Shaihk Sammad won the Sedona Poetry Slam, held Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010, Studio Live, Sedona, Arizona, 7:30 p.m.
We had veteran slammers but also a first-time slammer who gave it a go. We love these "virgin" slam poets because we were all first-timers once. We also admire the bravery to get up on stage for the first time. There were a lot of 10.0s, which are indicated by an asterisk *.
Brian Towne, of Flagstaff, 27.5, (2:48)*
Christopher Harbster, of Flagstaff, 28.1, (3:06)**
Mikel Weisser, of Kingman, 29.0, (2:56)***
Shaikh Sammad, of Cottonwood, 29.9, (2:59)***
Maple Dewleaf, of Flagstaff, 26.8, (2:10)*
Richard Wagner, a first-time slammer from Ontario, Canada, 22.6, (1:34)
James Joseph Buhs, of White Plains, N.Y., 26.9, (3:02)**
Jessica Laurel Reese, of the Village of Oak Creek, 29.2, (1:34)*
Teaser poem by feature poet Doc Luben, "A New Hand"
James Joseph Buhs, 29.4, (2:20), 56.3**
Richard Wagner, 22.6, (1:16), 45.2*
Maple Dewleaf, 27.9, (1:55), 54.7*
Shaikh Sammad, 30.0, (2:55), 59.9****
Mikel Weisser, 28.1, (2:12), 54.7*
Christopher Harbster, 28.2, (2:17), 56.3
Brian Towne, 30.0, (2:43), 57.5****
Luben has been stomping the stage in Los Angeles and Arizona since well before 1990. He recently completed a 17-city national poetry tour from Orlando, Fla., to Chicago to Detroit to Denver and many wild points between.
Luben was a panelist and performer at the 2010 Phoenix Comic-Con Nerd Slam and was the Tucson Poetry Slam Champion in 2009.
Luben's performance is a cocktail of twisty magic realism and sneaky, snarky humor. His poems are compressed life stories, marked by a rosy-cheeked love of screw-ups and contempt for those who claim enlightenment.
Luben earned his street cred in 1990s Los Angeles, writing and performing in loading-dock theater and guerrilla improv. He then squandered all of that street cred on a decade of Shakespeare with the Arizona Classical Theatre. In Prescott, he was tempted into the evils of slam poetry at the McCormick Arts District's poetry venue, the MAD Linguist.
Doc performed twice in the Arizona All-Star Slam, and enough time has gone by that he can reveal he did not technically qualify either time: they bent the rules to get him on stage, because he is just that good.
Luben was a featured poet at the first and later the last Arizona Spoken Word Festival and Slab City Slam at Arcosanti, the state's slam poetry tournament.
His plays have been featured productions at ACT, and has proudly taught subversive youth performance workshops for two decades. Luben trained at the freakishly progressive California Institute of the Arts, where they absolutely do not have Walt Disney's head frozen in the basement.
Also, your girlfriend has a crush on him. Don't worry. It's normal.
High to Low
Brian Towne, 29.3, (2:51), 86.8*
Mikel Weisser, 28.1, (1:55), 85.2
Jessica Laurel Reese, 27.4, 26.9 after a -0.5 time penalty (3:18), 83.4
James Joseph Buhs, 27.9, (2:12), 84.2*
Christopher Harbster, 28.3, (2:39), 84.6*
Maple Dewleaf, 28.9, (2:13), 83.6*
Richard Wagner, 25.4, (0:35), 70.6
1st: Shaikh Sammad, 89.5, $100
2nd: Brian Towne, 86.8
3rd: Mikel Weisser, 85.2
Christopher Harbster, 84.6
James Joseph Buhs, 84.2
Maple Dewleaf, 83.6
Jessica Laurel Reese, 83.4
Richard Wagner, 70.6
Host: Christopher Fox Graham
April Holman Payne, Studio Live
Christopher Fox Graham, Sedona 510 Poetry
Next Sedona Poetry Slam: Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010, Studio Live, Sedona, Arizona, 7:30 p.m., featuring Mesa's Brit Shostak.