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For the week of Apr. 19 through Apr. 25, 2000

A night of poetry in motion

Poets, dancers and musicians exhibit talent at third annual slam

Express Staff Writer

Express photos by David N. Seelig

"That’s some raucous poetry, man," declared Iconoclast Books owner Gary Hunt after Sylvia Green read her poem—which she addressed to her conspicuously absent husband—at Saturday’s Improvisational Poetry Slam.

Courtney Lloyd, John Fox and Joe Lavigne

Courtney Lloyd, John Fox and Joe Lavigne, left to right, team up for a poem about the merits of duct tape.

The third annual slam, held in the gallery of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts—which featured a display of insect art—drew 16 poets and a standing-room-only crowd.

In fact, it was not a slam, which are those typically loud and declamatory competitions where poets shout out their work, with microphone in hand and bodies in motion.

Steve Snyder

Steve Snyder reaches for his bag of "hat tricks."

It was, however, a night of poetry in motion. After each poet read, dancers Julie Fox Jones, Anne Winton, Denise deLisser, Mary Kennedy and actress Courtney Lloyd offered their extremely non-literal interpretations.

The dancers, who were accompanied by Will Caldwell’s tribal drum beats and David Santisteven’s ethereal guitar playing, were challenged by poet creativity.

Sylvia Green

Sylvia Green contemplates relationships in her poem.

The poets invoked a range of subjects: a batboy-less baseball team, highway transportation, "a hillbilly’s homicidal tendencies," duct tape, a metaphysical "moving into the deep blue abyss," Timmerman Lake, sons-of-witches and, well, sex.

But no subject eluded the dancers.

"They can interpret anything," marveled Hunt after the dancers contorted their bodies gracefully for an equally graceful poem about angels by Patty Busch.

Humor figured prominently in the poetic works.

David Santisteven and Will Caldwell

A rapt Will Caldwell, right, and David Santisteven accompany dancers.

"That was very modern," said Hunt after Steve Horowitz read his poem about driving Highway 75.

"It was meant to be taken with a grain of asphalt," Horowitz shot back.

"Well, let’s get the show on the road," Hunt said.


Anna Senechal, Courtney Lloyd, Anne Winton and Mary Kennedy

Dancers Anna Senechal, Courtney Lloyd, Anne Winton and Mary Kennedy, left to right, do a comic improvisation.


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