Arguably my "biggest" publishing credit is co-authoring Burning Down the House: Selected Poems from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe's National Poetry Slam Champions (Soft Skull Press, 2000), and while I am both proud of and eternally grateful for its publication, its existence has more to do with timing and opportunism than the quality of the work therein. Besides my own attempts at zines and chapbooks, it was my first real introduction to the world of publishing, and it left a permanent mark that partly explains my cynical passion and/or pragmatic idealism for the publishing industry.
Eleven years ago next month, in Austin, TX, I took one of the most life-changing thrill rides ever when I attended my first National Poetry Slam, as a member of the 1998 team representing the Nuyorican Poets Café that would go on to become their first (and still only) team to win the Championship. The … Continue reading Three Rules for the National Poetry Slam
The most difficult aspect of writing, for me, has always been the self-discipline required to write every day, no matter what. I simply don't have any. (Not just for writing, either, but that's a whole other post!) There are a number of legitimate reasons excuses I could put forward to explain why it's so difficult to … Continue reading On self-discipline and self-flagellation
[Going through the archives trying to figure out what to read tomorrow at the Nuyorican and I came across this little ditty, a typically belligerent, sophomoric effort from that crazy Summer of 1998! Backstory here.] Why I Slam... Hi my name is Guy and I’m not an alcoholic I just drink a lot. Can you … Continue reading Flashback: Why I Slam…
I hadn't seen him in a few years, drifting apart when we moved to Virginia and never reconnecting after we returned, and had no idea he was sick, much less dying. He missed his 30th birthday (today, Saturday) by one day. I'll always remember the carefree Peter who let it all hang out when the … Continue reading R.I.P. Peter Conti (aka Peter of the Earth)