Category: Poets

Arizona Poets from the repository by!

harold branch homebase poetry

Harold Branch

Harold Branch: From Hardship to Poetic Inspiration

Harold Branch, is sometimes affectionately known as HB or Homebase. Or as he says in one of his most well-known poems, “I am the Kaiser Sozer of falling down.” This mini biography invites you to explore the transformative path that led Harold from adversity to becoming a prominent figure in Phoenix’s vibrant creative community.

Harold Branch’s early years were marked by challenging family circumstances and the hurdles of navigating life as a young man. Growing up, he faced obstacles that resulted in him leaving high school without completing his education. However, in the face of adversity, Harold’s determination and resilience prevailed.

Fortuitously, a ray of hope emerged when Harold discovered an opportunity through the Genesis West program at EMCC (Estrella Mountain Community College). This program provided a chance for individuals who had previously dropped out of high school to simultaneously earn their diploma while pursuing a college degree. It was within this transformative environment that Harold found his calling and began his journey towards self-discovery and poetic expression.

As a key figure within Phoenix’s creative community, Harold Branch is the visionary founder of HomeBase Poetry (and promotion company Good Energy Productions), a groundbreaking open mic poetry event that has become one of the largest of its kind in the country. HomeBase Poetry serves as a haven for artists to share their voice, connect with like-minded individuals, and find solace in the power of spoken word.

With his magnetic stage presence and lyrical prowess, Harold captivates audiences with his poignant and thought-provoking performances. His words carry the weight of his personal experiences, serving as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and an invitation for others to embrace their own unique narratives.

Harold Branch’s journey from hardship to poetic inspiration is a testament to the transformative power of art and the human capacity for growth and triumph. Through his creative endeavors and tireless dedication, he continues to uplift and empower individuals within his community and beyond.

Shawnte Orion

Shawnte Orion

Shawnte Orion sifts through the absurdity of modern living for scraps of philosophy, religion, and mathematics to blend into recipes for elegies and celebrations. From Kurosawa films to “Project Runway,” writers to rock stars, influences are embraced and wrestled as Orion magnifies mortality through the prism of chronology and humor.

He is the author of The Existentialist Cookbook (NYQBooks). His poems have appeared in Threepenny Review, Barrelhouse, Georgetown Review, New York Quarterly, and elsewhere. He is an editor for Rinky Dink Press and he has performed in bookstores, bars, universities, hair salons, museums, and laundromats.

sarge lintecum

Sarge Lintecum

Introducing Sarge Lintecum: a remarkable individual whose journey from the battlefields of Vietnam to the stages of blues clubs and concert venues is nothing short of extraordinary. Sarge, a highly decorated combat veteran with three tours in Vietnam, discovered solace in writing about the unspoken traumas of war after two decades of living in near-seclusion. His writings evolved into soulful blues songs, accompanied by his mastery of the harmonica and the twelve-bar blues.

Vietnam Blues-Combat Tested Blues for Peace
Buy Vietnam Blues by Sarge Lintecum on Amazon

Sarge embarked on a musical odyssey, gracing open mic blues clubs with his poignant performances, unaware that this was the inception of a career that would span over three decades. Sponsored by Lee Oskar Harmonicas, he became a nationally acclaimed blues singer, songwriter, poet, and harmonica virtuoso.

Throughout his extensive career, Sarge has captivated audiences across the nation, performing at diverse venues, including schools, colleges, and universities. His Vietnam Blues Show, featuring music from his acclaimed recordings, is a powerful testament to his unique blend of musical prowess, storytelling, and heartfelt poetry. Sarge Lintecum continues to be a living testament to the healing power of music and the arts in overcoming the scars of war.

Edward Abbey

Edward Abbey

Edward Paul Abbey, born on January 29, 1927, in Indiana, Pennsylvania, left an indelible mark on American literature and environmental activism. A fervent advocate for the American Southwest, Abbey’s best-known works include the iconic novel “The Monkey Wrench Gang” and the influential non-fiction piece “Desert Solitaire.” His writings not only critiqued public land policies but also echoed anarchistic political views.

Desert Solitaire
Buy Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey on Amazon

Abbey’s journey into the heart of the Southwest began in 1945, a rebellious 18-year-old venturing into the Four Corners region. His soul resonated with the crags, pinnacles, and vast silences of the desert, a place where the tangible and the mythical converged.

Despite a stint in the military police during his early adulthood, Abbey’s distrust for authority and large institutions only deepened. His military experience, marked by demotions due to his penchant for opposing authority, further fueled his anarchist beliefs. Taking advantage of the G.I. Bill, Abbey pursued higher education at the University of New Mexico, earning degrees in philosophy and English.

Abbey’s stint as an undergraduate editor, where he published an article titled “Some Implications of Anarchy,” foreshadowed his lifelong defiance of societal norms. His master’s thesis delved into anarchism and the morality of violence, showcasing Abbey’s intellectual depth.

In 1957, Abbey’s creative journey led him to Stanford University on a Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship. However, his love affair with the American Southwest endured. Abbey became an enduring figure in the literary and environmental landscape, with his commitment to nature and disdain for overbearing authority evident in his works.

The desert, with its rugged beauty, became the canvas for Abbey’s words. His passion for the region translated into a fervent call for environmental conservation. Abbey’s tireless efforts in this regard, coupled with his literary legacy, continue to inspire generations.

Edward Abbey passed away on March 14, 1989, in Tucson, Arizona. True to his irreverent spirit, Abbey left behind instructions for his final rites. He wanted his body to nourish the growth of the Southwest’s flora, rejecting conventional burial practices. Abbey’s legacy lives on not only in the arid landscapes he so dearly loved but also in the hearts of those who find inspiration in his written words.

Tristan Marshell

Tristan Marshell

Since the inception of his poetic journey in 1976, Tristan Marshell has been a dynamic force in the world of words. His foray into slam and performance poetry in 2004 marked a pivotal moment, catapulting him into the vibrant realm of spoken expression. Beyond the realm of poetry, Marshell has donned various hats, embodying the roles of a sailor, soldier, center fielder, teacher, and multidisciplinary artist.

With a poetic career spanning decades, Marshell has emerged as a seasoned wordsmith with a unique ability to weave narratives that resonate with authenticity and passion. His performances transcend the traditional boundaries of spoken word, captivating audiences with a blend of raw emotion and eloquence.

Arizona, a state rich in literary talent, found a representative in Marshell, who proudly carried its poetic mantle. His prowess on the stage earned him the honor of representing Arizona at an impressive six National Poetry Slams. This accomplishment not only showcases Marshell’s individual skill but also underscores his dedication to the vibrant poetry community of the Southwest.

In addition to his poetic endeavors, Marshell’s life has been a tapestry of diverse experiences. Whether navigating the high seas, serving in the military, patrolling the center field, imparting knowledge as a teacher, or expressing himself through various artistic mediums, Marshell embodies a life lived authentically.

As Tristan Marshell continues to craft his poetic legacy, each word penned and spoken reflects not only his personal journey but also the collective experiences of those who find solace and inspiration in the art of spoken word. Through his verses, Marshell invites audiences to embark on a journey of introspection, empathy, and, above all, a celebration of the power of language to shape and redefine our shared human experience.

Erin Kong photo by Ceci Cruz

Erin Kong

Erin Kong: Bridging Diaspora, Trauma, and Storytelling

Erin Kong is a second-generation Korean-American storyteller and scholar whose work explores the intricate and often poignant intersections of diaspora, death, and what they playfully refer to as “daddy issues”—a reflection on intergenerational trauma with a touch of alliterative humor. Their unique voice and perspective have established them as a compelling figure in contemporary literature and performance arts.

Early Life and Influences

Growing up as a second-generation Korean-American, Erin Kong’s formative years were deeply influenced by the rich cultural tapestry of their heritage. The complexities of navigating between two worlds—their ancestral Korean roots and their American upbringing—shaped much of their early experiences and continue to inform their work. This duality is a central theme in their storytelling, offering a nuanced exploration of identity, belonging, and the intergenerational echoes of trauma.

Academic and Creative Journey

Kong’s academic pursuits have been driven by a desire to understand and articulate the nuances of diaspora and its impact on identity and family dynamics. Their scholarly work delves into themes of loss, memory, and the multifaceted nature of cultural inheritance. This intellectual foundation provides a robust framework for their creative endeavors, allowing them to blend scholarly insight with emotive storytelling.

In recognition of their contributions to the arts, Erin Kong was awarded the 2023 Phoenix Artist’s Grant. This prestigious grant has enabled them to further explore and expand their artistic projects, solidifying their place as an influential figure in the Phoenix arts community.

“War Brides”: A Staged Exploration of History and Identity

In their debut play, “War Brides,” Erin Kong presents a powerful narrative that intertwines personal history with broader historical contexts. The staged reading of “War Brides,” produced by Binary Theatre Company, marked a significant milestone in their career. The play delves into the experiences of Korean women during and after the Korean War, shedding light on the often-overlooked stories of resilience and survival.

Through “War Brides,” Kong examines the lingering effects of war and displacement on subsequent generations, bringing to the fore the emotional and psychological landscapes shaped by such profound historical events. Their ability to weave personal and historical narratives underscores their talent for storytelling and their commitment to amplifying marginalized voices.

Debut Poetry Collection: “korean mourning rituals”

Erin Kong’s debut poetry collection, “korean mourning rituals,” is a poignant exploration of grief, memory, and cultural rites. Available on Amazon, this collection delves into the rituals and traditions surrounding death in Korean culture, offering readers a deeply personal and evocative journey through loss and remembrance.

The poems in “korean mourning rituals” are characterized by their lyrical beauty and emotional depth, capturing the essence of mourning and the ways in which cultural practices shape and express grief. Kong’s poetry not only honors their heritage but also provides a universal reflection on the human experience of loss, making their work resonant with readers from diverse backgrounds.

Co-Founder of Desert Diwata

In addition to their individual achievements, Erin Kong is a co-founder of Desert Diwata, an organization dedicated to honoring radical Asian-American creation. Desert Diwata serves as a platform for Asian-American artists to showcase their work and engage in collaborative projects, fostering a vibrant and supportive community.

Through Desert Diwata, Kong has helped to create spaces where Asian-American voices can thrive, challenging stereotypes and pushing the boundaries of traditional artistic expression. The organization’s mission aligns with their own artistic philosophy, emphasizing the importance of representation and the transformative power of art.

Navigating the Digital Landscape

Erin Kong embraces the digital landscape as a means of connecting with a broader audience and sharing their work. Their website,, serves as a hub for their creative projects and scholarly pursuits, offering visitors a glimpse into their multifaceted world. Additionally, their Instagram account, @erin.kong, provides a more personal and interactive platform where they engage with followers, share insights, and promote their latest work.

Challenges and Triumphs

Kong’s journey as a storyteller and scholar has not been without its challenges. Navigating the often-overlapping worlds of academia and creative arts requires resilience and a willingness to confront difficult truths. Their exploration of intergenerational trauma, for instance, necessitates a deep dive into personal and collective pain, a process that can be both cathartic and daunting.

Despite these challenges, Kong’s work is marked by a sense of triumph and empowerment. Their ability to articulate complex emotions and experiences with clarity and compassion has garnered them recognition and respect within the literary and artistic communities. Each poem, play, and project they undertake is a testament to their dedication and their belief in the power of storytelling to heal and transform.

Looking Forward

As Erin Kong continues to evolve as an artist and scholar, their future projects promise to further explore the themes that have defined their work. They remain committed to amplifying marginalized voices and creating spaces for diverse narratives to be heard. Whether through their poetry, plays, or collaborative efforts with Desert Diwata, Kong’s work will undoubtedly continue to inspire and resonate with audiences.

Their upcoming projects include a second poetry collection and a series of essays on intergenerational trauma and diaspora, which they hope will contribute to the ongoing dialogue on these critical issues. Additionally, Kong is working on a new play that explores the intersection of mental health and cultural identity, further pushing the boundaries of their storytelling.


Erin Kong’s work stands at the intersection of personal narrative and collective history, offering a powerful exploration of diaspora, trauma, and identity. Their contributions as a poet, playwright, scholar, and community leader reflect their commitment to storytelling as a means of connection and transformation. Through their creative and scholarly endeavors, they continue to bridge cultural divides and bring to light the stories that shape our understanding of ourselves and each other.

Their journey is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring power of art to illuminate, heal, and inspire. As they forge ahead, Erin Kong remains a vital voice in the landscape of contemporary literature and performance, leaving an indelible mark on the world of storytelling.

Cylie Naylor Phoenix Poetry Slam Ghost Arizona Slam Poet

Cylie Naylor

Cylie Naylor: Voice of the Ghost Poetry Show

Early Life and Inspiration

Cylie Naylor emerged as a significant figure in the poetry community of Phoenix, Arizona, establishing herself as both a powerful writer and a compelling performer. From her earliest days, Naylor was drawn to the written word, finding solace and expression through poetry. Her journey into the world of performance poetry began in earnest in 2018 at the Phoenix Poetry Slam events held at The Lost Leaf and Lawn Gnome Publishing poetry slams. These venues became the crucibles in which she honed her craft, transforming from an aspiring poet into a formidable voice in the local literary scene.

Introduction to the Ghost Poetry Show

The Ghost Poetry Show is a unique community of poets and writers based in the greater Phoenix area. It brings together a diverse group of individuals, each united by their passion for poetry and the spoken word. The show fosters a supportive and inclusive environment where poets of all levels—from novices to those who have competed on national stages—can share their work. This inclusivity, regardless of gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or age, is a hallmark of the Ghost Poetry Show, making it a beacon of creative freedom and expression.

Cylie Naylor quickly became a prominent figure within this community. Her dedication to the craft of poetry and her willingness to mentor others has made her a respected leader. Naylor’s involvement with the Ghost Poetry Show began shortly after she started performing at local slams, and she has since become one of its most passionate advocates and organizers.

Rise in the Phoenix Poetry Scene

Naylor’s initial foray into the Phoenix poetry scene was marked by her performances at the Phoenix Poetry Slam at The Lost Leaf and Lawn Gnome Publishing poetry slams. These platforms provided her with the opportunity to refine her performance skills and connect with a broader audience. Her work, characterized by its raw emotional honesty and lyrical beauty, quickly gained attention.

The supportive environment of these slams allowed Naylor to experiment with her style and themes. She explored topics ranging from personal identity and love to social justice and existential musings. Her poetry, often described as “hauntingly beautiful,” resonated with audiences and established her as a distinctive voice in the local poetry community.

Ghost Poetry Show: A Platform for All Voices

The Ghost Poetry Show distinguishes itself by its commitment to inclusivity and community. It offers a space where poets of all backgrounds can come together, share their work, and find their voice. The show’s format includes writing prompt nights and three-round poetry slams, catering to both seasoned poets and newcomers.

Cylie Naylor’s role in the Ghost Poetry Show has been instrumental in fostering this inclusive environment. She has worked tirelessly to ensure that the show remains accessible to all, providing mentorship and support to new poets while also challenging and inspiring more experienced performers. Her leadership has helped to create a vibrant and dynamic community where every voice is valued and celebrated.

Achievements and Accolades

Throughout her career, Naylor has garnered numerous accolades for her poetry and performances. She has competed in various poetry slams and has been recognized for her powerful delivery and evocative writing. Her achievements have not only brought her personal recognition but have also elevated the profile of the Ghost Poetry Show.

Naylor’s poetry has been featured in several local and national publications, and she has been invited to perform at numerous literary events and festivals. Her work continues to inspire and resonate with audiences, reflecting her deep commitment to the art of poetry.

Impact on the Community

Beyond her personal achievements, Cylie Naylor’s impact on the poetry community in Phoenix and beyond is profound. Her involvement with the Ghost Poetry Show has helped to cultivate a supportive and nurturing environment for poets of all levels. She has mentored countless individuals, helping them to find their voice and gain confidence in their work.

Naylor’s dedication to inclusivity and community-building has made the Ghost Poetry Show a model for other poetry organizations. Her efforts have ensured that the show remains a welcoming space for all, regardless of their background or experience level. This commitment to inclusivity has not only enriched the local poetry scene but has also created a sense of belonging and empowerment for many poets.

The Future of Ghost Poetry Show

Looking ahead, Cylie Naylor envisions the Ghost Poetry Show continuing to grow and evolve. She aims to expand its reach, bringing the unique spirit of the show to a broader audience. Plans for future events include more collaborations with local artists and writers, as well as increased opportunities for poets to share their work on larger platforms.

Naylor is also committed to continuing her own creative journey. She plans to publish a collection of her poetry, capturing the essence of her work and sharing it with a wider audience. This collection will not only showcase her talent but also serve as a testament to the power of the Ghost Poetry Show and its impact on the poetry community.


Cylie Naylor’s journey as a poet and performer is a testament to the transformative power of poetry and community. Through her involvement with the Ghost Poetry Show, she has helped to create a space where poets of all backgrounds can come together, share their work, and find their voice. Her dedication to inclusivity and mentorship has made a lasting impact on the poetry community in Phoenix and beyond.

As the Ghost Poetry Show continues to grow, Naylor’s vision and leadership will undoubtedly guide it to new heights. Her commitment to fostering a supportive and dynamic environment for poets will ensure that the show remains a beacon of creative freedom and expression. In a world where many voices struggle to be heard, the Ghost Poetry Show, with Cylie Naylor at its heart, stands as a powerful testament to the enduring power of poetry.

Christopher Fox Graham Arizona Poetry Sedona Poetry Slam

Christopher Fox Graham

Nestled in the heart of Sedona, Arizona, amidst the striking red rock formations and the whispered secrets of the desert winds, resides a poet whose verses echo with the rugged beauty of the Southwest. Christopher Fox Graham, affectionately known as CFG, is not merely a poet and writer; he is a literary force that has left an indelible mark on the Northern Arizona poetry scene.

The Journey Begins

Graham’s poetic odyssey began in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he represented the city on an astounding twelve National Poetry Slam teams. A true testament to his unwavering commitment and artistry, Graham’s participation spanned from 2001 to 2018, showcasing his enduring love for the craft. Each performance was a melodic tapestry of words and emotions, a testament to the power of language in the hands of a master wordsmith.

The Mastermind Behind the Mic

In the mystical realm of Sedona’s poetry scene, Graham assumes the role of slammaster, guiding the poetic spirits of the community. His influence extends beyond the stage, as he orchestrates the rhythm of Sedona’s slam poetry gatherings, creating an atmosphere where words flow like desert rivers, carving their paths through the minds of listeners.

A Global Poetic Odyssey

Graham’s journey as a poet has extended far beyond the boundaries of the United States. In 2002, he embarked on the “Save the Male Tour,” a four-man international spoken word tour. This journey took his verses across borders and cultures, proving that the power of poetry transcends geographical confines.

The Competitive Spirit

Graham’s poetry is marked not only by its lyrical beauty but also by a competitive streak that has defined his journey. He is renowned as one of the most statistically obsessive slam poets in Northern Arizona. His relentless pursuit of excellence and success on the slam poetry stage has not always been without strife, but it is this very drive that has pushed him to poetic heights.

Jedis and Padawans

Graham has a unique perspective on the world of slam poetry, believing that all slam poets are like Jedi knights in the realm of words. In keeping with this philosophy, he has dedicated himself to mentoring aspiring poets through the Erus/Parvalas Mentorship and his Treatise on Slam Strategy. Like a wise Jedi guiding their padawans, Graham imparts his knowledge and insight to the next generation of slam poets.

Verses Beyond Borders

Graham’s poetry has transcended the stage and the written page. His words have resonated across the airwaves, reaching audiences through MTV’s “Made” and The Travel Channel‘s “Your Travel Guide” episode of Sedona. He has taken his poetry on a grand tour, sharing his verses in nearly 40 states, Canada, Ireland, and Great Britain. His verses have become a bridge, connecting hearts and minds across oceans and continents.

Christopher Fox Graham, or CFG, is more than a poet; he is a living testament to the enduring power of words. His journey has been one of poetic exploration, competition, mentorship, and connection. He has etched his verses into the landscape of Sedona and the annals of slam poetry history. As the red rocks of Arizona stand steadfast, so too does CFG’s legacy in the world of poetry, a legacy that will continue to inspire and shape the poetic voices of the future.

Jeremiah Blue Arizona Poet Phoenix Poetry Events

Jeremiah Blue

Jeremiah Blue: Poet, Performer, and Community Leader

Jeremiah Blue stands as a multifaceted figure in the creative world, with a career that spans writing, performance, organizing, and hosting. Since 2006, he has been a cornerstone of the poetry community in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, where his influence and dedication have fostered a vibrant and dynamic poetic culture.

Early Life and Inspiration

Jeremiah Blue’s journey into the world of poetry and performance began in his youth, where he found solace and expression through writing. His passion for words and storytelling was evident early on, paving the way for a career that would intertwine personal experiences with a deep commitment to community engagement. Blue’s early influences included a range of literary giants and contemporary poets, whose works inspired him to explore his own voice and narrative style.

Community Leadership and Organization

As co-founder and director of the Downtown Poetry Slam and executive director of the Copper State Poetry Slam Championship, Blue has played a pivotal role in shaping the poetry scene in Phoenix. His efforts have not only provided a platform for local poets to showcase their work but have also attracted national attention to the region’s rich poetic talent. The Downtown Poetry Slam has become a staple event, known for its energetic atmosphere and high-caliber performances, while the Copper State Poetry Slam Championship has elevated the competitive aspect of slam poetry, drawing participants and audiences from across the state and beyond.

In addition to his work with these slams, Blue served as the event director for Wilkes University in Mesa, Arizona, where he produced The Arizona Writer’s Conference. This annual event has become a significant gathering for writers of all genres, offering workshops, panels, and networking opportunities that support the development and success of emerging and established writers alike.

Accomplished Poet and Performer

Jeremiah Blue’s own poetry and performances have earned him numerous accolades and widespread recognition. He won the 2016 Southwest Regional Championship and the 2015 Arizona Slam Poetry Championship, solidifying his reputation as a leading voice in the slam poetry community. Additionally, he has been crowned the Phoenix Poetry Slam Champion three times, representing the city at two National Poetry Slams and the Individual World Poetry Slam.

Blue’s work has been featured in a variety of prestigious venues, including universities, museums, and radio shows. His ability to connect with diverse audiences through his evocative and powerful performances has made him a sought-after speaker and performer. He has presented at high schools, universities, corporate conferences, and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) national conference, sharing his insights and experiences with aspiring poets and writers.

Published Works and Academic Contributions

Jeremiah Blue holds a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing and a Master of Arts (MA) in Creative Nonfiction from The Maslow Family Graduate Program of Creative Writing at Wilkes University. His academic background has informed his writing and teaching, allowing him to contribute to the literary community both as a practitioner and an educator.

Blue’s poetry has been widely published, with individual poems featured by Tedx, Button Poetry, and other notable platforms. His nonfiction work has also garnered attention, being showcased at storytelling events across the country and published in outlets such as The Write Life, Our Human Family, Noteworthy, and on Medium. As a staff writer for various publications, Blue continues to explore and document the human experience through his reflective and poignant prose.

In 2016, a selection from his forthcoming memoir was awarded the Etruscan Press Prize, highlighting his talent and potential in the realm of nonfiction. This recognition further cements his position as a significant literary voice with a broad and impactful reach.

Philosophy and Style

Jeremiah Blue’s poetry is often described as a blend of “romantic realism,” capturing the beauty and pain of the human condition with striking clarity. His works delve into themes of love, loss, identity, and the struggles of everyday life, resonating deeply with audiences from all walks of life. Blue’s ability to articulate complex emotions and experiences in an accessible and compelling manner has made his poetry both relatable and profound.

Blue’s performances are characterized by their intensity and authenticity. Whether on stage at a poetry slam or speaking at a conference, he brings a raw energy and sincerity to his readings that captivates and moves listeners. His commitment to honesty and vulnerability in his work fosters a deep connection with his audience, inviting them to share in his journey and reflect on their own experiences.

Impact and Legacy

Through his writing, performances, and community leadership, Jeremiah Blue has made an indelible mark on the poetry landscape in Phoenix and beyond. His dedication to fostering a supportive and dynamic poetry community has provided countless opportunities for poets to develop their craft and share their voices. Blue’s work as an organizer and host has helped to elevate the profile of slam poetry in the region, creating a thriving scene that attracts talent from across the country.

As a poet and performer, Blue’s accolades and accomplishments speak to his skill and impact. His ability to engage and inspire through his words has left a lasting impression on audiences and fellow poets alike. By sharing his personal stories and insights, Blue has contributed to a greater understanding of the human experience, enriching the literary and cultural fabric of his community.

Future Endeavors

Looking ahead, Jeremiah Blue continues to write, perform, and contribute to the poetry community. His forthcoming memoir, recognized with the Etruscan Press Prize, is eagerly anticipated and promises to offer further insight into his life and work. Blue remains committed to supporting and nurturing new voices in poetry, using his platform and experience to mentor and inspire the next generation of poets.

In summary, Jeremiah Blue’s multifaceted career as a poet, performer, organizer, and community leader has made him a vital and influential figure in the world of contemporary poetry. His dedication to his craft and his community has left an enduring legacy, one that continues to inspire and uplift those around him. Through his powerful poetry and tireless advocacy, Blue has made a significant and lasting contribution to the literary world.

Dan Seaman

Dan Seaman

Dan Seaman: The Poet of Prescott

Longtime Prescott resident Dan Seaman’s poetry has been described as “romantic realism,” a term that captures his poignant exploration of love, loss, and the human experience. His work is deeply rooted in the everyday struggles and triumphs of the working class, reflecting his profound empathy and understanding of their lives. “I have always lived my life as simply as I could and with a yearning for the common person’s struggle, world vision and sensibility because, in my view, it is the most grounded and real,” says Dan, encapsulating the essence of his poetic vision.

Early Life and Inspiration

Dan Seaman’s journey into the world of poetry began in his early years, shaped by a series of diverse and challenging life experiences. His employment history is rich with manual labor roles, providing him with a unique perspective on the lives of working people. “My skills, training, and aptitude have given me a respectful point of view of the working man, having been one so often,” Dan notes. This firsthand experience is a cornerstone of his poetry, imbuing his work with authenticity and a deep sense of compassion.

Life in Prescott

Dan has called Prescott, Arizona his home since 1970, a time when the town was a far cry from the bustling community it is today. “When I moved here, the town was only accessible from two-lane roads, there were only three TV channels, and the radio stations went off the air at 10pm,” he recalls. Despite its modest size, Prescott became the backdrop for Dan’s rich poetic life, fostering a vibrant literary community that he helped to cultivate and grow.

Contributions to Prescott’s Poetry Scene

Dan’s involvement in the local poetry scene began earnestly in 1997 when he started hosting open mics at the Full Moon Café. This marked the beginning of his long association with local poetry venues and his commitment to creating platforms for poets to share their work. From these humble beginnings, he went on to found the Prescott Area Poets Association (PAPA), also known as Poetry As Performance Art. For the next ten years, Dan hosted readings in various locations around downtown Prescott, culminating at the MAD Linguist in the old McCormick Arts District.

Under Dan’s leadership, Prescott became known for its lively poetry scene, attracting strong poets and performers from across the country. In 2001, Dan and other organizers established a statewide slam-poetry competition at Arcosanti, which ran for seven successful years. The Prescott team won the inaugural Arcosanti Slab City Poetry Slam, competing against nationally ranked teams. “I tend to immerse myself in projects, and PAPA was one of the best things in my life. I lived and breathed poetry and public performance for ten years,” Dan reflects.

Performance Poetry and Fire-Dance

Dan’s natural talent as a performer extends beyond poetry. His first experience reading poems in public was overwhelming, yet it shaped his approach to creating welcoming and supportive venues for other poets. “I forgot to exhale completely, my hands were shaking holding the papers, and my knees felt like they were going to give out at any moment,” he recalls. This experience fueled his commitment to easing the anxiety of first-time performers, ensuring that his venues were friendly and inviting for both new and veteran poets.

In addition to poetry, Dan has embraced fire-dance performance and production, staging shows on the streets of Prescott and other venues. This creative outlet adds another layer to his multifaceted artistic persona, showcasing his versatility and passion for performance art.

The Craft of Poetry

For Dan, poetry is deeply intertwined with life experience. “All my poems are reality-based dives into momentary epiphany. The things I’ve done, the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met and loved (and hated) are the very core of my poetry,” he explains. His process of writing is organic and varied; some poems come to him quickly, while others take years to fully develop. “I’ve written poems two minutes after an experience, or I can be (subconsciously) stewing over something for years. Then I’ll see, or hear, or smell something, and the opening line will force itself out of me like a repeating lyric.”

Dan’s poetic breakthroughs are often unexpected and spontaneous. “I’m not looking for them, they just happen. I call it ‘riding the deadman’s pocket’ in reference to the many thousands of hours I’ve traveled on motorcycles, where there are things that come at you unexpectedly from your peripheral vision,” he says. This metaphor captures the serendipitous nature of his creative process, where inspiration can strike at any moment.

Poetic Philosophy and Purpose

Dan’s poetry is not just a personal endeavor; it carries a universal purpose. “I want to say I get catharsis from writing, but I don’t. If I get anything out of it, I get clarity,” he explains. His goal is to give a voice to others who may be experiencing similar emotions or situations. “I desire to give a sounding voice for others who may be experiencing something similar to what I’ve written, letting them know we are all in this and most of us don’t have it figured out either. So relax, breathe and learn.”

Legacy and Impact

Throughout his decades-long career, Dan Seaman has made an indelible mark on the poetry community in Prescott and beyond. His dedication to the craft, his support for fellow poets, and his ability to capture the essence of human experience in his work have earned him a respected place in the world of contemporary poetry. His legacy is one of compassion, authenticity, and a deep connection to the lives of everyday people.

Dan’s contributions to the cultural fabric of Prescott have not only elevated the local poetry scene but also inspired countless individuals to explore their own creative potentials. As he continues to write, perform, and engage with the community, Dan Seaman remains a beacon of poetic expression and a testament to the power of words to connect, heal, and inspire.