R228. Slamming Down the Academy’s Door

Room 101 B&C, Level 1
Thursday, April 9, 2015
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


What happens when slam poets jump the stage and enter the classroom? These lauded poets, including a Lenore Marshall Prize winner and a Nuyorican slam champion, discuss the ways that “slam” has influenced them and their work as academics, deans, and researchers today. From writing about race and Katrina, to eating wildly, this five-member panel of diverse writer-academics will talk about how they transitioned from performance poets to the positions they currently hold in the academy today.



Ava Chin is the author of Eating Wildly and for many years was The New York Times'  Urban Forager. She has written for the LA Times magazine, Saveur, the Village Voice, and Spin. A former Nuyorican slam poet, she is an associate professor of creative nonfiction and journalism at CUNY-College of Staten Island.

Xavier Cavazos is the author of Diamond Grove Slave Tree, forthcoming in 2015, and Barbarian at the Gate, winner of the 2013 Poetry Society of America National Chapbook Award selected and introduced by Thomas Sayers Ellis. He is the visiting writer in the professional and creative writing program at Central Washington University.

Bob Holman, founder of the Bowery Poetry Club, is a poet most often connected with the oral tradition, live voicings of poetry, poetry in digital media, spoken word, performance, hip hop, slam, and poetry films. PBS aired his endangered language documentary, "Language Matters," in fall 2014.

Patricia Smith's books include Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (2013 Lenore Marshall Prize) and Blood Dazzler (finalist for the National Book Award). A 2014 Guggenheim fellow and 2-time Pushcart winner, she teaches at the College of Staten Island and in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College.

Crystal Williams is the author of four poetry collections, most recently, Detroit as Barn. A recipient of numerous fellowships, awards, and honors, she is associate vice president, chief diversity officer, and professor of English at Bates College.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Seattle Convention Center