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Friday, February 27, 2004

Poetry In Vegas

For a relatively small city of 2,000,000, Vegas hosts a number of high quality poetry readings and events. In fact, we are host to the state’s only spoken word radio show, not to mention the Vegas Valley Book Festival, now in its third year. We even have a national poetry slam team that tours and competes with other cities.

Last year our slam team went to the finals in Chicago, Illinois to compete with hundreds of others. Team members were Andy Hall, Kari O’Connor, Mike Kiewel, and Andy Kenyon. Andy Hall also teaches at UNLV. Watch for him when he performs. He is guaranteed to make you laugh at least once! "Hey Andy, how many Goths does it take to screw in a lightbulb?" He has some great Haikus. This year’s team will be finalized March 22nd at the Seat Theatre inside the Arts Factory. For more information you can check Las Vegas Slam.

Vegas’ newest baby, the Rebel Poetry Spoken Word Radio Show, is on every Tuesday evening at 10:00 PM (PST) on 1230 AM KLAV radio, and there is a live webcast on the website as well. The station hosts local, national, and international poets via recorded CDs and live on air readings. To call in and read a poem you can call (702) 731-1230 or toll free at (866) 820-5558. The show is hosted by Bakeem Lloyd and Lim Subliminal and some of the best tidbits are often their humorous bantering. The show has received some local media attention and has a great variety of poets every week. Some of the show's features have been Bruce Isaacson, formerly of San Francisco, Saab Lofton, writer for City Life, Ashahed, and many, many more. Please check out their website and while you’re there, sign their guest book. It takes a community, people!

Bakeem & Lim also host Poetry on Ice at the Icehouse the first Sunday of the month from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM, featuring live jazz and live poets. The Ice House is downtown’s newest hot spot. Tickets are $10.00 with a one drink minimum. The Icehouse is located at 650 S. Main Street, (702) 315-2570. This event helps to fund the radio show.

The poetry scene is alive and well this year, with a variety of choices. For a complete listing you can check the poetry calendar, Las Vegas Literary Calendar of Events. This calendar is updated monthly by Danna Botwick, who has been an organizer and host in the poetry community here for over five years. Danna also hosts a reading each Tuesday evening from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, 4550 S. Maryland Pkwy. Her readings include local and touring poets and authors and have included poets such as Richard Logsdon of the Red Rock Review, a nationally published poetry journal based here in Vegas out of the Community College of Southern Nevada. Danna has also organized fundraisers for September 11th victims and The Shade Tree Women’s Shelter. She can be reached at desertpoetess@yahoo.com.

Another great choice is A Sound Like Fire, hosted by Nakachi Clark, every Friday from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Jitters, 2191 E. Tropicana. Nakachi is a talented story teller with a rhythm all her own. She can frequently be heard on the Rebel Poetry Radio Show as well.

The Iowa Cafe, located downtown at E. Charleston & 3rd St., also has a reading hosted by Megan Milligan and Mark Snyder. Megan is a news producer here at Channel 8 TV. Mark is a published poet. Together they host talent every week in a relaxed atmosphere. Iowa is a small, comfortable place that serves food as well. See their Yahoo group for events and times.

And lastly, please check for a complete listing of all readings and workshops at the calendar online. Or you can join the Las Vegas Poets Group.

posted by rita at