May 6: 2011 Grand Slam w/ Featured Poet Ken Arkind at Seattle Town Hall
The top 2 poets from the 3 Semifinals and the Wild Card Slam (totaling at 8 incredible performance poets from throughout the season) will throw down one last time to determine who will comprise the 2011 Seattle National Poetry Slam Team.
Also on the stage – a showcase of some of the best performances that our award winning weekly show has had the honor of seeing.
Ken Arkind is a National Poetry Slam Champion, Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam Champion and full time touring artist who has performed his work in almost all of the Lower 48, Hawaii and Canada. With Panama Soweto he is one half of The Dynamic Duo, the nations most highly booked Spoken Word act.
He has been featured in the documentaries SPIT!, Slamplanet, as well as on HBO, CBS, NBC and Borders.com’s Open Door Poetry series alongside U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins.
He was a member of the highly influential Spilljoy Ensemble tour, a collection of the country’s premiere young spoken word artists including Danny Sherrard, Jon Sands and Shira Erlichman and is currently the Executive Director and head Brave New Voices coach for The Denver Minor Disturbance Poetry Project, an independent literary arts program dedicated to helping Colorado youth between the ages of 13-19 find their voices through the mediums of poetry and performance.
A regular fixture in the Denver music scene he has opened for acts like The Flobots, Gil Scott Heron, Devotchka, Sage Francis, Ani Difranco, Cloud Cult, P.O.S., and NPR’s Amy Goodman and he is the only poet signed to Hot Congress Records.
His work has been published in numerous literary anthologies and Journals across the country, including Write Bloody’s “The Good Things About America” and the University of Washington’s 2010 Common Book alongside Pulitzer Prize Winners Yusef Komunyaka and Philip Levine.
His first collection of poetry “I know why Georgia Turner waited by the train tracks” will be available summer of 2011 from Penmanship Books.
Ken was born on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains and grew up playing in the shallow waters of the Yampa River. He divides his time between an Apartment in Denver and a couch in Brooklyn and has been arrested on several occasions for being too loud.