Category Archives: Writing

Blogs about writing

Fighting Back: LGBT Rallies and Academic Freedom

1-fun-home-alison-bechdel-coverIn late February, South Carolina Representative Garry Smith punished the College of Charleston for its choice of College Reads! book, which was Alison Bechdel’s tragi-comic Fun Home. Although the state’s funds did not actually fund the College Reads! Program, the state legislature chose to cut $52,000 in funding to the College. This caused quite the kerfluffle among CofC students, including myself, who began a series of protests against the legislature’s decisions. This coincided also with the appointment of Glenn McConnell as College president after a politically dubious search process. On Monday, we held another protest, as Fun Home the Musical came to Charleston. Having watched the show myself, I hope it great success and also hope that the play helps spread the message of how homophobia can destroy people’s lives.

 

 

 

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I read the following poems at last Friday’s protests:

Several writers across the country have also spoken up about academic freedom, information for which you can find here: https://www.facebook.com/outloudsc

Find media on the protests and controversy here:

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/college-of-charleston-stages-fun-home-gay-themed-play-protest

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/us/for-genteel-college-of-charleston-an-unaccustomed-turmoil.html?_r=0

http://www.postandcourier.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Site=CP&Date=20140421&Category=PC16&ArtNo=421009997&Ref=PH&Profile=1005&SectionCat=c-of-c-drama-continues-crowds-pack-memminger-for-controversial-fun-home

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/20/south-carolina-colleges-lgbt-books_n_4825489.html

http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/HaireoftheDog/archives/2014/04/19/the-last-gasp-of-the-lost-cause-and-the-mcconnell-cofc-controversy

http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/charleston/were-having-to-fight-our-asses-off-to-protect-academic-freedom/Content?oid=4905809

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/20/fun-home-college-of-charleston-_n_5181530.html

Cistern, 5pm

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dangling from his shoulder as he

stretches onto his side in the Cistern’s shadow mosaic,

his crisp blazer folded beneath his white crown.

When I approach to ask

if he might sign a petition for everyone

to start loving one another, he lowers his book and

wordlessly draws a pen from his breast pocket, and leans

forward to grab the clipboard.

As the Tab of Yet Another Click-Bait Article Concerning “What Every 20-Year-Old-And-Five-Months Should Achieve Before Turning 20-And-Six Months” Loads Slowly on The Browser

After meticulously reading

an online review of Taco Bell’s “secret menu,”

which includes potato-stuffed burritos named after superheroes,

without brand loyalty to either DC or Marvel,

I pushed back my chair and questioned

my predisposition to tell people that I am awfully busy

in order to avoid events and affairs unpleasant or boring,

considering how I had just whittled my lifeline

for the sake of taste bud analysis for the critically-acclaimed Queserito.

 

Perhaps journalism’s dead, but keeps excavating the crucial mysteries of our time,

such as the quality of Frankenstein dishes at a fast-food-belch-haven. Dead in the same way

Bruce Willis had been dead throughout the entire movie, but he kept

digging at the paranormal crux of his own demise. Maybe everybody’s a journalist these days,

even I worked in journalism for awhile, despite my linguistic

idiosyncrasies and dismissal of grammatical authority.

In other words, perhaps yoga pants do not accentuate each person’s

ass in a flattering light, as yoga pants market themselves to do,

though who decides who does or does not wear yoga pants?

“Yoga pants” might be a good term for successive breathing, quick and deep, quick and deep.

Not counting persons who actually practice yoga, (evidently the minority

of yoga-pants-wearers), no one dictates that sort of non-dress-code.

Just like how the Internet’s become a Wild West of bullshit-masquerading-as-truth

or Taco-Bell-reviews-feigning-to-be-news. Because for every blurb

intricately spoiling every single damn hit tv show on television

exists a well-argued essay in pristine prose

about the degradation of American culture

posted on some obscure blog that nobody’s gonna fuckin’ read.

Slam Madness: Days 2 and 3

Pics from Slam Madness! Photo creds to Chucktown poet Fresh Prince of Poetry!

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On Saturday morning, we helped with a youth workshop. One of the highlights of the weekend, during which the poets helped young people express themselves.

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Unfortunately, I lost after the first round and could not go on to the final round, but I think I made a good impression. But hey, check out this video of “Fork”!

All in all, this weekend became incredibly inspiring. Once Sunday rolled around, we decided to stay because we left the slam absolutely stunned. So many amazing poets, so many breathtaking poets. In our hearts, we are all 30′s– we are worth the three minutes of your time. And congrats to Moody Black for winning the entire slam and for Ed Mabrey for scoring second place! Check out some of the competitors below!

 

 

Slam Madness: Day 1

1378091335Class ends, and we pack our bags with clothes, books, and poetry. After a panini pit stop, on the road by 4 pm, we rocked out to Mos Def, Childish Gambino, Johnathan Brown Andrea Gibson, Buddy Wakefield, Listener, and Matt Foley– some of the best poets for inspiration as we approached Greenville. In this town, incredibly progressive and bustling with energy, we would be competing in Slam Madness, an annual poetry slam run by Sapient Soul and John C. Weaver. Some of the best poets in the nation will be coming out to bout for a $1500 grand prize, complete with two preliminary and one championship round.

Once we arrived in the city, an hour or so late, we plunged headlong into a poetic evening in a small Greenville restaurant called Jamaica Mi Irie, a bistro serving delicious Jamacian cuisine, at which Madness poets and locals engaged in a free style poetry slam. Each competitor picked random topics from a box, then created rhymes, rhythms, and inspirational messages on the spot. After three furious rounds of good-natured competition, Ed Mabrey brought home the prize. He too will be competing in the slam. For perspective, he’s won the Individual World Poetry Slam. Talk about some serious competition.

So let’s represent Chucktown, show these Charleston poets that can hold their own on the big stage.

Keep updated on the slam performances tomorrow and Sunday, including videos, photos, quotes, interviews, and basic HYPE. In the meantime, get out to downtown Greeneville to witness this spectacular slam, check out some videos of Slam Madness competitors. Sorry for not including everyone, but that would be a lot of videos.

“Happily Ferris After”

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Panera Bread gives no days off,

no fake sick days of water-tower fame,

no Michigan Avenue Beatles musical

where the world joins in for the sake of spontaneity.

Turkey and Swiss smell less romantic

than sprinting home with five minutes to spare,

or saving our friends from abject misery.

Just coughing up nostalgia,

I recall the vibration of

a leather steering wheel.

Should have driven somewhere new,

when we still had time, still had mileage.

Skinny Dipping With Strangers: Poems from 827 Book Release Party

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A documentation of the night of the book release of “Skinny Dipping with Strangers.” Missed the show, want to watch it again, or were on the other side of the world? No worries, got you covered.

Skinny Dipping With Strangers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2iUuGY5ykQ

Triathlon for Beached Whales:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KG5ZO2Ycv3E

Spirit of the Bear:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SdcOJ7A1RQ

Halitus:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWjBZtv6Asw

Sob Stories:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGqXi8FBxpU

Landmine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1pKfZcaYPA

Lalochezia:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLC5k0lx4aU

Enjoy.

Upcoming Events in Charleston This Week

Tonight! Reblution at the Music Farm. Doors open at 8pm. Shows starts at 9pm.

 

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Tonight! Matt Foley releases his book “We Could Be Oceans” at the 827. Doors open at 7pm. BYOB.

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Tomorrow night! John Brown’s Body plays at The Pour House. Show starts at 10, doors: 9pm.

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Charleston Hype Launch Party at King Dusko this Saturday!

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Sunday, February 23, 2014: Big Gigantic at the Music Farm. Show starts at 9pm. Get tickets soon because they’re almost sold out.

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Monday, February 24, 2014: Susan Meyers reads from her new book “Dear, Dear Stagger Grass” at the East Bay Meeting House Open Mic.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014: Derek Berry releases his book “Skinny Dipping with Strangers” at the 827 Poetry Night. Followed by an open mic and party!

Snapshot 5 (1-3-2014 5-52 PM)

 

827 Poetry Slam

Two rounds of a slam, here recorded on video.

Snapshot 5 (1-3-2014 5-52 PM)

Round 1:

Final Round:

 

Enjoy, leave comments, come out to the slam. We throw down poetic language every other week in Avondale in the very cool art gallery 827.

827 Poetry Night: “In the Year of the Snake-Skin Boots” and other poems

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At my significant other’s first feature, I got the chance to jump onto the mic and share some new poems. More poems coming soon, to be uploaded tomorrow.

“In The Year of the Snake-Skin Boots” and “What Masturbation and My Poetry Have In Common.”

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