What Is This Blog About?
This blog is a place for spoken word and slam poetry in Northern Colorado. This blog is also about creating and revising poetry from rough draft of performance.I will be covering, commenting on, and hopefully getting content from spoken word and slam poetry events in and around Fort Collins. I will also be posting some of my own work and revising it over time and exploring the processes and methods of revision. I like for these revisions to be a collaborative project, so I invite you to become involved. In the future, I would also like to get rough drafts of work from other poets who would like to contribute.
My name is Dustin Cobb and I love poetry. I spent nine years in the United States Navy, serving in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Due to the high stress and demands placed on me by my occupation. I often would experience bouts of insomnia. The best remedy for these cases of insomnia turned out to be writing poetry. I would usually find that after expressing my frustration and the thoughts that were flying around in my head on the written page. I would be able to sleep. In many ways poetry was my lifeline to sanity. In 2004 while stationed in Colorado Springs, I was exposed to slam poetry for the first time, which helped to develop my love for the English language.
I’m currently a student at Colorado State University working on an English degree with a concentration in writing. What that means is that the focus of my education is on communication, rhetoric, and composition. One of the major elements of all of my composition and rhetoric courses is audience. I believe that a good amount of modern poetry expects it’s audience to read the poem, To digest it, to think about. The result is that when this poetry is read out load especially around collegiate campuses, the work can seldom be understood or appreciated fully when it’s spoken out loud. I have also come to believe that poetry is often only considered to have merit in academic circles if it caters to other academics. This is not to say that modern poetry is not any good, or that I don’t find it enjoyable, but I believe that poetry is meant to be shared out loud and you shouldn’t have to have a four-year degree to understand it. I believe that Spoken word and slam poetry does a better job of catering to a larger audience. It brings poetry back into the realm of the common man.
There was a time when the best poets of the age were published in newspapers. Poets like Byron enjoyed rock star status. It was an art form that was enjoyed by the masses; much like film and music is enjoyed today. Somehow we got away from all that. The Slam Poetry and Spoken Word movement was created by Marc Smith, a construction worker from Chicago around 1984. I believe that slam poetry and spoken word is in a way widening the audience for poetry. Instead of catering to academics, poetry can be something that is enjoyed by everyone. It should be enjoyed by everyone!