Cristin O’Keefe reads Words in Your Face at Quimby’s!

Mar ’08
7:00 pm

Join us for a book signing and reading for WORDS IN YOUR FACE: A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH TWENTY YEARS OF THE NEW YORK CITY POETRY SLAM by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz.

The first definitive history of one of the 21st century’s most explosive art movements, Words In Your Face explores the birth, growing pains and continuing development of the Poetry Slam. Spoken word icons such as Saul Williams, Maggie Estep, Bob Holman and John S. Hall join scores of other poets, organizers, filmmakers, scholars and critics in bringing the story of the New York City Poetry Slam movement to life.

Author Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz tells the story of slam’s origins in the roofless, unheated Nuyorican Poets Cafe and then traces the explosive growth of slam as the media pick up on the trend–MTV’s Unplugged begins to feature slam poets; PBS runs the mini-series The United States of Poetry, produced by then-Nuyorican impresario, Bob Holman; Lollapalooza adds a spoken word tent; and Holman also launches a spoken word label with Mercury Records.

Aptowicz shows how, rather than depend on the fickle media for continued support, Slam instead deepens and broadens organically, avoiding the flash-in-the-pan flame-out of, say, the grunge scene. The author also establishes a relationship between the poetry slam world and the academic poetry world, encouraging interaction between academia and slammers, especially the poets of color, the youth slammers and the burgeoning hip hop poetry scene. She also shows how the scene has created the only non-academic way to make a living as a poet, as many poets are able to quit the day job through the opportunities created from touring, publishing, performing, audio downloads and matures to where it is a key component of educational initiatives and political campaigns.

CRISTIN O’KEEFE APTOWICZ is the author of four books of poetry–Dear Future Boyfriend, Hot Teen Slut, Working Class Represent and Oh, Terrible Youth–and is the founder the three-time National Poetry Slam Championship venue, NYC-Urbana. Aptowicz has enjoyed commissioned residencies with Chamber Dance in NYC and the Sydney Opera House in Australia, and has toured with her work throughout North America and Australia. She lives in New York City.

Also slated to perform:
SHAPPY SEASHOLTZ is a slam poet, comedian, nerd, playwright, actor, bartender and — most importantly of all — former employee of Quimby’s. He is a National Poetry Slam champion, has appeared on the third season of HBO’s “Def Poetry” and is the author of six books of poetry, including the Firecracker Award-winning, Little Book of Ass.