Multiple award-winning poets will be slamming each other with their words on Nov. 4 as a part of the national “Junkyard Ghost Revival Tour,” a slam poetry exhibition making its way to colleges across the country. At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4, while the results of the election are still coming in, four poets will compete for audience support in the VU Multipurpose Room.
Slam Poetry is a competition among poets in which artists read their work to the judgment of the crowd. Whichever poet's performance gains the most vocal support from the audience is declared the winner.
This year's tour features four renowned poets, including the 2004 and 2005 Individual World Poetry Slam champion Buddy Wakefield, the first poet to win the award two years in a row.
In 2001 Wakefield left his job at a bio-medical firm in Gig Harbor, sold or gave away everything he owned and lived in a Honda Civic while driving across the nation and performing poetry until 2003. He now resides in Seattle but continues to tour.
“You only live once, so I became what I wanted,” Wakefield said via a phone interview before the group left Reno, Nev.
Wakefield described his poetry as, “a bunch of self-absorbed stuff that I hope affects people in a positive way.”
“He's intense but really good and very creative,” AS Production Special Events Coordinator Hallie Anderson said. Though she's only seen videos of Wakefield's performance online, Anderson can tell he has a lot of energy and purpose to match his raw verses.
Last year's ASP Special Events Assistant Coordinator Rahim Khoja helped bring Wakefield to campus in 2007. Like Anderson, Khoja was impressed by Wakefield's energetic performance.
“He's very controversial and physical in his poetry,” Khoja said. “He moves around the stage a lot, it's incredibly active.”
The tour also features Anis Mojgani, the 2005 and 2006 National Poetry Slam Individual Champion.
“We're having the tour of our life. We're one big, happy family and it's been great,” said Wakefield.
Aside from the fact that both men perform slam poetry, Wakefield and Mojgani couldn't appear more different. For instance, one has a shaved head and the other wears a full beard with scraggly hair. But both put a lot of gusto behind their acts to match their eclectic verses. Their poems take post-modern themes and blend them with catchy scat-sounding lyrics.
“They're going to bring the excitement,” said Anderson.