Houston Peeps, If You Love Poetry . . .


Thanks to the invitation of performance poet Savannah Blue, I have the immense privilege of serving as a judge for The Bayou City Poetry Grand Slam, held this evening from 8 – 10PM at MECA – whose mission it is to bring all kinds of arty goodness, mentoring, tutoring & counseling to our city’s under-served youth – in Houston’s Historic District (the Old Sixth Ward), at 1900 Kane Street, 77007. As a native Houstonian, and for other other reasons too, this neighborhood holds a special place in my heart.

This event is billed as the first major poetry slam in Houston, and will bring over 20 nationally known and ranked slam poets together to compete for a first place cash prize of $1,000, a second place prize of $500 and a third place prize of $250. You can read a bit more about the evening from Free Press Houston.

Buddy Wakefield is going to be there.

He’s somebody you absolutely have to see and hear in person. He’s also got one of the most artful and entertaining web sites I’ve ever come across.

Tickets are only $10!  To purchase Tix & see an interactive Map, go HERE. You can also purchase tickets at the door for $15. Heck, I think a chance to visit with Luke the poetry dog is worth 15 bucks alone

and getting to watch Buddy Wakefield perform  is worth thrice the ticket price–but you’ll get ALL of the live-action excitement and word-gorgeousness of this amazing poetry slam to boot. What. A. Deal.

Come on out tonight, Houston Spoken Word & Poetry lovers–You’ll be so glad you did!!!


About deniselanier

I am an educator & advocate, poet & performer, speaker & storyteller who believes in the power of narrative to transform & transport, create & connect. I was the shy, awkward girl who didn’t fit in, was often bullied, happiest with my nose in books, whose best friend was my dog. After being cast in a play in my teens I discovered a way to be comfortable in my own skin, bringing to life the words of a character. Costumed in make-believe I dared to be more of myself than I ever allowed off-stage; I claimed my voice. I spent most of my adult life teaching others to raise their own voices, through acting, creative writing, even slam poetry. When the diagnosis of MS intervened in my 30s I had to let go of acting, which is why most of my storytelling is now expressed through page and less “formal” interactions with stages. I devote much of my time to kids, teaching them to use words & imagination, developing authentic, resilient, remarkable voices. I endeavor to grow in my students the belief, the truth, that we are all artists & the change-makers in our own stories. My best friend still has fur & four legs. My mobility assistance dog is my constant companion, teaching assistant & muse to many. Luke is also chief partner in crime; I’m getting a reputation for stealing things. As inventor of a poetic form called klepto-collaborative, I pickpocket words & phrases from others, reshuffling & reshaping the puzzle-pieces into a colorful, storied mosaic of diverse voices. Taking something from every speaker at a conference in real-time, I craft a collective poem that highlights the messages of the day, repurposing ideas & refashioning stories, weaving them together in a manner that never loses the originality & spirit of the speakers’ themes. So while I may be a word thief, I figure being eco-conscious makes up for it. I’m available to facilitate wordy goodness in your community, school, workplace or play space. I like to think I have way of transforming annual meetings into something interactive, cooperative & memorable. Through my klepto-collaborative poems I aim to delight, to ignite conversation, and maybe even incite innovation. I earned an MFA from Florida International University, where I edited Gulf Stream Literary Magazine. I’m the founder of WordPlay, a poetry-in-the-schools project inspired by Dave Eggers. My poetry has appeared in Bloomsbury Review, Cake, Luna, Best American Poetry blog (a collaborative poem with the phenomenal Denise Duhamel), Wicked Good Life, and various anthologies. My non-fiction has appeared in the Miami Herald and my fiction has been nominated for Best New American Voices. www.deniselanier.wordpress.com & www.wonkybent.wordpress.com

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