Chad Deal won an award from MENSA for his short story on nearly losing his genitals at Burning Man. And that’s not even the most interesting thing covered during this episode’s interview. He also won a blog contest by the San Diego Reader, which got him out of the pizza joint he was working at and landed him in Tijuana. In an ongoing project he calls Tortilla Rituals, Chad chronicles his own personal experiences with the people and places he encounters in the mysterious city he now resides in. He maintains a freelance writing career as well, but expressively discusses the coolness of creative nonfiction and the ways in which journalism can still be lyrical and story-like. Even his poetry is genre bending, with a rambly, Jack Kerouac-esque, prose style. Also discussed: The blog that kept him connected to the world during some worldly travels, a switch from studying mushrooms to studying creative writing, and what bar Spanish in Mexico consists of. Check out some of his writing here: http://palmtreeandmoon.tumblr.com/ and here: http://blogabond.com/chaddeal and his writing for the Reader here: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/staff/chad-deal/. Chad also plays in bands. The song used in the opening and closing of the episode is called Heirloom by his band gravyyard: http://gravyyard.bandcamp.com/.
In this podcast episode with Adam Greenfield we get personal, which is fitting because his latest (and FIRST) book, Regarding the Monkey, is a collection of very personal and autobiographical poems. It’s a book edited and published by yours truly, Puna Press, so you know it’s void of any bullshit. And that is kind of Adam’s whole philosophy anyway. As he says in the episode, “you kind of reach a point in your life where you’re just like, fuck it.” Even though the therapeutical process of writing out an emotional story can be tough, Adam says that finding the actual words to describe how he’s feeling is easy. We also somehow get into conversation on the importance of wearing clean underwear everyday and how acceptable is it to be found naked in the middle of the street post earthquake or tornado. But it all relates (we swear!) back to the idea of writing without caution or fear that somebody is going to find it. The idea that you have to “just say it.” Which also ties nicely back to the title of this podcast. So it all wraps up in a weird angsty bow, placed on top of gift that is telling you life is short (really, it’s backed up by astrophysics) so seriously, go do something. You DO have a choice.
Adam’s book, Regarding the Monkey, is for purchase at punapress.com. His own podcast, Gutter Talk, which consists of incredible interviews with all different professionals in the comic book world, can be found at: http://www.makingcomics.com/guttertalk/ and he’s on twitter @SDGreeny
WE’RE BACK. And a concealed writer is exposed. Previous SAY SOMETHING, ANYTHING guest Lizzie Wann mentioned seeing a kick ass poet named Jon Tobias read at an open mic… and nowhere else. So we decided to change that. As it turns out Jon Tobias will be published in the Aztec Literary Review, but being published and recognized isn’t something he seeks. In fact, his most creative and elaborate writing project involves total anonymity (listen to the ep for more details on his fake love letters.) The poems Jon shares in the episode are new, but he got into poetry when he was in first grade and dealing with cancer at the time. The concept of discovering something wonderful (like a love for words) as a result of something terrible is discussed. So is the lost art of CD lyric books and the authenticity of Drunk Text Poems.
Check out Jon’s work at: http://hellopoetry.com/jon-tobias/
PLUS, check out Puna Press' new site. In addition to being a big part of the podcast's hiatus, it also looks super fresh: punapress.com
Though she humbly downplays it in the episode, Lizzie Wann was an integral part in bringing the slam poetry scene to San Diego it in the late 90s /early 2000s. She also was one of the first people to start a series of house concerts with local acoustic acts-- an event that paved the way for many similar series (some of which are still active today). Without Lizzie Wann, it’s hard to say what these scenes in San Diego would look like today. Ask around, you’ll find the same answer: she was a key member in making it all happen. She was in SD during the peek of its coffee house music scene, which gave her the perfect opportunity to start the Live Out Loud Series. Aside from reading some heart-wrenching poems, Lizzie talks about the spark that initially drove her to launch the literary and music projects that she did as well as where her relationships with poetry and music stand today. Though she’s not necessary rockin’ poetry slams (Lizzie was on the Laguna Beach team in 1999), she makes an effort to support what she essentially helped to create. Years later, she takes comfort in seeing some familiar faces still out there, and enjoys hearing fresh new talent carry on a continuingly thriving scene.
MUSIC: The music featured in this episode is “Fleur De Lis” by Berkley Hart, the folk duo staple of the house concerts Lizzie used to put on.
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Exuberant in his performance style, perceptive in his discourse, and unusual in his coffee preference. Both funny and insightful, SAMSI is a writer (or, as he puts it, more of a conceptual explorer) who has spent many years hitchin’ and hoppin’ around the United States. It stemmed from a life-altering epiphany atop the Golden Gate Bridge. He’s been everywhere man… New Orleans, Hawaii, Montana. Now he’s posted back up in San Diego, California (for a bit), before heading off the Portland to join, SHANGA VISION, a new film production company. SO: Is it possible to find the deeper meaning of life without travel? And when is the right time to stop and stand still? (Aside from on a highway in the middle of a traffic jam.) And what is it with writers and their issues (namely why do so many have so many?) All this and more discussed + some jazzy-soulful-electrifying poetry. PLUS intro and outro music provided by one of Samsi’s own experimental bands.
Music: “Slipping Slowly” by Astral Travel Agency
Check some more of Samsi’s work: alteredwaltzer.wordpress.com
A music video by Shanga Viasion for the band THE SHIVAS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWGiQMwsRNU
And if you want to catch him in person, stop by the Red Poets Society open mic on Wednesdays: https://www.facebook.com/sdredpoets
Don't forget to download + subscribe to SAY SOMETHING, ANYTHING on iTunes and like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saysomethinganything
Tazha Williams wonderfully hosts the Red Poets Society weekly open mic, so we let her do the talking on this one. Tazha = poet + artist + sustainable farmer. And studied Fine Art Painting at California College of the Arts in the San Francisco bay area. And she has won various awards. And her artwork’s been featured in the San Diego Union Tribune, on The Today Show and on KUSI news. And she lives in a sustainable co-housing community. So being surrounded by creative environments almost comes naturally to her. But even for those creative souls who don’t know how to starts, she suggests just reaching out and seeing what’s going on around you, because if there’s something you’re thinking about doing, chances are others in your community are interested in the same thing. The open mic is every Wednesday, 7 – 10 at Kafe Sobaka. Check out Tazha’s site as well to see her incredible artwork and learn more.
Red Poets Society: https://www.facebook.com/sdredpoets
Tazha’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tazhawilliamsart?fref=ts
Don’t forget to download and subscribe to SAY SOMETHING, ANYTHING on iTunes and like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saysomethinganything
Rudy G is a funny poet with John Lennon sunglasses, a love for music, and a person one take poem record. His poetry group, the Mightier P.E.N.S performs all around San Diego. He talks about self disipline (or lack there of) and why writing for an audience can be better than writing for yourself. He also talks about bombing... bad. But his easgoing demeaner allows him to shake off the negative and keep on keeping on with his words. Rudy G is the guy you look for when you're looking for some "street cred" -- alloted to anyone, whether he likes you as a person or not, as long as your stuff is good. From Rudy we learn that humor in poetry is okay, that experimentation on all fronts is okay, and that a coffee with caramel and cream and sugar still counts as coffee.
Joe Limer is one of the five poets selected to compete on the San Diego Slam Team for the NATIONAL POETRY SLAM in August. He’s also the co-founder of Glassless Minds. He’s also a professor of political science at Palomar College. He also went to law school and was (briefly) a lawyer, before he realized winning didn’t always exactly mean winning. Now Joe uses his voice in a different way– namely through spoken word poetry– to bring light to social and political issues. His closing poem is an exclusive first listen, as he just finished writing it before the recording. Though the poem’s title, “An Open Letter from Yoda,” may not be initially indicative of it, the content definitively epitomizes what Joe means when he says, “I’m not just doing poetry for poetry’s sake.” Other topics: the importance of speaking your truth, haikus for extra credit, and how open mics are saving humanity from the overturn of technology. And, since you’re dying to know, because we forgot to ask: His coffee preference? Beer and chicken wings.
To take a free writing workshops with Joe shoot him an email at: Jlimer@palomar.edu
Keep updated on the countdown to the national slam championship at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-national-poetry-slam-tickets-15653190113
Check out Glassless Minds at: https://www.facebook.com/glasslessminds
Like Say Something, Anything on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saysomethinganything
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Poet Leslie Beebe is a part of the San Diego poetry performance group, Mightier Pens. She also has a chapbook out and is currently working on her second entitled The Heartbreak Chronicles. We get real on things like audience connection and broken hearts. The greatest misconception about poetry? That it’s all lala romance and flowers. The best piece of advice? Keep writing. Keep doing it. (Even if you think its garbage.) Leslie puts her emotions on the table with her poetry, which is what it’s all about anyway. She goes to show that you can start at any time and anywhere, as long as you take the step to write it down and get it out there.
Zaria Suggs is this week’s guest on SAY SOMETHING, ANYTHING, and her spoken word style poems are particularly impressive-- especially for an eighteen year old. The SDSU freshman talks about being a singer /writer / performer for as long as she can remember. She weaves her words together and speaks them eloquently, a product not only of her natural creativity, but her years of debate and speech club (for which she placed fourth in the nation). Zaria’s friend, Kyle DeGuzman joined us for this session, filming the interview behind the scenes as part of his own creative project. As exemplified by both Zaria and Kyle, College is a beautiful time to explore creative ideas by putting yourself out there and seizing opportunities. They have a refreshing energy. Take a listen. ALSO check out Kyle's films on his YouTube page: Check out his YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9CsiunXsDzhP7J8GNKxK3Q.
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Spoken word poet Rolland Tizuela tells the full story of how he went from backpacking across the Pacific Rim to founding the super rad art / poetry group, Glassless Minds (Try and figure that one out. Or just read about it on their Facebook page.) The story is part kismet (something about a disappearing guy with an espresso machine), part pure love (think secretly placing hand-bound poetry books into the shelves at Barnes & Noble), and includes Rolland’s own induction into the fascinating world of spoken word. Star Wars metaphors, 8 Mile references, and another bar. We talk about finding your own voice, and though Rolland came into slam poetry learning from some of the “heavy hitters” as he puts it, his own voice is loud and clear, and evident through the TRULY incredible poems he reads (and has memorized). Don’t miss this one. And stick around for – or at least skip ahead to – the Columbus poem at the end.
Glassless Minds: https://www.facebook.com/glasslessminds
Urban Spellbook: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7sUZutTAsdruOJM7AdMNtw/videos
Anna Zappoli is an artist and a poet from the Province of Catania in Italy, which makes her amazing right off the bat. She could be saying anything and her voice would sound like sweet poetry or music. As it turns out, though, the words she does use are filled with artistic wisdom and incredible input on the discipline it takes to be a writer or an artist. The importance of allowing yourself to feel all your feelings, the good ones and the bad ones, because in the end, they all serve as inspiration for the beautiful things you create. Then (by request) she speaks some Italian.
In this BITCHIN' (our guest’s current favorite word) episode of SAY SOMETHING, ANYTHING, poet Garrett Bryant reads some incredible poetry and discusses the benefits of an MFA Creative Writing program. This is a bitchin’ (had to) episode for writers who have or are debating getting their MFA in Creative Writing. From first hand experience, Garrett talks about the payoff coming in the form of excellent one on one guidance, the connections made, and the collaborations that a program can lead to. Garrett Bryant co-founded Poetic Youth, an outreach organization, teaching poetry to underserved youth populations. He is also involved with SDSU’s annual poetry journal, Poetry International as well as the multi-genre publisher, Locked Horn Press.
Poetry International: http://poetryinternational.sdsu.edu/
Poetic Youth: http://poeticyouth.org/
Locked Horn Press: http://www.lockedhornpress.org/
Michael Klam is both funny and helpful in his poetry, so it’s cool that most of his answers to the questions (questions which deal primarily with writers' frustration when it comes to validation that their work is important / has an impact / matters) come in poem form. Like his poem “Bad Puppet Shows: A Field Guide for Young Poets in Job Interviews,” which contains the lines: “some people say never quit your day job, I say, never quit your art, because day jobs are always out there, lurking in the minds of puppets, and in the shadows of wasted years.” And more succinctly in another poem: “if you don’t love what you do, you can survive it, but if you don’t do what you love, you’re fucked…” He may be caught in a vicious cycle of caffeine addiction and possibly has multiple personalities, but who doesn’t these days? Michael Klam’s book, Emma and the Buddha Frog, was published by SAY SOMETHING ANYTHING’s own press (Puna Press) and can be bought on our website: http://punapress.com/products-page/. Michael will also be hosting an event on June 20th at the Museum of the Living Artist to celebrate another anthology being published by the San Diego Poetry Annual: featured readings and a slam-esque poem performance award with a chance to win $$$.
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It's the second episode of SAY SOMETHING, ANYTHING and this time we're in a bar. Sunny Rey, author of the book Quotes and Poems by a Nobody, sits down with Kara (and a bloody mary) to read two intimate poems (unintentionally accompanied by some raging bar music). Sunny talks about writing for herself vs. writing for other people, the internet as a tool for new writers, and the importance of accepting that what you write sucks. Like Sunny’s facebook page and check out her book on Amazon.
In the very first episode of poetry podcast "Say Something, Anything", renowned San Diego poet Chris Vannoy reads two of his beat-esque poems. He also addresses teaching poetry in the academic setting and how that can stifle creativity. His solution? Poetry in bars, open mics, performing with musicians. Chris Vannoy reads his poetry with an exuberance which parallels his belief that poetry is exciting, unexpected, and the best way to connect with an audience.Chirs Vannoy's new poetry book, available on Amazon, is Strange Summer.