Lightning Round (Short Poem Fiesta)

Poster by Tessa Hulls

I am not sure when we started it, or how it started, but a tradition from the old SPLAB during the first few iterations of the Ginsberg Marathon featured a Lightning Round. We’d gather in a circle and between drum beats each participant would read a haiku-length poem. Pretty simple. Some read haiku. Some recited bumper stickers. Some improvised. (I remember Ace Moore saying that it reminded him of Laugh-In.)

So, we need you, short poem aficionado. June 1 and 2 we’re staging our 12th Allen Ginsberg Open Mic Poetry Marathon. As always there will be Beat-inspired poems, open mic in the true democratic spirit of Allen and the Beats, a featured reading by Jack Remick and one by the Band of Poets, a sunrise reading at 5A and a Lightning Round at 9A. Bring a book of haiku, bring your own short poems, American Sentences, or come just to give us 17 (or less) vamped syllables. The venue is Spring Street Center, at 1101 15th in Seattle, at the corner of 15th & Spring. We hope to see you. & if you arrive at 6A, help yourself to breakfast.

About Splabman

SPLAB and Cascadia Poetry Festival founder Paul E Nelson wrote American Sentences (Apprentice House, 2015), Organic Poetry (VDM Verlag, Germany, 2008), a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, Washington, A Time Before Slaughter (Apprentice House, 2010) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (Lumme, Brazil, 2013). Founder of the Cascadia Poetry Festival, in 26 years of radio he interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, Wanda Coleman, Brenda Hillman, George Bowering, Joanne Kyger, Jerome Rothenberg & others, including many Cascadia poets. He lives in Seattle and writes at least one American Sentence every day. Co-Editor of Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia, he is in year five of a twenty year Cascadia Bioregional Cultural Investigation. (Oct 12-15, 2017, Tacoma, WA)
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