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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

9/14, 9/16 The Poet of the Personal

Posted by novoscene on September 14, 2008

Aimee Suzara photo by D Samuel Marsh.

In his poem “Constantly Risking Absurdity,” Lawrence Ferlinghetti calls the poet “the super realist,” one who must “perforce perceive/taut truth/before the taking of each stance or step/in his supposed advance/toward that still higher perch.”

Aimee Suzara is a super realist. By looking at the “taut truth” of her own life and surroundings-both in her multimedia piece Pagbabalik and the new chapbook The Space Between-the poet explore her own issues of racial, cultural and sexual identity in ways that denote a larger cultural outlook. From womens’ hips swaying to salsa to those same women’s hearts breaking while sitting next to a dying child, her work offers an intimate examination of the self and soul.

The daughter of Filipino health care workers, Suzara was born in New York in 1975 but spent much of her early life packing and unpacking her suitcases, at various times residing in Florida, Texas and Washington state in between several shorter pitstops. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 5. Weekend, Authors, Berkeley, Poetry | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

8/28 Ready, Set, Slam!!

Posted by novoscene on August 28, 2008

So the National Poetry Slam is a wrap for 2008 and while our Bay teams didn’t take home the gold, best believe they gave Madison hell while they were there.  But for now at least, the strategies and fund raising and planning are being put on the back burner and it’s time to get back to basics: One person, one poem, one mic and three minutes to spit.

Tonight kicks off the 1st slam of the new Oakland season and it’s a great time for all newbies to scrounge up some courage, grab that ode to whatever you’ve been working on all summer and head over to Oasis and get down with your bad ass poetic selves.  The early bouts are a great place to learn the ropes and get tips from more experienced slammers and performers, before things get all hot and heavy towards the end of the year.  And if your a mic virgin, don’t worry.  It only hurts the first time.-kwan Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 4. Thursday, Art, oakland, Poetry | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

7/24 Support the Oakland Slam Team

Posted by novoscene on July 24, 2008

With only a few weeks to go til the National Poetry Slam, teams from all over the area have been fine tuning poems, sharpening their stage routines and getting their lyrical shit tight in the hopes of bringing another national title home to the Bay.  For the last few weeks they’ve been slamming n spitting and writing n fighting all over, and since poetry don’t come cheap these days (or more precisely the plane tickets, hotels and registration fees needed to travel to Milwaukee to perform said poetry) they’ve also been doing lots of fund raising.

And tonight’s Multi Voice Slam is another chance to support the cause.  Teams of two or more poets have adapted work to be performed by the multivoiced groups with usually hilarious/insightful results-two/three/four times the poetry in the same 3 minute time slot!  Tonight’s event is free but donations accepted and encouraged.  Help get our kids to the big dance.-kwan

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6/17 Poetry by Ayodele Nzinga

Posted by novoscene on June 17, 2008

While national poetry month is tucked into 2008 history, poems have been heavy in the Bay Area air for the last few weeks as poets and spoken word artists have been opening their notebooks and spitting verses on stages across the area. Oakland, Berzerkeley and San Fran all recently held their qualifiers for this year’s national slam. The API set repped the page hard at this past weekend’s feature showcase at Eastside Arts Alliance, and tonight Poetry Diversified Oakland features the Wordslanger-Ayodele Nzinga.

Ayodele is like the Muhammad Ali of poetry-the people champ. For the last 7 years she’s been using poetry, especially Shakespeare, to teach urban youth over at the Prescott Joseph Center in West Oakland the ways of the world, from adapting Romeo and Juliet into a coming of age hood tale to remixing the Merchant of Venice with hip hop lyrics.

Tonight the poet “most likely to shatter your illusions of what poetry is, can be, will do, has done” will be holding down the stage with original verses and her own very original performance style. And I know it’s poetry and lyrics we’re talking about here, but sometimes some words just can’t do other words justice, so check the video of a set recorded in West Oakland recently. Word up. -kwan Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2. Tuesday, Authors, Community, Poetry | Leave a Comment »

6/13/08 O-Scene Weekend

Posted by novoscene on June 13, 2008

Featured Event: Emily King and Anthony David

A guitar, a mic and a head full of songs combined with a few beers and a reasonably attentive audience-it’s such a simple formula really, and that’s what makes it so damned hard to pull off.
Before the digitization of all things melodic turned everyone and their momma’s into laptop producers, the easiest way to jump into the industry was as a singer/songwriter: get a halfway decent guitar, a few heartfelt lyrics and a couple of people to listen to you and boom-you’re a musician.
But while a hand full of newbies have successfully pulled off the Joni Mitchell/Traci Chapman steez, the road to Bob Dylanhood is littered with discarded guitar cases, cried in beers and song lyrics scribbled on barroom napkins. But for singer/songwriters Emily King and Anthony David, playing tonight at Q’s lounge in Jack London Square, the road has put them on the highway to success and a possible place among the coffeeshop greats.
22 year old Emily King is a bit of a musical prodigy. After leaving school at 16 because classes were moving too slowly, the ambitious New Yorker got her GED and set out to start her own musical movement that so far has led to international acclaim and a 2007 Grammy nomination for her debut album “East Side Story”. From the beginning, King’s music-nimble guitar playing under soul, jazz and pop melodies that lives somewhere between Corinne Bailey Rae, Norah Jones and Mary J Blige, has been drawn from her life story, independent ideology and desire to make a difference in the world. “I think music is such a revolutionary thing” she says “and that’s what it should be.”
Atlanta’s Anthony David isn’t necessarily out to start a revolution, he just wants to make some good music. “Sometimes (my music) is escapism, sometimes it’s sympathy or emotion,” he explains. “Sometimes it’s grounded in the present and some times it’s taking you away from it.” The modern day troubadour calls his style “Millennium Blues” because of the way it “all goes back to the blues. The lyrics, the music, my using everything from acoustic to hip-hop, the story telling…all of it connects through the blues like a bridge.”
A product of Atlanta’s singer songwriter and spoken word scenes, David is signed to close friend India.Arie’s Soulbird Music label and has worked with some of the ATL’s most prolific performers. When he straps on his guitar southern influences drip from his music like molasses. His guitar playing on his new album “Acey Ducey” has a relaxed, “on the front porch” ease to it, and his lyrical honesty paints a picture of a man who’s comfortable in his skin and with what he has to offer.
David’s songs are impressive without trying to impress. From the duet “Words,” that reveals his musical relationship with Arie, to the “Red Clay Chronicles,” a candid depiction of hustling and city life to “Smoke One,” an ode to kicking back with friends-David says this relaxed, no frills approach to music is the only way he’d ever think of creating.When the young revolutionary from back east meets the laid back southern crooner tonight over dueling guitars, it should be a great meeting of the musical minds as well as an instructional session on how to make this deceptively simple style sound as sweet as we all know it can.-kwan

Emily King and Anthony David
Doors at 6, Show at 8pm
Q’s Lounge
126 Broadway, Oakland, CA
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 5. Weekend, Authors, Berkeley, Booze, Hip, oakland, Poetry, Shows | 6 Comments »

6/12 Oakland Poetry Slam Finals

Posted by novoscene on June 12, 2008

What with the world ending and all, there seems to be a real need for some honest dialugue and open communication. And we’re in luck as all across the country poets are honing their deliveries, brushing up on their stage banter and sharpening their verses, preparing to bleed emotional honesty and insight all over stages and barroom floors. Yes good people, it’s qualifying time for the National Poetry Slam.

-N’er City

Following last weekend’s San Francisco finals, the Broakland Poetry Slam hosts it’s final knock down drag out, last poet standing event tonight, with the final 4 making their way to the big dance in Wisconsin in early August. The Bay has been putting it’s poetic thing down on the world stage since the first National slam started as a grudge match between Chicago and San Francisco back in 1990 (damn-NPS is almost legal drinking age-that’s a scary thought on so many levels…) and tonight’s contest brings together some of the top wordslingers currently blessed with the gift of committing 3 minutes of searing emotional honesty to memory.


The final 10 is made up of national slam vets including N’er City, Mark States and Dahled as well as a couple of newbies, all looking to for a spot on the bus to Madison. Come show some love for Oakland Poetry. Who knows-it just might save you from the fire and brimstone.-kwan Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 4. Thursday, oakland, Poetry | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

5/19: Lunada Lounge: Paradox

Posted by novoscene on May 19, 2008

Open mics can be tricky things. On any night you’re just as likely to find the next Ginsberg as you are to spend the night clutching your beer and wincing as the umpteenth performance poet of the evening mangles their latest version of the Beat poetry aesthetic. Fortunately for those of us who still believe in the power of a mic and a voice, there’s Lunada.

Galeria de La Raza’a Lunada literary lounge consistently draws some of the area’s top talent with a featured performer roster ranging from spoken word to experimental guitar. Come celebrate the full moon tonight with a special sneak preview of Paradox, a new performance directed by poet Marc David Pinate, as part of La Pena Cultural Center’s Hybrid & Experimental Performance Ensemble.

According to the promos Paradox is work of metaphysical music, an “exploration into the power of performance to heal the spirit…both story and non-story, theatre and non-theatre, teaching and non-teaching, being and non-being. It is the space beyond the logical or rational where opposites coexist and simultaneous truths converge.” Got that? Story AND non story, teaching AND non teaching. Deep right? No rewarmed “Howl” over here.-kwan Read the rest of this entry »

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5/1: Poetry for Water

Posted by novoscene on May 1, 2008

Maxine Hong Kingston & Dave Eggers

It’s time to open your ears to some lyrical verses while opening your checkbooks for a good cause. Poetry for Water is a series of fund raising programs featuring words and performances by the Bay Area’s litterati with all proceeds going towards building the second of a series of water catchment areas along the migration route of the Samburu people of Northern Kenya, near the border with Ethiopia. The water will not only save their children from the fatal diseases of polluted water sources, but will also help to sustain the Samburu¹s fragile nomadic way of life.
Tonight’s reading features local luminaries Dave Eggers, Maxine Hong Kingston, Roger Housden, Elizabeth Rosner, and Nina Wise with Beth Lisick handling the MC duties.
Word to the wise: get there early. The previous two events, which featured performances by Peter Coyote, Anne Lamott, Jack Kornfield, Jane Hirshfield sold out early. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 4. Thursday, Poetry, San Francisco | Leave a Comment »

1/04/08 Novoscene Weekend

Posted by novoscene on January 4, 2008

-N Dash, “Ghosts of the Land” 

The forecast over the weekend is promising fine weather conditions for ducks, otters and other downpour loving creatures.  For the non web footed among us, those brave enough to brave the weekend weather will find tons of events to kick off the new year right.  From art openings tonight at Swarm and Joyce Gordon Galleries to Ledisi’s final performance at Yoshi’s Sunday evening.  Grab an umbrella and some waterproof boots and get busy!


  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 5. Weekend, Art, Authors, Berkeley, music, oakland, Poetry | 1 Comment »

Spoken Word on a Rainy Thursday

Posted by novoscene on January 3, 2008

If the rain’s got you down and you’re looking for a reason to get out of the house, why not check out the some of the East Bay’s potent word wizards? Here are a few choice poetry and music open mics going down every Thursday night. Kick off the new year with a verse!

Holla Back!

Spoken word poets, singers and MC’s take over the Eastside Cultural Center

Donations accepted


Eastside Cultural Center

227 International Blvd., Oakland



Nomad No-Mic

All acoustic, all the time.


7pm, 6:30 sign up.

Nomad Cafe

6500 Shattuck Ave., Oakland



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