Lydia Blackburn on $lumberparty

Sisters sitting in circle, each light it’s own hue; rose and jade and amethyst purple. Candles grace the altar, burning flame. Light casting shadow, hearts hold space with grace for the wholeness of duality. From that well of womb(an)d wisdom, rhythm runs through blood and bones; a song to be sung, tale to be told, alchemy unfolds. A melody hummed, beat forms through lips and laughter, tones harmonize, intentions realized, truth spoken. Perceptions of reality are reflected and refracted, words crafted of love and authenticity. Flow in constant motion, an ocean of waves to engulf you. Swim in the vast salty sea, $lumberparty is here to give voice to the tides of times, turning.

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$lumberparty, is a non-binary hip hop crew speaking to the truth movement, expression of human authenticity. With its roots founded in Fairfield, IL, $lumberparty continues to spread swagger in Boulder– its current members are Alexis aka D’Spite, Steph aka Stevie Weaver, and BritDany on the mic as BritDizzle.

February 21st @ The Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha Bar

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Domingo David Canizales III is a practicing poet from Southern California. Things he has written have been published in a few obscure places and he has taught a class on creative writing at the Jack Kerouac School at Naropa University. Currently, he is working on several projects, including his MFA thesis which has a grounding in ritual poetics. At the moment he lives in Boulder, CO with other unassuming artists, dancers, and felines.

dustin holland lives in longmont and helps organize a series of music/poetry/comedy/art shows called “Don’t Yell At Me” He likes writing poetry, painting, and playing with dogs. also tequila and chocolate bars.

$lumberparty is a non-binary hip-hop crew speaking to the truth movement, an expression of human authenticity. With its roots founded in Fairfield, IL $lumberparty continues to spread swagger in Boulder–its current members are Alexis aka D’$pite, Steph aka Stevie Weaver, and BritDany on the mic as BritDizzle.

Ashley Waterman on Elyse Brownell

Poet. Infrastructure creator. Friend. Co-collaborator. Support system. Elyse represents all of these things and more.

I met her with whiskey, learning how to use microphones and not apologizing after reading. She handed me a flyer for some event called Bouldering Poets. Elyse could have handed me a flyer about a mathematics conference and I would have RSVP’d; she has a way about her that invites you to go out of your comfort zone and participate.

I attended Bouldering Poets and read at the open mic. Little did I know that the first time I saw Elyse host an event was the start of one of my first friendships in Boulder. Elyse quickly became a friend, co-collaborator, and support system for me. I became a regular attendant at Bouldering Poets, and if I wasn’t there, Elyse would text me to see if I was okay. The next summer, we took Naropa’s Summer Writing Program by storm as student activity coordinators, encouraging participants to read and present on panels.

Elyse’s compassion goes beyond caring if I’m at a poetry reading and planning events. She took a risk and asked me to bake for her wedding, believing in me from the first taste of my homemade cupcakes. There have been moments where she’s known how I feel better than I know myself. She is the kind of friend that is allowed to say “I told you so” because eventually, you will realize she was right.

All of these qualities translate to her writing. Her first book, the self-published chapbook Floating Away, was released in 2011. In December of 2014, Monkey Puzzle Press published Sinkhole just in time for the holidays.

Elyse’s writing is informative while relating to the self—relating to memory. How we create holes, how we are (w)hole, and how holes build holes while we are bodies that cannot be mapped by anyone else is the beginning of the stitching that attaches me to Elyse’s writing. I am confident that if she were not in our lives, there would be a larger hole, never able to hold memories; never becoming (w)hole.

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Elyse Brownell is one of the features at the January 24 Bouldering Poets 6:30 p.m. at Buchanan’s Coffee Pub (1301 Pennsylvania Ave).

An Open Letter from Lola Xylophone to Eric Fischman

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Dear Eric Fischman,

Remember the time two summers ago when I crashed on your sofa and in the morning I woke up before you and you had left The Book of Frank by CA Conrad sitting on the coffee table, so I read the whole thing, and you still weren’t awake, so then I started from the beginning and read the whole thing again, and then you were awake and standing in front of me in your sleepy bathrobe, and I handed you the book and asked you to read the poem about how Frank refused to eat his peas on a blind date because he didn’t want to let time move forward? And you read it in your lullaby-bed-time-story voice, and when it was over I asked you to read it again and you read it again and then I asked you to read it again and you read it again and we went on like that for quite some time.

Anyway I was just thinking about that because I’m getting ready to write a review of you for the Boulder Poetry Tribe, so I started thinking of significant moments I have known you through as a poet, and I definitely think that was one of the most powerful, at least for me. I’ve also been trying to remember some of the professional details of your career so that I can be sure to get that in the article. Obviously I know that you went to Naropa, since that’s where you & I met, in a poetry workshop with Sara Veghlan. And I know that you’ve been published a ton of local places, like Semicolon, Nerve Lantern, Kleft Jaw, Artspionage, The Siren, Sixers Review, The Hive. And of course you were published in Luminopolis, and at the book-release event you repeated that one stunning line of again and again- what was that line? I remember the feeling I was left with and the way your face looked, so full of angelic sadness, so full of a real heartbroken forgiveness. But I cannot remember the line.

I’ve been thinking the talk you gave on Creative Converse radio program about the Boulder Poetry community, where you talk about how the Boulder Poetry Community is the best there is. I needed to hear that, Eric. Sometimes I feel discouraged, Eric. Sometimes I feel lonely and afraid to make art. Sometimes I am afraid to write, & sometimes I am afraid to read what I have written. Writing is a strange thing, the way we so often isolate ourselves to get the work done but  really need/want. Writers may write alone but they do need a community. We need someone to remind us, to invite us back into that community sometimes. Thank you for so often being the one who does that.

One thing that I really admire about you, Eric, is your sense of community. Poetry is such a small world with such a small potential audience, and I’ve seen some poets get pretty stingy in fighting for that audience. But you, Eric, you have been the absolute most generous always doing things like spreading the word about competitions you yourself have entered, refusing to engage in competition with other poets, but welcoming all poets, & all poems, always. I can see that for you, Eric, writing poetry is not about the ego, not about the self. It’s about what can be created. Not about the ego of writing it, being the one behind it, but the satisfaction in the writing itself.

I really admire the way that you are always seeking collaboration. Always wanting to write a typewriter poem, a poem where everybody writes a line together. Or a poem on a napkin at a bar someplace, or on a roll of toilet paper in someone’s home. We poets use what we have and it is always enough.

I have seen you write poetry on scraps of paper for strangers to find on the Pearl Street Mall here in Boulder. And I love that idea you’ve been talking about lately, the NSA-Red-Flag-Word-Poetry-Project,  with the intention to transform the government database of illegally obtained private communications into a literary archive by filling space that was meant for illicit dealings with the populace and filling it with art and also forcing someone at the NSA to sit there all day and have to read poetry! Really, this is genius…

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I know that to you, Eric, everything is poetry. I remember your sermons to me and also strangers in hot tubs on this topic on multiple occasions. I have seen you scream poetry from outside of the window at Innisfree to the people inside. I have seen you read grocery lists, textbooks, & pieces of paper out of the recycling bin and you called it poetry. And it was poetry.

That’s why, when I went camping on the Oregon coast, I rose early and texted you asking for a line of poetry, and you gave it to me: “what gold crickets in the glass shaking!!” and I wrote it in the sand close enough to the water that the tide would come later that afternoon and wash it away, if people and dogs and birds didn’t destroy the words with their footsteps before then. Yes I did this to pay homage to you, Eric, to your Anti-Elitist Transitory Poetics, to letting the poem exist as fully as it can and then to not clinging to keeping the poem alive, to not trying to salvage anything, to experience it all right now.

Which reminds me of that line you repeated at the Lunamopolis reading. Oh yes. Here it is: “Everything Changes.” And you just said those two words over and over, faster and slower, and as your face changed and your voice changed, the words changed too.  You said these words with anger, with anticipation, with worry, with fear, and finally, with acceptance and with love.

I want to live my entire life the way you write poetry, Eric. With no strings attached. Not just bottling the moments into memories so I can enjoy them later, but enjoying the present fully now, instead of being so preoccupied with trying to preserving it. I want to just let what is be what it is, right now, to exist as fully as I am able to, right now, saving nothing for later. Really to just be here now, as fiercely alive as I can shine.

All my love to you, my Friend,

Lola Xylophone

Timeless, Infinite Light Tour

This month Bouldering Poets has the honor of working with Oakland based small press, Timeless, Infinite Light.  Co-founders Emji Spero and Joel Gregory will be our two featured poets as part of their Timeless, Infinite Light tour on November 9th.

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The tour is to celebrate the creation of the organism that is Timeless, Infinite Light and will feature writers such as Olive Blackburn, Ivy Johnson, Emerson Whitney, Zoe Tuck, and Tract/Trace founders Angel Dominguez and JH Phyrdas.  The Timeless, Infinite Light tour kicked off in LA at the Poetic Research Beauro this past Saturday and will continue tomorrow at the Trickhouse Casa Libre in Tucson (so check it out if you are in AZ!!!) before hitting Santa Fe and Colorado Springs.  The co-founders will be hitting Denver November 8th and will be giving Boulder some love with 3 consecutive readings from the 9th to 11th!  You can view their full tour schedule below along with a promotional trailer for the tour.  Please also be sure to take a look at their Facebook page and their absolutely beautiful website (you can also check out Tract/Trace there too!) if you would like to keep up with all the incredible work they produce.  Give these amazing people some serious love and support!

Check out a trailer for the tour here.

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November 9th, 2014 @ 303 Vodka

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Emji Spero is an Oakland-based artist exploring the intersections of writing, book art, installation, and performance. Their writing has been featured inTripwire, Dusie, Jupiter88, Wheelhouse Magazine, Tract/Trace,The Vulgate, and Not Enough Data. Spero’s new book, almost any shit will do, published by Timeless, Infinite Light, uses found language, word-replacement, and erasure to strange the familiar and map the boundaries of collective engagement.

Joel Gregory is a dropout of the New School MFA program and a co-founder of Timeless, Infinite Light. He is a poet and visual artist living in Oakland, California.

Launch Octopus (Michael Matthes, David Bridges, and Taylor Tuke) is a band forged in the digital flames of 8-bit technology!

October 24, 2014 @ Buchanan’s Coffee Pub

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Jaclyn Hawkins is a writer whose heart forever dwells within the Appalachian Mountains. She recently graduated with her MFA from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, and currently works at Naropa University. Her work has been published online in a few literary journals no one has heard of, and instead spends her time walking the creek path with her new puppy, Stella, or writing in bed while Fitz the cat snuggles her, or talking about whatever you want to talk about over a glass of wine.

Nick Hranilovich would just really like someone to spoon with.

Steph Rizzo is a queer musician-poet, energy healer and herbalist. She’s always been passionate about music as a means of expression, but only started writing music a year ago and hasn’t stopped since. Steph recently moved to Boulder from Boston, MA to forge her path as a yoga instructor/therapist. When she’s not frolicking/foraging in nature, messing around on the ukulele or meditating, Steph enjoys nannying and making nourishing (paleo) food-medicine. You can find Steph’s first solo album, called “Moon Salutations” at stephrizzo.bandcamp.com.