Author: Chris Shepperd


He is the Slammaster/Executive Director of the Austin Poetry Slam, and a five-time member/three-time coach of teams representing Austin at Nationals. The author of 10 full-length books of poetry, Danny’s performance-oriented work is frequently used by students in forensics competitions. Why is poetry important? I’d prefer to answer the question of why spoken word poetry is important, rather than poetry as a whole. Spoken word poetry / slam-style poetry is important because it’s a continuation of our most ancient tradition of storytelling. An impassioned speaker sharing their personal truth live is more powerful than any other force in the world. What makes a good poem? In my opinion, a good poem is one that uses concise and interesting words to surprise me and teach me about something new. What inspires you? I’m inspired by things that happen in my life every day, including conversations I have and things I hear or read in the news. Who are some of your favorite poets? My favorite poets are Korim, Good Ghost Bill, Christopher Lee Daniels, Matthew Conley, Andrea Gibson, What made you want to become a poet? I didn’t really want to be a poet, but I kept writing poetry. This is still the case to this day. I just really like writing in all forms. I also like the community and the poetry slam family. Where is your favorite place...

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Brent C. Green is a six year veteran of the local Mic Check poetry scene in Bryan. He has released two books, Onus and Protested Love, touring regionally and hoping to take the world next. He imagines that if we could combine the bodies and minds of the poets Kevin Burke, Bill Moran, and Shane Koyczan, that that would be the perfect human being the world is waiting for. Why is poetry important? Because poetry, especially spoken word, is the human experience and emotion made visceral and raw. It is an art form that every layperson can be intimately a part of. What makes a good poem? Either relatable emotion or an ensnaring story that the audience is able to follow along beside. The fact that the poet uses beautiful language to convey these stories is simply a byproduct of how they see the world and not the focal point of what makes a poem great. What inspires you? I’m a mix between a life poet and a love poet. I’m obsessed with finding the answers to the human condition and why we do what we do, and of course with falling in love and marriage. Finding that special someone is one goal that every human being shares across the globe. Love has been written to death in every language but I like to delude myself that I’m bringing...

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Ashe is the author of two books of poetry: Wrong Side of a Fistfight and Belly of the Beast. She is a recent graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University and fresh off her first poetry tour with her best friend, Jordan Hamilton. Ashe is a very tiny person with very tiny hands and a whole lot to say about it. Why is poetry important? One of the things that I think is the most amazing thing about poetry is that it gives a voice to the voiceless. You go to a poetry slam and you hear all of these points of view that are getting silence by mass media. Here, minorities and oppressed communities have words that ring loud and clear and they all share a stage. What makes a good poem? Honesty and immediacy. As an audience member, you can see the difference between a poem about something that vaguely interests a poet verses a poem about something that truly affects them. It takes a lot of courage to write and perform such personal things and to have that vulnerability, but it makes for such good poetry. What inspires you? Everything. I wrote a poem about a dog on the side of the highway, the other day. Who are some of your favorite poets? Richard Siken, Bill Moran, Caitlyn Siehl, Clementine Von Radics What made you want...

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