The Poetix Lounge is a cabaret-style showcase of national award-winning performance poets… with nearly a dozen titles among them, the vanguard of this verbal acrobatics crew brings diverse verse, both headstrong and heart-felt… You don’t want to miss this!
Here is just a taste of whats to come:
SOLSTIZ, host of The Poetix Lounge, has been carving out a place for performance poetry in the festival arena, drawing on nationally acclaimed talent to deliver verbal acrobatics at the likes of Bonnaroo, Trinumeral, LEAF and more…
Voted Best Poet of Western North Carolina in 2009 & 2010 (alongside the legendary Glenis Redmond), he’s opened for STS9 with PlayLow, and put projects together with heavyweight poets like Patricia Smith and Coleman Barks as well as the lyricists of Digable Planets and Michael Franti.
A truly authentic flow, he approaches themes of love, war, mysticism, and all out cultural evolution with a technique that’s both headstrong and heartfelt.
Kane “Novakane” Smego is the Artistic Director of 2010 Indy Arts Award-winner Sacrificial Poets, a nationally competing youth poetry organization that works with local middle and high school youth. Kane grew up in the Durham-Chapel Hill area, and recently graduated with highest distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill class of 2010, where he was awarded the Sterling A. Stoudemire Award for Excellence in Spanish Language.
He is an adult National Slam Poet and four time member of the Bull City Slam team that finished 3rd at the 2010 National Poetry Slam in St. Paul, MN, and took 1st place at the 2010 Southern Fried Southern Regional Poetry Slam in Knoxville, TN. He is a 2010 Duo Slam champion and 2010 Black on Black Rhyme Two Piece and a Side Slam champion. In 2008, Kane won the Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) poetry slam amidst some of the country’s top poets, and later that year competed in the Individual World Poetry Slam (IWPS) where he finished 14th in the world out of nearly 80 poets. He is also the writer of The Spectrum, a hip hop theater production based on the experience of inner city youth which debuted at UNC’s Stone Center Auditorium in April 2008.
Kane has featured all over the country, performing at such historic venues as the Nuyorican Poets Café in NYC, the 2010 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, and the birth place of Slam Poetry, Chicago’s Green Mill. As an educator Kane has co-coached three Sacrificial Poets youth teams at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival (BNV) from 2008-2010, taking the team to semifinals the last two years. Kane teaches youth poetry workshops throughout North Carolina and across the nation, inspiring youth and adults to tell their own stories, and challenging them to transform themselves and their communities through the use of the spoken word. He is the primary author of the Sacrificial Poets/YouTh ink. curriculum, and is the founder of Poetic Justice, an afterschool program focused on Spoken Word and Hip Hop which he runs with underserved youth in Durham, NC.
In the summer of 2011 Kane helped create and lead the Poetic Portraits of a Revolution (PPR2011) project that traveled to Egypt and Tunisia to collect stories of the popular revolutions, and broadcasted them as poems in an eight week radio series on the National Public Radio affiliate WUNC. He is currently working with Street Signs Center for Literature and Performance to create a PPR theatrical play, which will feature alongside Tony Award-winner Athol Fugard’s play Bloodknot as part of the Acts of Witness dual production. He recently returned from a three and a half month spoken word tour across the nation, in which he performed original work and taught youth workshops in 17 states, from Florida to Hawaii. Kane seeks to inspire youth and adults to tell their own stories, and challenges them to transform themselves and their communities through the use of the spoken word and written word
Some of the organizations he has performed or facilitated workshops for include: UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Wilmington, Ackland Art Museum, Upward Bound, Duke University, University of Hawaii, Bennett College, Soka University, California State at Berkeley, the NAACP, The North Carolina Arts Council.
Griffin Payne is an up and coming voice in the community of slam and spoken word poetry. In 2007 he participated in his first poetry slam (a costume poetry slam, no less) where, dressed as Karl Marx and looking more like Santa Claus, he fared miserably in the competition and vowed to never perform in another poetry slam ever again. Fortunately, Griffin is better at poetry than keeping vows, and with continued practice and evolution he became Asheville, North Carolina’s 2009 Slam Champion, going on to represent his city in regional and national competitions. After graduating from UNC-Asheville in 2010, Griffin went on to become Director and Slam-Master of Poetry Slam Asheville, thus helping to create Western North Carolina’s largest ongoing literary event. In addition to writing, performing and organizing, Griffin teaches poetry workshops in schools and community centers, to both children and adults. As an advocate for the LGBTQ community, in 2011 Griffin was named Poet Laureate of the Radical Faeries, an international queer organization, and was recently invited to be a featured performer and presenter at the 2012 Gay Spirit Visions national conference. Beyond his dedication to poetry, Griffin works one on one with at-risk youth and as an end of life caregiver. He currently resides in Paris, France where he is working on his first album and finishing his first collection of poetry.
Carlos Robson is a spoken word poet, playwright, and teaching artist. As a competitive “slam” poet, he has competed in regional, national and international competitions, winning the National Poetry Slam championship in 2007 and again in 2008 as a member of the North Carolina based team, SlamCharlotte. He has performed in all corners of the nation, on Broadway and internationally, and is a co-founder of the Charlotte based artist collective the Concrete Generation as well as one half of the art project The Indoctrination Experiment.
Zak is a Spoken Word Artist as well as an advocate for social justice. He has worked with non-profit organization in an effort to further the creative knowledge and expression amongst artists of all ages. Zak is a poet, a host and his own curator. He hosts “Alchemy Speaks” open mic on King st. in Boone every Wednesday alongside Samuel Crabtree, President of the Lyric Poetry Club on campus at App State. He also hosts a Haiku competition at Char Restaurant every third Tuesday and facilitates and curates said event his self. Zak loves music, sports and making people smile.
At only 21 years old, G Yamazawa is widely considered one of the top young poets in the country. Born in Durham, NC and raised in a Buddhist household, G is a two-time Southern Fried Champ, National Poetry Slam finalist, Individual World Poetry Slam finalist, and has taken his art to venues across the nation including Bonnaroo Music Festival and Sundance Film Festival. His favorite food is fried chicken, and he hates sushi.
Cleveland “CJ” Suitt
Cleveland “CJ” Suitt is a poet and facilitator from Chapel Hill, NC working to elevate youth through spoken word poetry. He is a co-founder and former Executive Director of the Sacrificial Poets, a North Carolina based youth poetry organization. CJ believes in the power of the spoken and written word, song and hip-hop to empower and transform young people’s lives and its ability to be an outlet for youth globally, who may not be heard in their day to day interactions. He is currently the Promotional & Development Director of The Sacrificial Poets and highly active in the local and national community, facilitating inter-generational events with social justice themes, teaching poetry workshops and working with the Mosaic Project teaching 5th Graders peace-making, diversity and conflict resolution. He has also wrote, co-produced and acted in a theatrical reenactment of “The Freedom Rides-A Journey of Reconciliation” which brought together representatives from prominent national civil rights organizations, state officials and student groups. He believes in breaking silence in order to re-member the past and move consciously into the future and is dedicated to being a creative catalyst for the highest potential of a dynamic generation, not afraid to speak truth to power.
Many more coming soon…