Mar 19, 2018 - 01:38 AM  
  Welcome to Chicago Poetry Press
CJ Laity is Mr. Chicago Poetry

Poetry Press

Go to the homepage with calendar
The Chicago Poetry News
Journal of Modern Poetry

Chicago Poetry Scene Top 135

· A Cram On WBEZ
· After Hours Press
· Anobium
· Another Chicago Magazine
· Antena
· Anti-War Poetry
· Apparatus Magazine
· AquaMoon
· Audio Party
· Barbara's Bookstore
· Beach Poets
· Big Other
· Bob Boone's Teacher's Hangout
· Book Cellar
· Book Slut
· Book Stall
· Caffeine Theatre
· Center on Halsted
· Chaotic Radio
· Chicago Amplified
· Chicago Calling
· Chicago Literary Club
· Chicago Poetry Brothel
· Chicago Poetry Club
· Chicago Poetry Project
· Chicago Poetry Neutral Zone
· Chicago Public Library
· ChicagoPublishes (City of Chicago)
· Chicago Reader
· Chicago Readers Blog
· Chicago Shakes
· Chicago Slam Works
· Chicago Writes
· College of Complexes
· Columbia College
· Columbia College Events
· Columbia Poetry Review
· Cracked Slab Books
· Curbside Splendor
· Danny's
· Dollar Store
· Drinking and Writing
· 826 Chicago
· Encyclopedia Show
· Featherproof
· Gapers Block Book Club
· Girl Speak
· Golden Rule Jones
· Green Mill
· Guild Complex
· Gwendolyn Brooks Center
· Homolatte
· Illinois Arts Council
· Illinois Poet Laureate
· Illinois Poets Society
· In One Ear at Heartland Cafe
· JackLeg Press
· KuumbaLynx
· La Bloga
· Lake Forest College
· Lethal Poetry
· Letter eX
· Literago
· Literary Chicago
· Louder Than A Bomb
· Loyola
· Mango Tribe
· March/Abrazo
· Mental Graffiti
· Milk Magazine
· Muzzle
· Myopic Books
· Neighborhood Writing Alliance
· Neutron Bomb
· Newberry Library
· Next Objectivists
· Northwestern
· Northwestern Press
· Oyez Review
· Paper Machete
· Parlor Reading Series
· Partner Dance Press
· PerformInk
· Poetry Center of Chicago
· Poetry Foundation
· Poetry Magazine
· PoetryPoetry
· Poets and Patrons
· Powells
· Printers Ball
· Printers Row Lit Fest
· Proyecto Latina
· Puddin'head Press
· Publish Chicago
· Quickies!
· Quimby's
· Ragdale
· Rambunctious Review
· Reading Under The Influence
· Real Talk Ave
· Rec Room
· Revolving Door
· Red Rover
· Rhino
· 2nd Story
· Series A
· Seven Corners
· Shakespeares Monkeys
· She Writes
· Silver Tongue
· Slampapi Blog
· Small Garlic Press
· Spoon River Review
· StarWallpaper
· Sunday Salon
· Sun Times Books
· Swan Isle Press
· Switchback Books
· Tallgrass Writers / Outrider Press
· The2ndHand
· Third World Press
· Tianguis Bookstore
· TimeOut Books
· TriQuarterly
· Tuesday Funk
· Twilight Tales
· U of C Poetics
· U of C Press
· U of I Press
· Underground Library
· Unscene Chicago
· Vaporacle
· Virtual Artists Collective
· Weeds
· Weighed Words
· Woman Made Gallery
· Woman Made Gallery Audio
· Women and Children First
· Young Chicago Authors

Right Now . . .

There are 39 unregistered users and 0 registered users on-line.

You can log-in or register for a user account here.

Posted by : cj on Saturday, February 14, 2009 - 07:50 PM
Poetry Gossip: Click On Headlines .
Click Here For A Response Letter To This Article


The listing in the official 2009 AWP Conference schedule reads as follows:

Chicago Poetry Slam. (Mark Elevand, Marc Smith, Kevin Coval, Idris Goodwind)

Williford B
3rd Floor

"Chicago is the birth place of the Poetry Slam. Poetry Slams are very much a part of Chicago's culture and its contribution to the world of art. Join a panel of poets returning to poetry's roots as they celebrate a revolution. Panelists participate in a Poetry Slam showcasing their individual styles and expression."

The event was planned for Saturday, February 14, at 4:30 PM, and promised to be one of the highlights and headlines of the entire conference. You could barely walk down the halls of the Hilton Chicago without hearing the buzz from people planning to attend. "Are you going to the Poetry Slam?" someone asked. "Of course," was the response.

But for the hundreds of people who showed up expecting a glimpse of some of their slam idols, it soon became apparent that these four "stars" had no intention of celebrating any revolution. It was already 4:30 and there wasn't a single slam personality in the room.

The minutes ticked by and you could hear the people mumbling. The speculation began. The rumours were abound, all of which may or may not be true. Someone said they saw a group of slam poets walking away from the conference, with Kurt Heintz tagging behind like a faithful puppy, carrying Willy Perdomo's books and attempting to keep Marc Smith's coattail from dragging the ground. Someone else suggested this was some type of protest, that the slam poets were boycotting the conference because panel members had to pay the registration fee for the conference like everyone else did. Paul Mauldoon paid the registration fee. Diane Wakowski paid the registration fee. Stuart Dybek paid the registration fee. Surely this couldn't be it, someone else argued. Certainly they knew about the registration fee before they submitted their proposal for this panel; certainly the panelists knew in advance (like everyone else did) about the registration fee when they accepted the invitation to be part of the conference. Certainly these slammers didn't propose and accept such a huge part of the conference, a time slot countless others (whose proposals had been rejected) would have gladly taken, just to blow it off. Could they have? But by 4:45 it had become evident: the poetry slam four were not showing up.

Everyone looked toward the doors, hoping the slam poets were just late, caught in traffic, in the hallway chatting, perhaps planning a big surprise entrance with a group performance poem from the back of the room.

And then, bursting out of the silence, there was a sound, a voice, some hope.

Was it Marc Smith? No. Was it Kevin Coval? No. Who was it?

The crowd stirred. Might there be a show after all? A man stood up and announced that despite the snub from the slam poets, the show WOULD go on.
Who was it?
Was it. . .
It couldn't be . . .
No, that's impossible. . .
Why, yes. . .
It was!!!!
CJ Laity, once again, saves the poetry day!

CJ Laity seized the microphone and announced that he was now the host of the Chicago Poetry Slam panel, hereby retitled the Big Illegal Anti-Slam Poetry Event. The first thing he did was kick an old man and his video camera out of the room, shouting: "If you don't leave I will call the police and have you DRAGGED OUT!" The applause from the audience was so thunderous that someone from the neighboring room came in and asked Mr. Laity if he could please keep it down a little. Then Mr. Laity proceeded to host over a dozen of the finest young spoken word artists that America has to offer. Hundreds of people stuck around for the entire hour, cheering and applauding. Here are some images from CJ Laity's spontaneous Chicago Poetry Slam panel at the 2009 AWP Conference.

 wishes to thank the scheduled panelists for blowing off their event. We were able to promote our website and our Tuesday night open mic to a large, fresh, eager audience. Cheers.

Hi CJ,

I thought you might like to know the reason for the absence of the Slam panel.

The Slam event was originally scheduled for Friday, but the organizers changed the date and by then, the panel participants had other gigs scheduled, which the panel members told the organizers. In addition, Mark Eleveld, a panel member, went to the conference on Saturday and spoke to three AWP people to be sure that a cancellation notice would be posted. Apparently no one did that.

As an organizer, I know how crazy things can get, but it's too bad that AWP wasn't able to communicate the cancellation. There were no protests or bad feelings, simply a schedule goof-up. It sounds like everyone ended up having a damn good time anyway.



Hi Emily,

Thanks for the update.

Marc Smith did tell me personally that he was pissed that they were making him pay to be on a panel and that he wasn't going to show up; he did mention a schedule change as well but also pointed out his objection to the registration fee and even suggested that I might want to write an investigative piece about where all that money was going, So I knew in advance that he wasn't going to show, but he didn't mention anything about the others not showing.

As far as the others, yes, that's very surprising that they couldn't juggle their other gigs or simply send some replacement people for their AWP panel. As you know, it was very competative to get into the conference in the first place, and if they weren't committed to fulfilling their obligation they should have simply stepped aside and let someone else have the room.

I attended several panels over the weekend during which scheduled people couldn't make it and replacement people filled in for them. The least Mark Eleveld could have done was send one single person over to do what I did, hold an open mic, or at least make an announcement to the crowd about what was going on, instead of relying on others to do it for him. Not only did this not happen, but the room was eerily absent of any slam people at all--that is, not only did those on the panel not show up, but there was not one single slam personality in the audience--and this is what makes me feel that perhaps there was more to it than just a scheduling mix up.

In any case, we did have a lot of fun.



I showed up to say "hi" but I couldn't stay and frankly, I see those guys all the time so I was more interested in seeing people I can't normally see. I didn't hear anything about a boycott or anything--and I'm sure I would have if there had been any such plan.

Take care,


I understand, but even so, if their excuse is not a boycott (which I can almost understand) it is simply that they had something better to do, and what kind of excuse is that, especially after how the conference went out of its way to include the slam, with its after hours slams and promotions of off site events and all. As someone who actually had to pinch my pennies and scrape up the money to be part of a panel, I find it completely snobbish that they proposed their event and then acted like it was the last item of importance on their agendas. But that's just me . . .

See you soon



I was at the AWP session in Chicago which turned into the spontaneous and wonderful anti-slam. Easily the most interesting session I've ever
attended--anywhere, not just at AWP.

Had a question that perhaps you can answer: do you know the name of the young woman (or, even better, the email address) who read the great poem about Michelle Obama? I want to send her a fan letter.

David Graham

(if you know the answer to this please let me know and I will forward info to David

Note: Marc Smith, Kevin Coval, Idris Goodmwin and Mark Elevand completely blew off their scheduled AWP panel titled Chicago Poetry Slam. We have photos of the disappointed crowd and the breaking news about what actually happened. NOW INCLUDES A RESPONSE LETTER.

spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
BlockRTop.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
  Poetry Contest
· Enter Our Contest
BlockRBott.gif spacer.gif spacer

spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
BlockRTop.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
Order a book
The Ultimate Chicago Poetry Anthology
Clever Gretel by Jennifer Dotson
JOMP 15 Is Here
Postcards from Poland by Joseph Kuhn Carey
Journal of Modern Poetry 16
Vape Mania
Jomp 17
BlockRBott.gif spacer.gif spacer

spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
BlockRTop.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
· Buy JOMP 18
· Buy JOMP 19
· Buy JOMP 20
BlockRBott.gif spacer.gif spacer

spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
BlockRTop.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
  Poetry Publishing
Chicago Poetry Press publishes the highest quality poetry in beautiful, perfect bound editions. We rely on your continued support to operate, because we are not funded by any corporation, foundation, government agency or university. You can always contact
CJ Laity at Publisher@
BlockRBott.gif spacer.gif spacer

spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
BlockRTop.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
  eX-ceptional 150
· Acme Artworks
· Alarm
· American Perspectives
· Answer Tag Home Press
· Area Chicago
· Avant Chicago
· Bailliwik
· Beard of Bees
· Black Arts
· Blossom Bones
· Bohemian Pupil
· Borders Open Door Poetry
· Born Magazine
· Bucktown Arts Fest
· Chance Operations
· Chicago Artists Coalition
· Chicago Cultural Center
· Chicago Dramatists
· Chicago Innerview
· Chicagoist
· Chi Labor Arts Fest Blog
· Chicago Magazine
· Chicago Quarterly
· Chicago Review
· Chicago6Corners
· Chi Town Daily News
· Christian Poets Society
· cinematheque
· Common Review
· Conscious Choice
· Contra Tiempo
· Conundrum
· Court Green
· Crab Orchard
· Cross Roads
· Curious Theatre
· Elastic Arts
· Elder Stories
· EM Press
· Empty Bottle
· F News Magazine
· Fast Geek Press
· Fence
· Fifth Wednesday
· Free Lunch
· Free Street
· Front 40
· Gapers Block
· Gargoyle
· Haiku Society
· Haymarket
· Heartland Cafe
· Hemmingway Foundation
· Highland Park Poetry
· Hotel Amerika
· Hour Glass
· Hull House
· Humanities Fest
· Hyde Park Art
· Improv Olympics
· Intersections
· In These Times
· The Ivory Tower
· Kalamu
· Karamu
· Kedzie Press / The Green Parent
· Lake Claremont
· Lawyers For Arts
· Lisle Library
· Literary Chicago
· Literary Pizazz Radio
· Lit Line
· Links Hall
· Looptopia
· Love Chicago
· Lumpen
· Machine
· Make Magazine
· Manual of Style
· Mayapple Press
· Mayor's Office of Events
· MetroMix
· Mexican Fine Arts
· Midland Authors
· Midwest Literary Fest
· Midwest Zines
· Milk Weed
· Millions
· Moria
· Mule
· Muse Letter
· Naperville Writers
· National Writers Union
· Nelson Algren Committee
· Neofuturists
· Nextbook
· Ninth Letter
· Old Town Folk School
· Open Book
· Osbey Books
· O Sweet Flowery Roses
· Other Voices
· Otium
· Palatine Slam
· Paper and Carriage
· Paper Mustache
· Perpetual Motion
· Plainfield Poetry
· PM Poetry
· Poem Present
· Poetic License
· Poetry Cache
· Poetry Daily
· Poetry Radio
· Poets and Writers
· Poets Kitchen
· Polvo
· Polyphony
· Pudding House
· Punk Planet
· Reconstruction Room
· Redmoon
· Roctober
· Rose Metal
· Room 315
· Rubba Ducky
· Sawbuck
· Scars Publishing
· Screwball
· Second Run
· Seminary Co-op
· Seventen Bishop
· Shark Forum
· Shelter
· Shortpants
· Skeleton News
· Small Happy
· Stop Smiling
· Sourcebooks
· Spareroom
· Spondee
· Stone Jones
· Story Studio
· Story Quarterly
· Street Level
· Teatro Luna
· This Is Grand
· Ticket2Write
· Time Out
· Uncommon Ground
· Unlikely Stories
· UR Chicago
· Venus
· Visions For Chicago
· Wordsfest
· Writers Workspace
· You Are Beautiful
BlockRBott.gif spacer.gif spacer

Web hosting provided by TechFinesse