As many of you know, I write and perform (well, read) poetry. When I became more serious about photography I wanted to find a way to bring the two art forms together.
One of the first venues where I tested out my new camera (back in 2009) was Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative. Fire was also one of the first places I shared my poetry as an adult-- so it's an important place for me. I enjoy catching poets in moments where their energy is at its peak. Here are some of my early favorites.
I don't recall this poets' name but I love this photo.
This is David Blair. These photos must have been taken in late 2009 or 2010. Blair was a Detroit poet with an enormous amount of energy and talent. He died in 2011.
I remember when I snapped this photo it took no imagination to see him holding the world.
Preacher C, no doubt leaving us twisted up by his lyrical back flips.
More on Fire later. My path led me to Texas for a few years...into a whole new poetry scene.
It all started with Julieta. The first open mic night I went to in the Rio Grande Valley was hosted by Julieta at Savory Perks café. Julieta is a natural emcee. I was captivated by her energy that night.
I was also lucky enough to drop in on an evening when Lady Mariposa was featuring. You can check out some of Lady's work here.
After that night I was hooked on valley poetry.
I soon met some of the other main players:
La Erika AKA Poeta Power
Rachel Vela, who started an open mic night called We Need Words
Daniel Garcia Ordaz, AKA Poet Mariachi, co-founder of the Valley International Poetry Festival and editor of El Zarape Press
Okay, I cheated a little with this photo. I don't have a photo of Edward reading. One thing I loved most about the valley was that I got a photographer break. The talented Ileana Garcia-Spitz captured almost every reading perfectly; I was able to relax and just be a poet.
As a result, however, there are many holes in my documentation! Quick shout out to Brenda Riojas, co-founder of VIPF and fantastic host of NPR's Corazon Bilingue, Vanessa Brown, co-founded of VIPF and Executive Officer of Awesome, Jan Seale, 2012 Texas Poet Laureate, whom I am proud to call my friend, and ALL the other poets y poetas making the valley scene seen.
While I was in more photos than I took in the Texas poetry world, I did snap a few favorites. Here are a few of them:
When I left the valley to return to Kalamazoo I wanted to take the poetry community with me. Alas.. that wasn't an option. Luckily, as many of you know, Kalamazoo has it's own outstanding group of writers.
Well received, of course.
I found my way back to Fire, and captured some shots at a performance by The Movement--a spoekn word, improv, music, vocals, all-of-it band.
Abbie Maikoski, AKA Abbie Star
Denise Miller, co-founder of Fire
2014 welcomed the first official Kalamazoo Poetry Festival.
Everyone was happy.
For more Poetry Fest pics please go here!
Don't forget to check out my facebook page and website.