Friday, October 8, 2010

Columbus Slam Poet, Educator and Director Scott Woods has some interesting things to say concerning an article that attempts to chastise slam poetry here:

What I love about this retort is that Woods also runs's "Poetry Is Doomed," which addresses many of Farr's issues:

As the editor of the Hessler Street Fair Competition for the past few years, I must say that "Are your poetry submissions telling you the same things they're telling the editors? Probably not." struck a particular chord with me.


Theresa Göttl Brightman said...

If anyone wants to hear more of Scott Woods, the Ohio Poetry Association will be bringing him to Cleveland on Saturday, Nov 20th, to the University Heights Branch of the CH-UH Library, 1-4pm. Free and open to the public. Promises to be an amazing afternoon.

michael salinger said...

Unfortunately I will be in Orlando on this date - but I recommend anyone who can to go see Mr. Woods.

lady said...

I remember when you featured him @ the Beachland. Was a good nite.

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

Oddly, I agree both with Farr's criticism, and also with Woods' response to it.

Farr had said: "Poetry slams are not about poetry. In fact, they’re more like dramatic monologues or stand-up comedy routines than anything else.”

And Woods slams back "Of course poetry slams are about poetry."

But I think Woods is really missing a real point hidden in there-- in fact, slam is a fundamentally different form of art than poetry on the page. Slam is a form of performance. You may quibble whether it's true to say that slam is "not about the poetry," but I think it is true to say that they are fundamentally different in their essential nature-- the experience of a performance is not the same as the experience of reading a work, at your own pace, rereading as you feel the urge, in your own home.

Not worse, or not necessarily worse. Not better, or not necessarily better. Different. And, for that matter, different poems work better in different form. There's things you can make work in slam that you can't make work on the page; and there are definitely things that can work on the page that don't perform.

Doesn't mean one's "real" and the other some sort of travesty. You can enjoy them both.



The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau