival over its lifespan. Particular “thanks” to Jewel, Bob, Andre’, Christopher, Logan, Teresa, and the Arcosanti Community, et al.

Recently, an internationally circulated magazine ran a story which created concern for me about being involved with Arcosanti in the future (“O” July 2007, story by Margie Goldsmith). Further -- and similar -- information was brought forward in a long-time Arcosanti resident’s Live Journal (herteethflashfear Oct 8, 2007). Combined, these accounts reflect on what I can only conclude to be an environment of chauvinism, opportunistic sexism, authoritarian manipulation, and ongoing breaches of faith between artist and model from the highest level of representation at Arcosanti. That is my personal conclusion, from years of working with victims.

It can be said that I hold too high a standard to which I expect others to abide. However, it is the standard to which I hold myself as an artist: The model, subject, or student is not to be taken advantage of in any way, by the artist or teacher.

It can be said that I am too strongly influenced by having experienced a childhood in a single-parent upbringing in the 1950‘s and 60‘s, as my mother fought for her equal rights as an individual, rather than be subjected to a societal placement and continued degradation as “just another woman”.

Many things “can” be said, but this must be said: As organizers, promoters, and artists we have an obligation to our audience, our performers, our venue, and our selves to continue moving forward with positive social change… and to not ignore injustice for the sake of convenience. That’s just my opinion.

My most sincere love and thanks to all who have worked toward these goals through our Slab City Slam SpokenWord Festival, in the past. My best wishes to those who will continue on this path in the future. Until Women’s Rights are fully recognized there, I cannot allow myself to be involved with any festival at Arcosanti.

Dan Seaman Co-Creator/Organizer/emcee Slab City Slam 2001-2007

“… to do nothing, is to give approval”

January 8th, 2008

To the Arizona poetry community(s), past participants of the spoken word festival at Arcosanti,

Given that many people are asking, I thought it might be useful to give a little background of the organizational efforts that have taken place since the 2007 festival last May. I write this personally, not as a representative of the now-disbanded Advisory Board.

I was asked by Dan Seaman last summer to take over for him in hosting the Slab City Slam. After years of participating in the Festival, I felt that I was up to the task despite no longer living in Arizona, and had many ideas on how to grow and cultivate the Festival into a financially and organizationally sustainable event.

I asked six members of the statewide community to become an Advisory Board that would help me with the daunting task of creating a "New Festival" at Arcosanti to take up the torch. Dan Seaman, Ira Murfin, Jewel Blackfeather, Christopher Lane, Teresa Driver and Bob Nelson all accepted, having past involvement in organizing the Festival, and/or having extensive organizational experience in their local communities. I took on the role of director.

In my view, the Festival was never going to be held in 2008 unless we did something about it. Dan and other key organizers had made the choice to move on to other things, until they were convinced to stay on as Advisors. Additionally, the Festival has always been a grassroots, underground effort that operated without a budget, largely thanks to huge work put in by people like Jewel, Dan and Ira, among others. I think many people felt that 2007 was the "best year yet," it certainly seemed to me to be as far as the Festival could go without new organizational direction. It had simply gotten too big as it was.

For many who only participated in the Slab City Slam or attended the Festival, it was never evident that the entire event was usually organized on the backs and wallets of three or fewer key volunteers, who put in countless unpaid and under-recognized hours.

I spent the summer and fall with the Advisory Board exploring how to move forward: finding a new identity for the festival, investigating granting opportunities, promotion, budget, etc. It was clear that it was going to be a big task.

In the middle of that came the "O" magazine article referred to by Dan in his letter. As I learned more, it seemed to me that the incidents described were not isolated but rather indicative of an endemic issue at Arcosanti that had yet to be addressed in any meaningful way.

During the discussions on how to address the issue, and if we should move forward with a festival at Arcosanti, many key members of the Advisory Board resigned. This in turn lead to the dissolution of the Advisory Board that had formed last summer.

So what now? I'm not sure. It seems that a new beginning is in order, and it seems most appropriate to me that it happens somewhere besides Arcosanti. That is my personal view. I won't be directly involved in organizing any festival this year, where ever it may be. If invited to be involved by any future organizers / organizing committees, I would reevaluate at that time.

It has been a fantastic seven years, and I am truly thankful for even being able to see the Festival, let alone participate or help make it happen.

Thanks for the willingness to understand. Any questions about the above can be made to me directly, at 520.456.xxxx over the next week or at 520.413.xxxx thereafter.

logan phillips Former participant/organizer/emcee Slab City Slam 2002-2005, 2007

Into the Two-Thousand-Great

Well chavos, we're on the other side. 2008 already feels different, doesn't it? It feels great. As do this year's rhyming opportunities. Don't be late. Or irate. I'm in Arizona on vacation. Basically been AWOL for the last month. Sleeping, riding my bike, hiking, meditating. Trying to catch up with myself after an autumn that kept me running for months straight. Verbobala is taking off, and I didn't have much time to dedicate to this site or Radio Dirtyverbs or many other side projects. That will be different in 2008, as I'm giving up being a professor for now. Time for going full-time again.

Adam is coming back to Cuernavaca with me, and we'll be entering a 40 day residency at my place with Moisés. The idea is to develop an entirely new, hour-long show, which we'll be taking on the road off and on throughout the year with Verbobala. I'll be on the road a lot throughout the year. I'd love to come to whereever you're living. Let me know if you have ideas.

Some random things:

  • New and old poems online, previously only available to people who shelled out the clams for a book (I love them people)

    The Boy's Pockets Arizona Freeway Sunrise Arnold Duncan Doesn't Live Here Tell Me You'll Never See Her Again I Confuse the Dead Man, Michael's Fever

  • Slam Revolution, a great new documentary about the worldwide poetry slam movement by Rolf S. Wolkenstein. They were in New York City at the same time I was last summer, and I make an appearance in the first few minutes of the film. Cool stuff, watch it online here, or below.
  • Spoken Circus trailer. We just finished it this morning. Spoken Circus will be Verbobala's tour partner for the fall '08 US university tour.
  • I had the blessing of ringing in this here TwoThousandGreat by helping out my friends Flam Chen with a show in Bisbee, AZ. They're heros of mine, and it was amazing to see them make several hundred people scream for minutes on end. They're professionals at that. I also got to spend some of the first minutes of the new year flying above Brewery Gulch on those balloons. Coolest thing I've done so far this year. Check it out:

DJ dirtyverbs, roots cumbia n bass

I know I owe the world an update, and multiple promises have been made to get this website more lively again. Here's what's on my mind, taken in part from an email I just wrote to my friend (and powerful poet) Jasmine Sena from Burque: Things are bananas here. I've started DJ'ing parties with this soundsystem sideproject we have going: my hermano Moisés (of Verbobala fame), a Boris Dulon from Argentina (BOROBROS // VSV stage manager // CuernaSlam DJ // psycho-yogi) and I. The idea's based on the Jamaican soundsystems of the 70's, or the early hip-hop MC / DJ combo, or the sonidero idea out of Monterrey. I specialize in cumbia, this kickin dance music originally from Colombia, the other guys do roots reggae and drum 'n bass. It is hot. You should see what happens to a party when we go on at about 3am.

The official drink of the as-of-yet unnamed soundsystem is mezcal con café. If we haven't had a chance to sit down with a bottle of mezcal, hopefully we will soon. I first encountered the stuff in Querétaro, where my compa Craig would buy a half-liter of the cheapest incarnation possible along with a 2-liter Coke. A fourth of the Coke goes down the drain, two bottles become one, and the gringo goes by undetected. Later, in Oaxaca, I found the stuff sold in recycled salsa bottles with handpainted labels and a slice of maguey cactus inside. Time has passed, tastes refined, and if you want to get a party jumping, the recipe is simple: café de olla, chocolate con canela y azúcar, mezcal... y cumbia.

Moi's birthday is coming up later this month, and we'll be playing there. JIUTEPUNK, cumbia hasta lunes. I'd love to record the set and make it available as a podcast. I don't think these words will make much sense without a cumbia beat behind them. Lately, all the days have had a cumbia beat behind them.

Meanwhile, weekdays, I'm finishing up teaching English literature and advanced translation...

Coming soon... Verbobala spring 2008 US tour... DJ'ing and solo gigs on the side, hit me up to plan something!


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

still alive, home from tour

Yes, I am alive. Yes, there is a hurricane on either side of this country. But by the time the hurricanes reach Cuernavaca, they are long, calm, "female rains" as Emily would call them. They've already combed their eyelashes with the coastal trees, as Jewel would put it. My second night back I ended up at an art opening at La Casona Spencer, where we throw the CuernaSlam. As I was leaving, my friend John said to me, "Well, welcome home." And I realized that I've never come home to Mexico before. But here I am.

I'm teaching three classes at the university this semester: English Literature I, Translation Resources and Translation III. I dig teaching, though it isn't my focus anymore. Why? Well,

2007 Tour By the time it was all over I had done 23 shows in 30 days. I played an abandoned KOA Kamp off I-40 at Two Guns, Arizona at a rock fest run on generators and whiskey. I made the pilgrimage and featured at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC. I did an entire show with my fly unzipped in metropolitan Tempe. Puro exito. Prescott and Bisbee and Silver City reminded me why I love small towns. Albuquerque felt like family. Through they were only printed last April, I've all but sold out of "This Line Drawn Across Footprints" and "Where Do Airplanes Build Their Nests?"

777 fest, Two Guns, AZ

Verbobala A lot has changed this summer. Though I'm in Cuernavaca again, some big opportunities have come up, and the future has started to take a bit of shape. Verbobala Spoken Video is consuming me, which is part of the reason not much has been happening on this site. Moi and Adam consistently blow me away. Collaboration is the only way to go, and it's an honor to be working with them. We're playing Poesía en Voz Alta at Casa del Lago in Mexico City at the end of the month. It's the very same festival that I flipped over last fall. What a difference a year makes. Oh, and speaking of a year: Verbobala university tour, fall 2008? It just may be. I love you AJ Lefty.

TipofyourTongue Festival, Penzance, England I've been waiting to mention this for awhile, but here it is, something I'm extremely excited about: I'll be featuring at the TipofyourTongue Festival in Cornwall, England next month. Verbobala owes its existence in part to this gig, which has been in the works the better part of a year. Verbobala will play on Thursday, I'll do a solo show on Friday, give a workshop and host a show on Saturday. They're putting me to work. It's going to be a great time.

Mexican National Poetry Slam, diciembre 2007 Along with Cara Cummings and a few other asskickers, I am helping to organize the first-ever national poetry slam in Mexico. We're still in talks with potential venues, but it will be the 7th or 8th of December. All are invited. The idea is to send a Team Mexico to the American National Poetry slam in Madison, Wisconsin in August 2008. You'll be hearing more about that. Here's some video from the CuernaSlam de Poesía, which just had its second show last week. I'm pretty proud of how it's been going. You can be our friend on MySpace and feel involved.

Spoken word festival at Arcosanti, mayo 2008 Can't say too much about this yet, but cool things are happening. Stay tuned.

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,


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: I love being a part of this.

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

Myself, Oscar de Pablo: