The New Year began for me January 27, 2004,
at the Kotton Klub, an amazing spoken-word venue my friends and I had never been to.
I was nervous, as I always get whenever I go to a new reading, and my tension increased as I watched poet after poet mount the stage and wow
the audience, perform poetry from memory, keeping the audience hanging onto
every word, craving more.
When it was my turn, I got up, handed out fliers for poeticdiversity
submissions. I tried to perform a piece from memory, but kept a copy of
the poem in my hand. I did fine through the first half, but blanked out
in the middle! My brain shut down.
There was a LONG pause. A voice said, "Take your time." I paused, looked down at my poem, folded it back up, and plunged into the poem. All around
me were smiling faces, encouraging me, sharing the power of the word.
There is power in poetry, spoken and written. The words we give and share weave bonds back and forth between all of us, keeping us together as we
try to make our way in the world.
Our need for communication is the collective desire that binds the diversity of the scene. Our goal at poeticdiversity is to make this desire a reality.
I am so proud of this issue, especially of the featured poets: Pete
Justus, Charlotte O'Brien, Ratpack Slim
and Imani Tolliver have all graced this second issue
with their beautiful words. We have introduced a special section of poets
from outside the LA poetry scene called Beyond LA, with Pushcart Prize
nominee Kelley White as our feature, and amazing contributions
from Robert Cesaretti, Rati Saxena,
MC Bruce, and R. Paul Craig.
I want to thank all the contributors. Without you, this issue wouldn't
have taken shape, wouldn't even be here. I need to thank, as well, our
new associate editor Doug Richardson, who has been very
diligent and generous with his time and discerning skill.
Take a look in our events section, at the amazing night of poetry that
REALLY BIG SHOW/poeticdiversity showcased
at the Unurban in Santa Monica. I also want to remind anyone interested
in having their work reviewed (chapbooks, CDs, etc.), that Fran
Dominguez is the man to contact.
Lastly, I want to thank Mark Eleveld, editor of the
The Spoken Word Revolution, for taking the time to answer my
questions and fill our readers in on the history of the Slam poetry scene.
Enjoy this issue; it's for you......with our thanks.