Five things for September 29, 2022. That's it! That's the excerpt.
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)
CITY LIMITS' September/October 2004 issue has a timely article, Adios, Nueva York, about the Puerto Rican exodus from New York City during the last decade. According to the 2000 census, NYC lost 10% of its Puerto Rican population between 1990-2000! While many left for the island, a significant number have headed to surprising destinations like … Continue reading Adios, Nueva York
Truth or hyperbole? I've learned to never say never but in all likelihood, Wednesday, August 4th will be the last time I appear on stage as a featured poet. I fell into the slam scene on a lark back in the summer of 1997, competing in my first Friday night slam at the Nuyorican Poets … Continue reading For the last time…?
Dear you, Since mid-1997, the New York City poetry slam scene has been more or less at the center of my life. Though more right-of-center these days, and considerably less significant in the bigger picture, there's two things I will always cherish about the experience: founding a little bit louder, and the Friends I've made. … Continue reading This is for Bassey
Y-A-W-N!!! Monday night out and a 3-hour meeting starting at 8am don't mix. Hit 13 for the first time in months (lost track but it's at least six) and had an...ah, interesting night. Always good to see Maureen who kept my glass so full that I actually had to pace myself for once. Early morning … Continue reading What’s next?