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Author Topic: Two Further Questions for All EC Candidates  (Read 2543 times)

Sean Mulroy

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Two Further Questions for All EC Candidates
« on: March 02, 2012, 09:16:27 AM »
note:  I'm posting this in a separate thread in hopes of it's being more readily noticeable--moderators, feel free to merge this with the other thread, preferably after some replies have come through.

Hey guys! 

It's really great to see such a large and varied list of EC candidates this year;  I wish I could be in Denver for the meeting, I'm sure it's going to be a fight to remember.   ;)  That said, here are my questions for the EC candidates this year. 

1) The following is the second of five amended articles of incorporation for PSI as listed on the website:

"To enhance the perception of literary merit and legitimacy of performance poetry as an art form."

What the above mean to you?  Do you believe that  we are currently successful in the enhancement of perceived literary merit and legitimacy of performance poetry?  If not, what do you, as a member of the EC, hope to do in order to further this process?  Or, for incumbents, what do you see as roadblocks to achieving further literary merit for our art form?  Can you propose a way to circumvent these roadblocks within your next term? 

2) There has been a lot of talk regarding the possibility of PSI events being held within a limited number of host cities.  How do you feel about this idea?  Are your for or against it?  Explain your position.


That's all for now, I know it's late in the game but I'd sure love an answer on these, and I imagine I'm not the only one ;)
Sean Patrick Mulroy

Sean Mulroy

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Re: Two Further Questions for All EC Candidates
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2012, 12:29:48 PM »
That should read, "What DOES the above mean to you?"   My apologies--I blame Parisian espresso.
Sean Patrick Mulroy

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Re: Two Further Questions for All EC Candidates
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2012, 12:49:51 PM »
2) There has been a lot of talk regarding the possibility of PSI events being held within a limited number of host cities.  How do you feel about this idea?  Are your for or against it?  Explain your position.

For many years, I was against PSi grounding events. This was purely a selfish decision. I have been able to travel to cities I never likely would have travelled to all b/c of poetry. More specifically b/c PSi holds 3 yearly events in various cities around the world yearly.

I have given more thought to this possibility over the last 2 years. I see the merit in both grounding the events and continuing to have them rotate yearly. There are pros and cons for each.

I think it would be easier to ground the smaller events than NPS. NPS requires a great deal and I think it would be hard to find a city willing to host it for an extended period of time.

HOWEVER I am willing to do what is in the best financial interest of PSi. It seems like at this point in our 25 year history of slam, that grounding our events might be more beneficial.

"To enhance the perception of literary merit and legitimacy of performance poetry as an art form."
What the above mean to you?  Do you believe that  we are currently successful in the enhancement of perceived literary merit and legitimacy of performance poetry?  If not, what do you, as a member of the EC, hope to do in order to further this process?  Or, for incumbents, what do you see as roadblocks to achieving further literary merit for our art form?  Can you propose a way to circumvent these roadblocks within your next term? 

To me the article is pretty straight forward. PSi wants to show the "world" that performance poetry is a legitimate art form and should be respected as such.

I think PSi has done this by providing 3 national level poetry events yearly. They have established rules for each event that attempt to include the "best" performance poets around the world. The events include workshops that serve to further enhance the writing and performance of those participating and also the community in which the events are held. Another way PSi does this is by mandating that certified/registered slam venue under their purview have 6 slams per season & that their team is not hand selected. There are set guidelines and rules which serve to add legitimacy.


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Dahled

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Re: Two Further Questions for All EC Candidates
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2012, 06:19:39 PM »
1) The following is the second of five amended articles of incorporation for PSI as listed on the website:

"To enhance the perception of literary merit and legitimacy of performance poetry as an art form."

What the above mean to you?  Do you believe that  we are currently successful in the enhancement of perceived literary merit and legitimacy of performance poetry?  If not, what do you, as a member of the EC, hope to do in order to further this process?  Or, for incumbents, what do you see as roadblocks to achieving further literary merit for our art form?  Can you propose a way to circumvent these roadblocks within your next term? 

To me the quoted passage refers to the schism between page and performance poetry. I think that as slam continues to grow and develop and more and more current and former slammers enter academia this gap will continue to naturally narrow. Some of the things that we're already talking about may also help with this - if, for example, we build (via youtube or otherwise) a great repository of performance videos we'll also be working towards further enhancing the legitimacy of our art form.

2) There has been a lot of talk regarding the possibility of PSI events being held within a limited number of host cities.  How do you feel about this idea?  Are your for or against it?  Explain your position.

The short answer is yes, I've long been a strong proponent of grounding the events, with a caveat though. To quote myself -
-I would like the EC to investigate some combination of the bid process and "grounding" our national events. Having a small, rotating cast of host-cities would allow us to grow the events in a real and measurable way, to identify potential (smaller, local) sponsors and develop ongoing relationships with them, and to concentrate on the festival/tournament itself without having to reinvent the promotional wheel every year.

(One possibility I'm particularly fond of is to have a 4 year rotation with 3 regular host cities and an empty slot to be filled via the current bid process or something similar. This would give the organizers that win the bid a period of several years to observe/work with seasoned organizers before taking over the reins on their own and the regular host cities the ability to cycle through resident organizers and/or more easily bring in folks from out of town to work with their existing structure.)

I see it in almost the opposite was from Inkera - if we're going to ground one/some and not others I think it'd be better to ground NPS and continue to let iWPS and WoWPS roam. This due to the fact that it takes a lot more to run an NPS than one of the smaller events. If we moved to something like the rotating host cities I outline above we could also use the individual events as a training ground for the coming host cities - i.e. if you want to host NPS 2019 you first host iWPS/WoWPS as a practice run (that's either/or not both). If we grounded NPS it'd necessarily need to be tied to some of the larger scenes. This rotating host, big-scene set-up allows for both recuperation time and change/turnover in the host city committee so it's not the same individual in charge year after year. Both of these caveats help to prevent burnout.

karen_g

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Re: Two Further Questions for All EC Candidates
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2012, 08:49:11 PM »
note:  I'm posting this in a separate thread in hopes of it's being more readily noticeable--moderators, feel free to merge this with the other thread, preferably after some replies have come through.

Hey guys! 

It's really great to see such a large and varied list of EC candidates this year;  I wish I could be in Denver for the meeting, I'm sure it's going to be a fight to remember.   ;)  That said, here are my questions for the EC candidates this year. 

1) The following is the second of five amended articles of incorporation for PSI as listed on the website:

"To enhance the perception of literary merit and legitimacy of performance poetry as an art form."

What the above mean to you?  Do you believe that  we are currently successful in the enhancement of perceived literary merit and legitimacy of performance poetry?  If not, what do you, as a member of the EC, hope to do in order to further this process?  Or, for incumbents, what do you see as roadblocks to achieving further literary merit for our art form?  Can you propose a way to circumvent these roadblocks within your next term? 

2) There has been a lot of talk regarding the possibility of PSI events being held within a limited number of host cities.  How do you feel about this idea?  Are your for or against it?  Explain your position.



 I think I answer both of these in the main thread, but I don't mind rewinding a little bit.~Suzi's first question addresses some of the first & I put my position on looking at the sustainability of rotating events in my bid.

I do think PSI sponsors both poets and poetry in a gigantic way, and has done so for 20+years by providing a  vehicle for getting poetry out there and advancing the idea that stories from all walks of life are valid, necessary. It's done through events, and workshops and inviting audiences in to participate inthe echange.Further, poets gain confidence to seek work in this field of poetry and stories, going from local to a national level and then beyond. I would like to see an accessible on-line archive,links to resources like INdiefeed &  Write Bloody books of bringing poetry into classrooms---I would like to see these things funneled trhough our site. Part of it is my own fatigue with facebook or other  social media re-iterations of the question " I am going into a middle school/high school and need some non-explitive poetry to share" and other similar questions or even "it's April and I'm trying to write 30 poems in 30 days and I need prompt and exercises"---I want to be able to point to our site and say "look over there, it has what you are looking for." Whether or not Erik has enough time, help, energy and copyright to make that a reality, I'm not sure, but I'd like to explore that as a way to continue to advance our community's role.

I don't think it is sustainable to continue the way we do---either for teams traveling or for PSi or for host cities & in some ways, I think we may have to take a hard look at how many teams make it in if we are to decide to go on the path we're going on now.I think of WOW and IWPS as more of the feeder slams, perhaps those are more manageable in size, to some extent, to keep them on the move. I advocate a kind of grounding that would, say, pick four regions and rotate between them.That way, host cities would have a kind of break between re-hosting, but also, teams traveling wouldn't be looking at coming primarily east or going south in august.I am also thinking that we could then develop a system that would rely more on regional help in hosting than putting it all on one city's crews, even every 3-4 years--develop more regional participation and responsibility.
Another alternative might be to have NPS every other year---which might be a really hard sell locally and to newer scenes.We may also have to look into being more rigid about things like W &I---taking only teams that do it and only teams with wins or ties, to make the growth of NPS more capped. I"m not necessarily saying I think these are the best options, but that we should be talking about how to make NPS easier to host. I feel like Simone & co. just set the bar, remade the template. Now we have to figure out how to replicate that. I look forward to seeing how Charlotte will throw down--they've been amping toward it for awhile with hosting IWPS.
I hear Inkera, too. Maybe NPS should stay on the move and IWPS & WOW should stick to a kind of regional rotation. I don't think I or any one of us has one right answer for this, but we should be talking about all of these variables as well as asking the cities who have hosted over the years what their very experiences have been (and maybe catalog them, as Logic suggests ;-).

Thank you for asking these---I hope I didn't start off sounding snide. It is worth it to brainstorm all around these questions.
nerak_g

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Re: Two Further Questions for All EC Candidates
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2012, 09:07:15 PM »
I apologize fro wonky typing dyslexia & so forth, I made my last post rather quickly.
To bring up some of what Dahled says in answering the main question, I kind of hitched on this idea of regional responsibility and help in host cities for "grounding" NPS (or IWPS or WOW). I think what he means is more in the line of using regionals or regions having their own competitions to determine what teams go to NPS. I am very "eh," on that idea. On the idea of regions taking more responsibility for promoting NPS & helping the actual host city---I am ALL about thinking of ways we can explore that.Perhaps picking IWPS and grounding it as a test for NPS would be a good idea, since it has also had some issues.
When I say grounding, I am not saying one city only as much as a few,in a rotation format.
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Re: Two Further Questions for All EC Candidates
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2012, 10:28:34 PM »
note:  I'm posting this in a separate thread in hopes of it's being more readily noticeable--moderators, feel free to merge this with the other thread, preferably after some replies have come through.

Hey guys! 

It's really great to see such a large and varied list of EC candidates this year;  I wish I could be in Denver for the meeting, I'm sure it's going to be a fight to remember.   ;)  That said, here are my questions for the EC candidates this year. 

1) The following is the second of five amended articles of incorporation for PSI as listed on the website:

"To enhance the perception of literary merit and legitimacy of performance poetry as an art form."

What the above mean to you?  Do you believe that  we are currently successful in the enhancement of perceived literary merit and legitimacy of performance poetry?  If not, what do you, as a member of the EC, hope to do in order to further this process?  Or, for incumbents, what do you see as roadblocks to achieving further literary merit for our art form?  Can you propose a way to circumvent these roadblocks within your next term? 

2) There has been a lot of talk regarding the possibility of PSI events being held within a limited number of host cities.  How do you feel about this idea?  Are your for or against it?  Explain your position.



Question #1: I think that question really depends upon what cities, circles and art communities you run in. In some places I feel that slam is legitimacy looked at as an art form with literary merit. I have seen communities where it is the primary poetic form of expression, and others look to slam as a measuring stick. In other communities it is seen as noise and loudness and barely functioning. Our communities are as diverse as our poets. I am not entirely sure we will ever have a nationwide consensus, but we have at least reached the point where slam is increasingly becoming a part of the american lexicon. The White house held an event they called "a slam" . Where or not they mentioned Marc Smith and had 5 random judges, they still acknowledged the brand. I think we are also seeing more and poets from the slam community move into pop culture, the academic field  for MFA's or teaching certificates, which further makes our presence felt in the streets as well as the halls of the ivory tower, as well as commercials and music albums.

As an EC member I would like to try to see what communities need stronger slam foundations and then compare and contrast them to the cities and regions that have a stronger slam presence,  and see what we can do to bridge those gaps. There are places where slam is firing on all cylinders, great shows, variety of voices, great organizing, outside funding, dedicated audiences. Why not poll those places, see what they are doing specifically to be successful,and spread that word out to other communities who are just starting, re-colonizing, or just having a hard time getting their scene together.

 As for me personally I know there are a lot of us in higher education. I am working on my Ph.D, there are others going that route, and others working on Masters, and others working on their undergraduate degrees. I would like to see us hold a daytime event during a national event that would talk about how we are building slam in academia.  I use poetic inquiry as a means of research, and I often quote slam poets in fellowship proposals and papers. What happens if more of us do that, if we start writing in journals, winning funding and fellowships and publishing academic papers talking about the importance of slams in education, ethnography, social work, in homes and secure facilities for adjudicated youth and adults. That way we have a two pronged attack that is going on in the streets as well as the schools. I think this would go a long way to enhancing the perception of slam.




QUESTION #2 . "The mission of Poetry Slam Incorporated (PSI) is to promote the performance and creation of poetry while cultivating literary activities and spoken word events in order to build audience participation, stimulate creativity, awaken minds, foster education, inspire mentoring, encourage artistic statement and engage communities worldwide in the revelry of language."

I am for change if we can do that and still maintain our prime directive. I think I would like to look at the books and see if the traveling is sustainable, or would it be better to ground us in a few cities. If we can build and cultivate poetry while doing no harm to PSI I think almost any idea is worth looking at. if we ground it in a few cities a few of the pros as I see them are constantly knowing where the events will be, having a constant budget that will be similar and easy to go back to for Psi and traveling poets, it may be easier to get local grants and possibly better local marketing...a few of  the cons are:  we are not "planting"  poetry in different cities, poets don't get to travel to new and exotic locations and eat gingerbread pancakes (oh Magnolias),  and we may (depending on the number of grounded cities, eventually burn out the hosts) . I see the pro's and cons of each scenario, but I think the final judgement from me would depend upon what kind of numbers we were looking at, and  what final  proposal best fits into the primary mission statement of slam.

I wonder would  we be grounding all events... or grounding Nats in a few cities, and using IWPS and WOW to "plant and grow" poetry. 
And those who were seen dancing
were thought to be insane
by those who could not hear the music...
 ― Friedrich Nietzsch

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Re: Two Further Questions for All EC Candidates
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2012, 10:08:47 PM »
Sean, sorry this has taken me so long to respond to.
1) The following is the second of five amended articles of incorporation for PSI as listed on the website:
"To enhance the perception of literary merit and legitimacy of performance poetry as an art form."
What the above mean to you?  Do you believe that  we are currently successful in the enhancement of perceived literary merit and legitimacy of performance poetry?  If not, what do you, as a member of the EC, hope to do in order to further this process?  Or, for incumbents, what do you see as roadblocks to achieving further literary merit for our art form?  Can you propose a way to circumvent these roadblocks within your next term?

This means that we need to find ways to move beyond the competitive aspects of slam, or find ways in which the competition can be put to better use. The major roadblock I see is that people don't want to change the competition or they want to change it for reasons that do nothing to advance the art. I am in favor of the proposal you put for in another thread to generate awards and recognition for poems outside the scoring system. I believe we should be actively looking for ideas like that to promote poets taking chances on stage. It hearkens back to the indies competition where a team might not advance, but a standout poet (from a scoring perspective) could still be showcased. I like that. I would like to hear other ideas that the community has and try those as well. Most of all, I would like for poets to become excited not only to compete, but also to share and grow. As an EC member all I can offer is to be an advocate of these ideas and to do my best to push the EC and other SM's to adopt them.


2) There has been a lot of talk regarding the possibility of PSI events being held within a limited number of host cities.  How do you feel about this idea?  Are your for or against it?  Explain your position.

I am for grounding. Most of all, I would like to see NPS grounded.

Here is the breakdown of why I think grounding is good:
1) Very few cities can actually handle a NPS. Access to audience, venues, transportation and hotels. We ask much of a NPS Host City. The list that can do it is short. The number that want to do it is even shorter.
2) Events get better each year they are in the same city. Ask almost any Host City. Venues that were on the fence to host a prelim suddenly can't wait to have you back. Rental Fees go down or disappear. Sponsors finally "get it". All sorts of things are easier once you've done it once.
3) It becomes something the city takes ownership in. Audiences become trained to expect it. Advertisers and Tourism Boards get behind it. The locals take pride that something this special happens in their home every year.
4) The ability to plan ahead and improve things that need improving. Nobody is perfect and mistakes happen. Grounding gives you the ability to make corrections and learn what works (or what doesn't).

I am OK with iWPS and WoWPS continuing to rotate as some have suggested. But again, even with theses events, I think moving them every two years (or less) is detrimental.

So, what I would like to put before the EC and SM's this coming year is something along the lines of this:

Let's develop a new bidding process for all three events that allows a potential Host City to build a sustained relationship with PSi and the Event. I would like to see us encourage bids that would have iWPS and WoWPS for a three year cycle with the option to "renew" for one additional year if conditions are met (perhaps profitability, SM satisfaction, or some other criteria). For NPS, I would go further and say that this should be a five year agreement with a two year renewal.

The starting agreements could be staggered and even if this went into effect today (assuming details were worked out), there would be some natural staggering as agreements for events went into effect.

The basic idea is that events could still rotate, but not annually. We would make an effort to develop a long term relationship between NPS and a Home City (not Host City) that would be mutually beneficial to both the City and PSi. We could work on building staff that know not only the event, but also the location. And in no case would any of this be without strong checks and balances to make sure PSi and the Events were being supported. That is to say, grounding doesn't mean NPS (or another event) will be in one city no matter what for the next five to seven years; It means that we want it to be in this city and the city wants it to be there as well. We want to be able to plan, to learn, and to improve the Event.

LoGic

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Re: Two Further Questions for All EC Candidates
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2012, 11:02:14 PM »
good luck everyone!
And those who were seen dancing
were thought to be insane
by those who could not hear the music...
 ― Friedrich Nietzsch