About Us


The Wordsmith 10.4.02
The Wordsmith posting: Should have got with poetry sooner. Best birthday I ever had. I did a crazy mix. set a record for acoustic guitarists. I had 4 playing for an hour before we even did poetry. After 2 poets I had a comedian do 15 minutes. One of the guitarists, Mike, was a musical feature. Azikwe was the poetic feature. He did 25 minutes and it seemed like 15. He started off by saying 'Bye'. He then proceeded to walk out the door. Then he came back in and asked an imaginary bartender to make a drink for him. Then he went into 'The Bartender'.At one point he asked someone to lend him a cell phone then he called up Sekou who was actually there. He sat down on a stool and picked up a poet's chapbook and pretended to snort lines on it. Forgot to mention. The three other guitarists were Ravic, Luke and Richard. Poets that read were Barnabus Briefchatter, Jahira, Jasmine, Ray Lanthier, Tadeo, Derrick Blakey. We went until 11:15 and I think I only got away with it because it was my birthday. Sound bites. Azikwe'If you're fat, I just adapt and reshape my kamasutra. Jasmine'Last night I was that woman getting raped but nobody stopped 'cos I yelledd 'Help!' instead of'Fire!'...ask them if they waved that flag before 9/11 and ask them what it says on that flag 'Made in Taiwan'. Tuesday at the Lounge. This gay guy was a trip. He went topless. He was a wild man on stage. His best line was classic.'You can play in my sandbox but don't fuck with my Tonka toys. Inq did a piece where he stuttered througout. Poetri did 'Road rage'. Shihan did a tight hip hop piece. The second half had a lot more emcees. Gimel and Poetri did back up dancing for Shihan. Sound bite. Female poet'the skin I'm in people be trying to duplicate sitting under heat lamps like easy bake cake". Big Al'I'm not so foolish as to let you define me. I will define myself and provide you with the definition and you can act accordingly.'.Nafeesa read'Bionic butterflies'. Thursday at Green Christmas hosted because it was Ladies night. Each guy had to say what he liked about women before he could read. Sam said he liked how women look better in his boxer shorts than him. Slim was set. He bust his 'Woman is a powerful word'. Christmas got Damon, Azekwe, Slim and Sam to freestyle about women. Jeff was a freestyle fanatic. He didn't have anything on women so he wrote a flow at the table. Filled two pages. This Saturday I will be featuring Jasmine at the Hot Spot as her birthday is the day before. I dug giving Azikwe a birthday feature and wanted to do the same for her. The Wordsmith signing off.

Wayman Barnes 9.29.02
Happy Birthday to The Exorcist ... I mean The Wordsmith ... The Human Jukebox ... England's Original Rapper ... I mean Raymond ... uh, Ray Witter ... or is it The Wordslinger? ... or maybe Short Order Poet? ... or Palladine: Have Poem will Travel? ... or ... or ... ah, hell! This guy:

The Wordsmith 9.27.02

The Wordsmith posting: We had a healthy turn out Saturday at the Hot Spot. Damon turned up for the first time making a surprise visit and was kind enough to let us use his mike. I think he was nostalgic because he had to relocate to Tanner's last week. Sound bites. Mike Zeltser "For 50 years we've been playing world police and now we're surprised somebody got pissed?......I'm the cry of a baby alone in the dark. I'm the hiss of a bullet that just missed its mark. My skin smells like gasoline so give me a match and let there be light..and the sparkle of my hope dims until it turns invisible." My frined Tadeo who has only been doing poetry publicly for one week "Some people make instruments out of armadilloes. They have a hard shell and they play wonderfully"Ray Lanthier "Breasts describe parabolas, half ellipses. Nipples focal points"I surprised his friend Alan by making him the feature. It seems he's famous for his vomit piece and 'Think too much'. He did a piece about shampoo and conditioner and I surprised him by pulling both out of my bag that I had just bought saying he had the props now. I gave his performance props. Double entendre there."Woody Allen could kick my ass. A teletubby could kick my ass. Why is it so easy to kick my ass? Because I'm a lover, not a fighter"At the poetry lounge on Tuesday Poetri did a new piece about how he would call his son Brooklyn because people always made shoutouts to Brooklyn. Bridgette did a new piece. A 7 day diary entrance about a love that went sour.Tears rolled down both cheeks at one point. Thursday at Damon's a slam night. Soundbites. Jeff who got to the 3rd round"There'd be no copy cats with sloppy raps". Beth who got to the second round"I feel like making a word salad tossing in evey consonant, vowel and punctuation mark in the universe...please baby, please plagiarize me and take all that you want"Unsaen who came second. "I pile on the pounds and annihilate nouns...My campaign budget for my camp ain't budging" The competitors included me, Julie Beamus, Unsaen, Buddhahat aka Barnabus Briefchatter aka the Fumigated ape (Sam might be the only poet with more personalities than Sekou) Barry (who had been away from the scene for a while), Beth, Jeff, Danny Boy and Rives. Rives sailed to first place buoyed by 'Annie are you okay?' his piece about deaf people ( Damon said it should be banned from slams because it's the best poem ever) and 'If I get this far'. He was a bit more gentle this time with the mike. He gently eased it to the ground unlike at nationals where he was more forceful in knocking it down. He was the only poet to score perfect tens. Unsaen should run for Mayor. He got us all clapping when he said eveybody who came tonight was a winner. Jahira calibrated with her 'I hate you' piece. Buddhahat did his piece about the hostile girlfriend and Bill Brown and I think he did the 'motherfucking mall' piece too if memory serves me right. This Saturday everyone's invited to my birthday bash at the Hot Spot. Seiku's brother, Azekwe said he would feature when I asked him. I asked him because we share the same birthday. The Wordsmith signing off.

The Wordsmith 9.18.02

The Wordsmith posting: Reporting live on the Hollywood slam. 12 people competed and I was one of three calibraters. Inq and Thea calibrated also. I liked a line Inq said about not wanting to use the dictionary to define himself. He pitched his CD. Quotable quotes throughout the night. Jive Poetic "verbal driveby's on writers block....the shallow minded usually drown in my pool of poetic proverb.. I suspect Jive Poetic will write until he flatlines". Mark Gonzales "History shows that freedom is never given, just taken....wouldn't it be great if we just loved ourselves because that would be the purest form of worship...maybe we should stop building $7 million churches and start feeding communities...what you're doing to your inner child is child abuse" Besskepp featured and did his 'rewind time' piece and his tribute to the old school hip hop piece. Amy was my favorite. She did a piece that reminded me of Taylor Mali's instructions on writing a goood slam poem. She did a piece on PMS. "pardon my sobbing/pimples may surface/pass my shotgun" Mark Gonzales scored a perfect 30 in the first round and a new face. A girl who called herself 'Spoken Word Poltergeist. She scored a 29.8. The other high scores in the first round were Omari, R-A-C, Amy White and Javon. He did his time tick-tick-ticking away piece which was well received. The final two at the end of the night was Javon in first place with Amy White in 2nd. Omari came third. If he had got through it would have been the usual winners so Amy is a new addition to the Hollywood team. Some fresh blood. The Wordsmith signing off.

Frankie Drayus 9.18.02
Bakersfield Comes to LA

(Bad/good girl) Lee McCarthy tells us,"Everyone should go to Bakersfield at least once." Luckily for us, she chose to trek all the way to the westside along with Oregon poet Clem Starck, who had gotten up at 4:00 a.m. just to be there. Both were the featured poets at PoemX, Jeaneatte Clough and Jim Natal's monthly reading at the Barnes & Noble on the Promenade. If McCarthy's work is at all autobiographical, and I suspect it is, she is one hell of a woman who has spent a lot of time both in the frying pan as well as the fire. Clem Starck is a carpenter, and the physical work he does figures heavily in his work. So does a profound sense of humor. Both poets were wonderful storytellers, and I enjoyed the patter between the poems at least as much as the work. These are people you want at your table or around your campfire. We came home with a copy of Starck's "China Basin." And Ms. McCarthy, after meeting you, you can expect me in Bakersfield. At least once.

For more great (free!) poetry brought from near and far, check out PoemX, once a month on Fridays at 8:00 p.m.

Wayman Barnes 9.17.02

This just in ...
Orange County has a slam once again. The Big Damn Poetry Slam, formerly in Long Beach California, has officially made its home at the Ugly Mug Caffe in Orange.

It's held once a month on the second Sunday of the month, at 7 pm. Three rounds, with cash prizes. For more information, you can visit the website: www.poetryidiots.com then click on the slam logo, or the text link further down.

And, by the way, Ben Trigg ROCKS!!!

Wayman Barnes 9.17.02
Leave me alone! I've fought too hard and too long to get away from Oklahoma. The last thing I want is to be Oklahoma's Joan of Arc. Maybe Hawaii's Joan of Arc. Or Vermont's Joan of Arc. But never, ever Oklahoma's!!!

Anonymous Okie 9.17.02
I have nominated you (Wayman Barnes) to be a star in Oklahoma. They are looking for Oklahomans who are living the American Dream, and naturally I thought of you. The process may take awhile. I think it's like being canonized. You'll be like Joan of Arc, except for the fact that you're male and it won't be in France. ... and this is the thanks I get. Believe in Oklahoma, brother. BELIEVE.
- Anonymous

Wayman Barnes 9.17.02
Ventura Road Trip IX

As you know, we love the Ventura poetry scene. Always going up there. Always having a good time. Always wishing we could be as cool as Roe Estep.

Go check it out!

The poets:
Charlotte O'Brien: Sand, Baker Beach, Good housekeeping, Letter to Cupid, E-mail poe, The Disclaimer, Love as a Stone, Letter to My Daughter, An American Poem
Ken: Yes
Brian: piece about stealing stop signs
Terri: Persia
Doris: "He stood there ..."
Glenda: Minds Provocateur
Sue: "Heaven's Paradise"
Tim: Whale Therapy
Brent(?): A Poem for Doris, A Change is Going to Come
Wayman Barnes: Jesus and the Two Older Women
Gauvin: "I done put on this photograph ..."
Trudie: Mr. Elusive, The Wind
Cindy: "It was hot, still, and expectent ..."

Abednego's Bookstore
Hosted by Roe Estep
Tuesdays at 7:15
21160 E. Thompson Blvd.

The Wordsmith 9.16.02

The Wordsmith posting: At the Hot Spot on Saturday, Ray came back again. An emcee I met doing my street performing act for him also turned up. The three of us performed for the crowd. Tadeo was the name of the emcee. He said he wrote poetry for extra credit at school. He'd never read it to anybody but his girlfriend and this blew me and Ray away as he was feature material. It made me feel good about hosting a spot having someone with his talent break his poetry cherry. A quote "I will try my best to write what I consist of". Raymond's 9/11 piece was tight."Mummy! Look at the orange fire growing out of the side of the building! It's so big!" Regulars make a poetry spot successful so I hope I'll be seeing a lot more of these two. The Wordsmith signing off.

The Wordsmith 9.13.02

The Wordsmith posting: One person besides me read at the Hot Spot Saturday. I thought it was cool that we had the same name. Reminded me of Wayman's poem.'There's another Wayman in the world'. Tuesday at the Lounge Steve Baraka read a 9/11 piece. Mouth did his piece where he rails against the INS. Smaller turnout because they had taken two weeks off. Dante did a new piece that he'll be performing in a biker movie he's doing. Previewed it for us. Thursday night Green relocated back to Tanner's for the night because Billiard's was doing some construction. It was the best night I think. Damon was overcome emotionally because he got nostalgic. Christmas did her tightest piece ever. I didn't take notes because I didn't want to miss a word. I remember she said she would starve because she only wanted to eat the words of the guy she was talking about. Said she would suffocate because she held her breath waiting for him to speak. It was a vey romantic piece. She's explored this theme before and I keep wondering who this guy is. She called him Chris and said something about him being Christopher Columbus and wanting him to explore her. Unsaen jumped her after. I'm sure it was because he got off on her woordplay as did everyone else. Christmas has been writing poetry for 15 years so she's a seasoned pro but most don't know because her nervousness didn't let it show until Thursday night when she came tight with the flow. She's more assured now. Still sitting but her poetry is heavy hitting. Jahira and Babu did an excellent piece that they only memorized two nights before. Packed with rhymes. They were debating about whether or not she should abort her kid. Great ending. She said 'I love you' and he said 'Fuck you!' Jahira did a solo piece before that called 'I hate you'. An mc from Indigenous was tight. "Life shifts 354 degrees and leaves 6 degrees of separation...My palette is experience. I hope you're feeling my colors". That reminds me. I forgot to mention that Macho and Raffi from Tunnel Rats tore it up at the Lounge. Unsaen did a piece about being an overinflated negro with an ego. Jasmin ended the night and it was meant to be. She wore a t-shirt with the flag on it and she ripped it WWF style. She talked about people waving flags made in Taiwan. Later on she tripped realizing her t-shirt was made in Bangladesh. She said USA means Universal Spiritual Awareness. "If Adam and Eve are my mother and father aren't you my spiritual brothers?...I don't think you can claim glory at the expense of human life....don't you know that fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity. (She told me she got that from a bumper sticker) An America where people come on vacation and leave on probation". Unsaen made fun of slam judging. His best line was "For every 1 point deduction, my creativity avoids corruption" The Wordsmith signing off.

The Wordsmith 9.7.02

The Wordsmith posting: At Green on thursday Teo made a rare appearance. If you've never heard him you should know that he's one of the tightest poets around He's a young kid that comes tight with it. In the freestyle the poets were stumped when 'Funky shoelaces' was offered up as a topic. I had a flow for it though. Sam was thee promoting his CD. Javon flowed twice. The first piece was great. A woman oveheard him telling someone about his MBA thesis and then she stereotyped him asking what sport he got it in. He broke it down for her and made her jaw drop. Thea did something too. When shihan performed Javon lipsynched every word. Impressive. Logic flowed and did a freestyle outside after. Unsaen did a piece called 'Kirk Douglas'. Kwame did a piece about a Sifu. I think I was the only one there that knew a Sifu was a master. The Wordsmith signing off.

Wayman Barnes 9.7.02
Venice Poetry

There are poetry readings. And there are POETRY readings. And sometimes, if you are lucky, there are POETRY READINGS! Well, we are happy to report that on the first Saturday of each month at the Venice library there is a POETRY READING!! And it is unlike any other you will ever go to (we promise). First of all, there is no open mic. Secondly, there are only two poets (both were excellent when we were there). Thirdly, the host introduces the poets in a way that - how does one describe it? - is a performance you will remember for a long time. It is worth going just for this (Trust us).

The poets: Dina Hardy & Frankie Drayus

Venice Library Poetry Reading
Hosted by Stephen Goldman
The first Saturday of each month, 2 PM
Admission is Free
The Venice Library is located at
501 South Venice Blvd.
Venice, CA

The Wordsmith 9.6.02

The Wordsmith posting: Thursday at Damon's, Unsaen tripped us out by starting off with a news report about Unsaen being hit by a truck and pinned to a wall. It was very original. I quoted Christmas's piece. She actually read on the stage. As rare an event as a harmonic convegence.'If enough people beg why won't God just show himself and give blind faith some binoculars'. Me and Derrick Blakey held it down at the Hot Spot this Saturday for the patrons that were there and one couple that came for the coffee the previous week and checked out the poetry came back again.The Wordsmith signing off.

The Wordsmith 8.27.02

The artist formerly known as the Exorcist now known as the Wordsmith posting: The Hot Spot cooled off because I had to be in Minneapolis for two weeks. People called about it while I was away which made me feel good. A nice sized crowd was there. Starting from scratch I did what I always do which is ask the patrons coming in if they like poetry because a reading is going down and they pull up a seat and check it out. It's a beautiful thing. Me and Christoph held it down taking turns and then Maitreyana came bringing her upright bass and turned it into a jam session. I did jazz poetry with her accompaniment and then she did a poem that went great with her bass. Christoph freestyled to it. So let it be known. The Hot Spot is still active like a volcano and hotter than a Nelly video.

Frankie Drayus 8.24.02
Poets, Their Stuff, and the Beyond Baroque Garage Sale

Garage sales are very liberating; you get to sell pieces of your life to people who know nothing about you. They're happy, you're happy, and everyone gets a new beginning out of the transaction. Amelie Frank organized this one to benefit both individual poets and Beyond Baroque. After all, we've all got stuff we want to get rid of, and donating 15% of your sales to a great organization in exchange for their facilities is a deal.

Saturday: I come partly just to say "hi" and partly because I'm curious. The whole world is there, including some people I haven't seen in a long time. I end up staying for three hours just talking to people. I don't even bring anything to sell. The problem with these things is that you end up coming home with more than you brought with you, but I decide to be careful about this. There is a metal lamp in the shape of the Eiffel Tower, but I resist.

Sunday: I return late in the day but prepared, bringing all sorts of things from my previous life. Pink plastic slinky? Sold for a quarter. The sequins and velvet party dress I was wearing when I put my foot through the windshield of an ex-whatever's Porsche? Sold for five bucks, gone. David's two air filters that are the wrong size for the furnace but he can't return? Well, I tell him he's crazy, that no one will ever buy them. As the day draws to a close, a punk rock girl with black rubber hair extensions and a Trainspotting accent approaches my set of towels on the lawn, picks up the two furnace filters and asks me what the heck they are. I tell her. She repeats the words, "air filters for the furnace," over and over, making them into a song almost. "I'll sell them to you for a quarter." "Cool," she says, quite pleased, and takes a quarter from her little black purse. "My boyfriend thinks I'm crazy," she says, and walks off with two new air filters under her arm. Art project, perhaps? Who knows. Then I turn around and buy the screenplay for The Third Man from Terry McCarty - I've been wanting it, he has it, and it costs exactly one quarter. Thanks, punk rock girl, wherever you are. We won't mention all the other junk I bought from other poets. I'm happy, they're happy, everyone gets a new beginning.

Charlotte O'Brien 8.22.02

It was VCP night at the Cobalt - what a crowd. There were some local celebs in the house. Rick Lupert made his return debut as host. It took a little while & some resistance to warm up the audience, but I gotta give it to him: funny guy. Elizabeth Iannaci sported a long dramatic black coat which looked fabulous and was bought at the VCP yard sale out the front of Beyond Baroque last weekend. (Only Elizabeth could get away with a coat like this, I think she'd make anything look classy.) Amalie Frank arrived late to a round of applause, shortly followed by Frankie Drayus, who got the same welcome!

Unfortunately, the VCP's were one poet short: the feature. And although I was ready for a last minute "we're counting on you to save the show" invite, they soldiered on quite well without me. Very well in fact, all the poets were top notch - a nice variety.

Ron Dvorkin opened with some of his son's poetry: Doug Dvorkin. Ron lost his just-adult son several years ago and holds a poetry reading in his son's honor. It is a well-established reading @ Barnes & Noble in Encino and of a very high caliber. I have a book of Doug's work that is both impressive and moving. We were able to hear Ron read some of Doug's work, which included launguage forbidden in book stores.

Laura Ni (sorry, Laura I've spelt your name phoneticly) who has also featured at Ron's reading is a regular at the Cobalt. Keep your eye out for this young up & coming. And for the guys out there about to date her: careful - you're sure to end up in one of her poems!

There was a new comer who read for the "first time" a poem about happy Blue and someone else called Brown. It was very well read. We did not believe that it was her first time. And I think it was one big sexual metaphor, but that could just be an educated guess.

VCP's Elizabeth & Frankie were great. Elizabeth read a wonderful poem, which was penned on assignment from Brendan Constantine - to be posted on the side of a building. Loved it. Truly, you should submit it to Tower Records, Elizabeth. Frankie had new stuff and frankly (no pun) it just keeps getting better and better. I would also LOVE to hear more of Amalie Frank's work. She often graciously foregoes reading her own work and for someone like myself who's only seen her feature once before: more please!

Our very own, very busy man with an upcoming poetry EVENT (hosted by Gary Justice - email Mani Suri for details: MnMSuri@aol.com) was also an open mic'r. Mani, whose "regal charm" was all but shattered by a poem called "boogers." He introduced it as a piece he's sometimes ashamed of having written which I though was very funny.

There were more, more, more, but to quote Rick Luppert quoting Brendan Constantine: "The open mic list reads like a list of ..." I can't remember the quote, but it meant : a very long list. Rick closed us with a series of funny and touching Haiku. And fortunately the VCP's mysteriously absent feature was not missed. (I mean that in the nicest possible way).

The Cobalt Cafe
Tuesday nights at 9
22047 Sherman Way
Canoga Park, Ca
(818) 348-3789

Ron Dvorkin's Reading:
The last Saturday of every month
At 8pm, FREE
Barnes & Noble
16461 Ventura Blvd.

Jelena aka Helen the Bashful Dragon 8.22.02
Procrastination, Tha Misfit, and Mysterious Ways of Destiny

I have been meaning to write this spoken word CD review for a couple of months now, and although I listened to it many times in the privacy of my humble abode, and absolutely loved it, I never got around to writing the review. Sekou Tha Misfit wanted to put together a hit-filled spoken word CD for quite a long time but never got down to it until this summer. Sometimes procrastination has its payoffs.

Waiting definitely paid off for Sekou. And his timing was perfect: quitting his job as a 5th grade teacher to pursue his poetic/hip-hop aspirations full time, issuing the double CD of spoken word and things related, beginning to host his own poetic venue at Fais Do Do… All of that was just a prelude for the first rumbles of a Big Bang: Sekou Tha Misfit winning the individual National Poetry Slam competition in Minneapolis this August. And this is just the beginning. Watch for this brother changing the face of hip-hop in the years to come.

It is hard not to love Sekou. You can love him for his outrageous erotic poems, or his deep spiritual struggles, or his shameless honesty. No matter what your preference, you will certainly love his double CD. Side "A," titled Afrodeezyackz is for those love-hungry, love-hurt, or plain old horny among us, while side "B," The Mumblings of a Madman strikes different but no less powerful chords. All of that is wrapped in a skillful blend of spoken word studio and live recordings, and rap/hip-hop flavor that is solid enough to be played on any major hip-hop radio station. But let me not jump ahead of myself! Let me take you by the hand, and lead you through the sanitarium one step at a time… Kou-Kou!!!

Afrodeezyackz (or "a journey through love, relationships, heartbreak and erotica in the sanitarium") contains all of Sekou's crowd-pleasers and favorites. From the 3-part 7th Grade Chronicles over Insecurity, A Love Poem Called I Hate, If Not That, I Love You and hip-hoppish Puddles on Your Belly, Every Girl and Udonedone to the Nationals winning piece Dumb Sh-t (part 2 of the 7th Grade Chronicles), Kou proves he is a master at blending raw emotion with linguistic acrobatics, and hip-hop with humor subtly shining through his lines. Atmosphere of Afrodeezyackz is enhanced by beautiful guest vocals of Gina Loring on Dumb Sh-t and rap by Menage and Joel Perry on 7th Grade Girl and Puddles on Your Belly. Still, no matter how amazingly good side "A" sounds, it is only the lighter side of the Misfit's CD.

The Mumblings of A Madman take us deep into the sanitarium, where we meet four personalities that comprise the whole usually known as Sekou Tha Misfit: Mr. Rockwell - the conspiracy theorist, Purge - the purgatory therapist, Bizzare - the dementia dweller, and Uncle Four-Lips whom we have already met on side "A". Side "B" opens with the powerful - and National Slam winning - When I Grow Up. ("I want to be the opposite of darkness, so that when the greatest poet in existence recites the first line of the greatest poem ever written, 'Let there be light!' I can begin.") Can't Be Broke, one of the L.A. poetic crowd favorites, follows in the form of a rap, and then we are treated to the live performance of I dunno. Gina Loring and her ethereal vocals join Kou again in What 2 Do, followed by the live performance (National Poetry Slam 2001) of The Rapper. Good Morning Pain featuring Dax would probably climb into the top 10 within a week if it hit any of the hip-hop charts right now, and Asphyxiation Fetish will get anyone thinking about the meaning of being alive. Masterful rap remix of Troubled Man and a live spoken version of Let Me Know take any doubt from the listener's mind that Sekou is and continues genuinely speaking "to the silence, singing in the dark." (He represents "the last working swing in the park.") The Mumblings of A Madman officially wrap up with the powerful rendition of Kou's tear-inducing The Lesson. For those wanting to go beyond the last word in the book (or on the CD cover), there is a treat in the form of bonus tracks on both sides of this double album, which your humble reporter won't reveal just so she can get you to buy Kou's CD… for pure curiosity if nothing else.

Talking about sales, the CD can currently be purchased at Amoeba Records, Midnight Records, and directly from the artist at www.blindfaithrecords.com or at his venue, Rise @ Café Fais Do Do, or by e-mailing him at bf8th@aol.com. Even if Sekou is the National Poetry Slam Grand Champion, the price of his double album is still unchanged - $20 a piece. So, get out there, buy, buy, buy… and tell him we sent you. CDs are selling out fast, and Kou is touring the country, so make sure to catch him at your earliest opportunity.

Wayman Barnes 8.20.02
A very big congratulations also goes out to ... Rives #4, Gina Loring #6 and everyone else who went to Minneapolis and made the LA poetry scene proud. Yay!!!

Wayman Barnes 8.20.02
Ladies and gentlemen! Give a very big hand for the winner of the 2002 National Slam competition, LA's very own ...

Charlotte O'Brien 8.19.02

Thanks to all of you who came to support LITRAVE perform ensemble at Barnes & Noble in Pasadena on Friday night. It was especially cool to see the Pasadena/Altadena poetry contingent out in full force. WOW! What a ride.

Staged right by the entrance with all the noise of through traffic, I think we handled ourselves with aplomb. Well enough, I guess, to be invited back (Yeah!).

Jelena, without doubt, had the toughest job as opening act. Of course, she handled it like a true pro: hushed the crowd and got the through traffic to stop and watch. I imagine it's hard to walk past a performance of "Holy Communion." (For those of you who haven't yet heard it, you should check out her web site - I believe she has an online sample.) Ratpack Slim was a racy addition to the group. It was a personal delight to see all the bookish customers stopped dead in their tracks to listen to a poetry style I'm sure they never knew existed. (I was so impressed I bought his book - well worth the money.) He introduced me next on the "Litrave train": and I gotta say following him and all that energy was a piece'a cake. Frances C. was next doing all my personal favorites - the highlight of which was definitely "This poem is not about you" and to whoever "You" is I would like to mention This review ain't aboutchya either! Mani Suri lived up to his regal charm and wooed audiences with his powerful words to murmurs of "Mnn" and "Ahh-huh" coming from the audience. Last, but never least, was the one & only W.B., who is always funny & brilliant. But you know me, I'm unashamedly biased.

A big fat Thanks to Wayman for putting it all together.

Wayman Barnes 8.16.02
B&N Pasadena

In our ongoing quest to find potential poetry freaks to add to our cadre, LitRave has put together a lil' touring group to go to where the people are and bip-bop them on the head. So far, so good.

We had our first show at the Barnes & Noble in Pasadena (Thanks to Ellen Eastwood, the Pasadena store CRM - corporate speak for 'nicest person at the store') and things went very well. A crowd gathered around the performance and went well past the magazine racks. It was cool to see couples on a date stop to watch us (Jelena even gave them some poetic advice on what they could do later. 'Nuff said.).

The Poets: Jelena Andjelkovic, Ratpack Slim, Charlotte O'Brien, Frankie Drayus, Mani Suri, & Wayman Barnes.