WMU English Department Grad Students will represent Kalamazoo at 2008 National Poetry Slam Finals in Madison, WI, August 3-9 by a team of four that includes MFA candidate Karen Wurl. Karen, a playwrite whose work was part of April's Fuse I program at University Theater, is a vetran poetry slam enthusiast who has competed at three previous National Poetry Slam finals.
Kalamazoo's poetry slam scene can be found at Poets Anonymous K-Zoo (PARKZOO for short). "It is a spoken word collective specializing in poetry slam and open mic poetry events," said Todd Bannon, a WMU English Education doctoral candidate. Bannon heads the organization and host a monthly poetry slam (first Wednesday of every month, including summertime) at Dino's Coffee Lounge.
Others on the 2008 PARKZOO poetry slam team are W.M. Carpenter, Oliver Lewis (a retired boxer), and Garrick Oxley ( a high school student, who will just turn the minimum required age of 18 on August 5th, the first day of competition at the National Poetry Slam (see www.nps2008.com or http://poetryslam.com for more information).
Locally, PAKZOO also host a youth poetry slam the third Wednesday of every month at Dino's (hosted by K-Central teacher Chris Bullmer), and weekly open mics and slams at Papa Pete's Coffee Bar (hosted by Todd Bannon and Steve Ashby).
Todd Bannon: firstname.lastname@example.org
Poets Anonymous K-Zoo: www.pakzoo.org