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The Latest and The Last

Dear Saginaw Slam Family — This is your faithful Slam Master speaking.  You may have noticed that I’ve been lax on the blogging for the past several months.  That’s the kind of thing that happens when you take on too many commitments and can’t figure out how to successfully clone yourself.  Somethings gotta give and unfortunately, there is a job Delta College is paying me to do and no one else wants my kids… alas, the Saginaw Slam Blog site has suffered my near abandonment instead.  But it is with all of this in mind that I must say with a heavy heart that my days as your Slam Master are numbered.  I will be accompanying our 2013 Saginaw Slam Team to the Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam in Madison, Wisconsin, June 14 & 15 and then… I will be calling it quits.  I am extremely proud of the Saginaw Slam’s first two seasons.  I believe we have all worked to create a beautiful community of poets and poetry lovers that has the fortitude to survive this very small hiccup in the life of a Slam. That is, I believe you all will carry on just fine without me.  And, if you decide you don’t want to, it was cool while it lasted.  I had a blast and I hope you did too.  And if anyone (preferably without a more-than-full-time job and children) is interested in taking the helm of this crazy ship, I’d be more than open to helping that brave person through the grueling process of becoming a true slam master (hint: the most difficult step is getting used to putting “Slam Master” in front of your name).  The team is excited for Regionals and I am excited to coach them there and through.  Please stay tuned to our facebook site for updates on what goes down in Madison. I have had a tremendous time meeting you all and poetrying with you all.  I hope that you will not let the Saginaw Slam die — but if it does, I will always remember these first & last two seasons fondly & I hope you will too!

Peace! For Poetry! For Saginaw!
-Slam Master JodiAnn

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Happy Birthday to Us! Happy Birthday to Us! Happy Birthday Dear Saginaw Slaa-aam! Happy Birthday to Us!

Well, y’all, The end of the first year is upon us.  It’s Birthday time! Our very first year.  We cut some teeth.  Stayed up all night.  Refused to sleep.  Drooled a little.  And said our first words.  Now, it’s time to start walking.

This second season has been a crazy ride — and we’re only just over halfway through.  With shows in October, November, December and January — this February Birthday Party is our 5th show of the season. We still have March & April to go before the team is set.  Beginning in May, we will be bringing some poetry magic to y’all that you are not going to want to miss:  Workshops, Featured readers, Film screenings.  Saginaw Slam is going to Occupy Spring in Saginaw this year — plan ahead and stay tuned.

Since the blogs haven’t been coming to you in a regular fashion, let me recap:  We started the season off with a bang in October — Deyonte Osayande was our feature!! And we had some very special guests from Flint — including our winner, Kirei, who is one of the most talented young spoken word artists I have ever met.  Then… November was just plain weird. Your Slam Master chose to celebrate her birthday that evening in style (and by style, I mean Jameson) and we don’t know what the judges excuses were but let’s just say, there were no shortage of pink elephants in the room that night.  What happens at Woody’s stays at Woody’s, okay?? Then our post-Aztec-apocolypse December show and our feature Future from Flint (say that five times fast)– who was generous and gentle with us — and we loved him for it.  We survived the holidays and gathered as always in January with a chill in our cheeks and jello shots (compliments of Woody’s) in the air.  Our girl, JoJo brought the feature and put it neatly to bed while our girl, Beth (The) Detloff advanced for the first time to the second round and won second place!!!  Accompanied by our own Theresa “Poetry in Motion” Marshall & Charles “Floet” Townsel in the final round.  Floet won the night and locked down his spot on the Saginaw Slam Team this year.  And that’s just the first FOUR SHOWS!!!

If you’re really paying attention, you may have noticed that we are experiencing some technical difficulties with our YouTube channel.  Please stand by.  And, in the meantime, let these few videos I was able to upload from January whet your little appetite:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL468CiW6TZwWfl3AoNUk0_MjHbjLcHTMb

June 14 & 15, The Saginaw Slam Team will be representing our Community in Madison, Wisconsin at the Rustbelt Regional Slam Competition. After that, we’ll be making plans for National Poetry Slam in Boston, Massachusetts. Oh, yes, it’s going to be an exciting year.  And, we’re not even potty-trained yet!! (What??? I’m going back to that whole 1 year old metaphor… alright, never mind…)

But before all that, what I mostly want to say is Saginaw Slam Family… you continue to warm my heart with your showing up, your judging, your rowdiness, your weirdness, your sweetness, your willingness to share your soul, and your eagerness to be part of this growing, maturing community.  We are still only at the beginning.  Just 1 year old!!  We have so many more adventures in store.  Can’t wait to see you at the next one — Our First Saginaw Slam Birthday Party — February 21st at 7:30pm (remember if you’re signing up to sacrifice or Slam, you want to get there by 6:30pm!) — Our own Floet will be featuring!! We have a surprise special guest!! And, The Siren Will Rise!!  Did I mention Silly String?  Beads?  And all kinds of birthday goodies??? Bring your poetry to the stage, bring your willingness to help at the judge’s table, belly up to the bar, or just sit quietly and enjoy yourself.  We will put a smile on your face, perhaps some thoughts in your head, and sometimes even a pang in your heart.  Personally, I can’t imagine being anywhere else every third Thursday of the month.

Yours, For Poetry! For Saginaw! –SMJA (Slam Master JodiAnn)

November 15th — Second Show of Second Season!!

Hey All You Poetry Lovers!!

First, let’s congratulate ourselves for a beautiful first night to a beautiful second season of the Saginaw Slam!!  Thank you John Karpuk for being an amazing host! Thank you Trever Bennett for working your butt off and taking expert footage of the whole evening!  Thank you Beth Detloff for finding judges and generally keeping us on track!  Thank you Saginaw Slam 2012-2013 team members Charles “Floet” Townsel, Theresa Marshall and Kelly “Native Child” Mays (all the way from Westland) for showing up and giving us GREAT poetry, as always!!  Thank you to all our poets — including Trever, John & Beth — who showed your love for the word!!  Thank you audience members for showing your love for the poets and for Saginaw!!  October 18th y’all came out (well… those of you who were not watching baseball or afraid of the rain, came out) to what proved to be probably our best show yet!!

We got all kinds of cozy at Woody’s, enjoying the free pizza, maybe a drink or two, and the ridiculously amazing poetry.  Our gorgeous, brilliant, wonderful, fantastic, dedicated (do I go on too much???), phenomenal, talented,etc… Saginaw poets got to play hosts to guest poets from all over Michigan.  Poets came  from Jackson, Flint and Detroit to compete in our Slam, Saginaw.  All I’m sayin’ is, we must be doing something right. 

Deonte Osayande blew the whole house down with his featured read.  If you don’t know Deonte yet, get to know him folks!!  We were honored to have him with us in Saginaw!!

Now, let’s put away the congratulations and look toward next week — NOVEMBER 15TH — the second show of the second season — We want to see you come out in droves, Saginaw!!!  Come out and show your love for these gorgeous, brilliant, wonderful, fantastic, dedicated, phenomenal, talented, etc… poets who take that stage and pour their poetry out for your hungry ears alone.   You know there is nothing more interesting happening within 50 miles of Woody’s that night from 7 to 9:30pm.  Come out, get your poetry fix and get on with your life. 

See you there!  For Poetry!! For Saginaw!!

Get Ready Saginaw: Season Two Begins!!!!

The Saginaw Slam is back this year for Season Two.  We’ll be running TWO SHOWS on the first and third Thursday of each month (with some exceptions around the Holidays).  The doors for all shows open at 7pm.  Events will start right around 7:30pm.  If you want to read/ perform your stuff at Open Mic or sign up to Slam — be there at 7pm.  Can’t wait to see y’all there!!!!

SAVE THESE DATES for the first half of the season:

October 4th: Team Practice — open to the public — with informal open mic.  This first one will be at Ewald’s Bar right around the corner from Woody’s in Old Town.

October 18th:  SLAM!! at Woody’s.

November 1st:  Team Practice — open to the public — with informal open mic. Location TBA.

November 15th: SLAM!! at Woody’s.

November 29th:  Team Practice — open to the public — with informal open mic.  Location TBA.

December  13th:  SLAM!! at Woody’s

What Happened with Nationals?? A letter from your Slam Master.

Listen up:  I’m going to tell this story one time. 

Our dedicated fans & Saginaw community pulled together to register us for the National Poetry Slam in the 11th hour.  THANK YOU!!! We registered & started making plans to go then 2 things happened:

1 — we didn’t have any rules in place for how we would pull the team together and do fundraising (we do this year!) so there was a lot of confusion about who was paying for the trip & how…

& 2 — PSi (Poetry Slam Inc.) did not communicate our registration to National Poetry Slam in time to get us on the roster of teams.  So… by the time the bouts were decided for Charlotte, we were not a part of them.  This is a complicated part — if you want some clarification, grab me at an upcoming show and we’ll talk. 

So, we didn’t end up going to Nationals at the end of our first season.  On the other hand, we may have learned that Nationals shouldn’t have been our goal in the first place.  We learned a lot that first season.  Did we do some great shows?  Does Saginaw have a Slam?  Do we have a thriving community of excited poets ready to rock the Mic on any given 1st or 3rd Thursday of the month? Hell yes we do!!  So, there is nothing to regret about that first season!  Not the way I see it.  But everything we learned from last years season will carry over into this, our second, season & you can rest assured that Saginaw Slam will be running a tighter ship & even better shows for y’all. 

Officially, I write all the blogs but I’m reaching out specifically in this post to say, Stay with us Saginaw & Poets & Friends — because Saginaw Slam is only getting started — this is only the beginning!! 

For Poetry!! For Saginaw!!

Love, JodiAnn

Send Saginaw Slam to Shine in Charlotte!!

We are beginning our fundraising campaign for the actual trip down to National Poetry Slam in Charlotte, NC August 7-11.

The first ever Saginaw National Slam Team is registered and has the opportunity to actually compete in the National Poetry Slam — but we need your help getting there!! It will be a week or two before the actual Kickstarter page is up and running — in the meantime, we are still accepting donations at paypal.  All money from our paypal fundraising will count towards our Kickstarter campaign so do not hesitate to donate now!

Playlists galore!!

Billy Tuggle at the Saginaw Slam — click picture for whole featured set!

So, we finally got around to uploading most of the videos from May and some leftover videos from April.  You might notice that Carlina Duan’s featured set and Jeff Vande Zande’s featured set are still missing.  Our videographer (ahem!) sort of messed those up so we’re working on editing those.  We’re also working on getting videos from Rustbelt up for y’all — so stay tuned!! More viewing pleasure is in your near future.  In the meantime, check out Tuggle’s & Mattison’s featured sets and our May 3rd & May 17th shows:

Brett Tafel offering up his soulful, “Santa Barbara” at Saginaw Slam 5/17 — Click the picture for a playlist of the whole night!

You might notice how ridiculously loud y’all were while poets were trying to do their thing on 5/17, Saginaw.  Maybe it was the beer fest that was going on at the same time, maybe it was the heat — whatever the reason, measures will be taken next season to avoid this kind of disrespect to our poets.  We’re going to make the space more intimate and we won’t be afraid to hush y’all up when we have to.  If you’re not there for the poetry, take your drink next door — and if you are there for the poetry, then show some love and hush your mouth when a poet’s on stage.  Geesh!

Trever Bennett Slamming the Mic at Saginaw Slam 5/3
Click the picture for a playlist of the whole night!

Ami Mattison at the Saginaw Slam — click the picture to see the whole fetaured set

And just for good measure, you might want to go back and check out the April 12th playlist to see that we finally added the sacrifice and Round 2 of that night.

Sacrifice Poet, Jeremy Benson! Click on the pic to get the whole playlist for the night!

If you are a faithful follower of the Saginaw Slam, our deepest heartfelt thanks go out to you!! keep coming back!  And keep checking in!  For Poetry! For Saginaw!!