My name is Logic, and I am running for EC.
A BRIEF INTRO:
I started slamming in 2003, and by a series of random circumstances combined with Google Maps I ended up at the Ann Arbor Poetry Slam which I will always consider my home venue. It was my time in Ann Arbor which helped to filter how I view poetry, slam, and organizing. It was there I learned not just a love for slam, the competition, and the joy of poetry, but the biggest lesson I learned was how to serve. Ace deuce has always bred workers and organizers, and I feel and hope that I have attempted to take those lessons with me as I journeyed and grown in my art. The motto used on the flyers was “bringing poetry to the people” and I’ve always pushed myself to think about slam in that manner.
My first national event was the 1st IWPS held in South Carolina in 2004, and I have been to a national event every year since. I’ve competed 4 times at IWPS and 4 times at Nationals. I’ve also volunteered at some of the national events and been a spectator at others, and I love the head to head haiku DEATHMATCH. My first feature and first hosting gig was in Columbus, so that’s my second city in terms of slam. I always find that amusing due to the intense sports rivalry between the two college towns. Nevertheless, Ann Arbor is where I was raised, and Columbus is where I spread my wings.
One of my most memorable moments was Marc Smith introducing himself in Charlotte to an avalanching echo of “SO WHAT”, followed by Pull The Next One Up.
That poem in a nutshell , explains why I want to serve. If slam was a class, Pull The Next One Up would be required reading.
Why do I want to be on the EC? I believe in service first, it’s how I was raised poetically. I have been involved in about every aspect of slam there is, and as I matured and grew I realized that competing was one part of the entire body. I’ve counted door money, carried bout boxes, taken pictures for DVD covers, co-hosted a "How to" Head to Head Haiku session with Taz at WOW, MC’ed & bout managed at IWPS, was a Sac at a finals at NATS. I founded and hosted the Spitfire Poetry Slam in East Lansing, hosted the Spartan Spitfire Invitational Slam, and organized and hosted the 2010 Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam with the help of my wife and some awesome Midwest volunteers. I believe that I bring to the EC a perspective that melds competitor, host, MC, volunteer and academic in one.
RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE:
I am interested and have been working towards more integration between slam and academia. I am currently a 2nd year Ph.D student at Michigan State University’s Curriculum Instruction and Teacher Education program. In short, I teach education majors how to be teachers. While there I‘ve been involved with a grant from the Spencer Foundation that introduced poetry into local urban schools, and charted how poetry helped students with achievement. This research will be appearing in an educational journal this year. I also recently won a research fellowship with a proposal to utilize poetry to teach history to high school students for this upcoming summer. Next year my plan is to instruct TE 458, a course that teaches teachers to teach poetry (say that 3 times fast!). For my research interest I use poetry not just as an art form but through Poetic Inquiry, and the narrative heavy focus of Critical Race Theory I use it as a methodology as well, weaving poetry, slam poetry, and spoken word through multiple classes and disciplines.
I also have experience working with service organizations in leadership positions, as well as complimentary positions such as parliamentarian. I was also the volunteer coordinator for North Lansing for Organize for America.
I believe in measured growth. While I think that all things must learn to adapt, change, and grow or die, I do not believe in change simply for the sake of change. I believe that change must be mitigated by careful consideration, and contemplation of cause, effect, and unintended consequences.
I believe in strong competition, but I believe that there are a variety of ways to measure success, efficiency and fairness especially in an art based competition. I have a strong belief in the agency and narrative of the general body as a way to examine some of these factors.
I believe in the slam family. I think that as we grow, and change and adapt, we can’t forget that the family side of slam shouldn’t be overshadowed by the competitive. It is a competition, but many of us are involved due to the family like atmosphere, and strong personal connections we’ve attained through our involvement. Yet I do not think the two are mutually exclusive, there are ways to make the two coexist.
I believe in a multi-tiered vision for slam. Just as we see others’ perspectives in their poetry, so I believe that diverse perspectives when It comes to leadership makes the leadership and the organization better.
1. Stronger internet presence
2. An easily accessed database of ideas that have worked and ideas that have failed as well as the reasons for both (so we are not constantly trying to review and rehash ideas that have failed)
3. Help prepare SLAM for a new generation of performers, poets, and audiences that is increasingly plugged in and viral
Thank you and I'm Looking forward to any questions, comments or concerns.