Alexandra Oliver

Slam Poem: Alexandra Oliver - "Phone Sex"

Guest post by Alexandra Oliver:

I've been out of slam for ages, though I still keep my ear to the ground as to what events are taking place. I think slam is a viable means of generating interest in poetry, particularly amongst young people--by "young", I mean people who are coming to poetry for the first time. I think it's important though--no, essential!-- for budding poets to not only draw from what they see in the performances of others, but also to look within themselves and obey their own impulses. Reading is so important; just because one wants to be a performance poet doesn't necessarily mean one has to turn their nose up at the printed word. To quote  Marilyn Nelson, the poet of today has the golden opportunity to "own the masters", and to become the artist they were meant to become. Reading is actually what got me started on the road to performing poems; since my teens, I wanted to write like Edith Wharton, but poems came out in the place of prose. Go figure. I guess I was just wired that way.

It was a real privilege to be a part of SlamNation. I remember when Paul and his team came to interview me in my brother's tiny apartment in New York's East Village. Paul strikes me as a dynamo, a risk-taker in terms of his subject choices for films;  I certainly think it took a lot of moxie to make our little movie, but the poetry world (to my mind, anyhow) is better off for it.

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

Check out an additional poem and interview with Alexandra here and here!

Slam Poem: Alexandra Oliver - "Love"

Guest post by Alexandra Oliver:

I wrote my poem "Ring-A-Ding-Ding" a long time ago, in 1996, I think. It was a bolshy, stroppy single girl's response to married men hitting on me in bars (this only happened a few times, but it was enough to prove tedious.) A journalist who saw me perform the poem in Vancouver that same year actually thought I was celebrating the joys of adultery. In reality, it was meant to be an ironic statement about fidelity, self-indulgence and keeping one's dignity in a world where, sexually speaking, anything goes.

Today I consider myself to be not really a slam poet, but rather a page poet who's an enthusiastic reader. When I got involved in slam, it really was in its beginning stages in Vancouver. The community was so welcoming and pleasant; I really felt close to my teammates at the 1996 Nationals in Portland. We (Andrea Thompson, Cass King , Justin McGrail and myself) were rookies and terribly nervous, but we treated the whole experience like we had been sent off to camp. We did take our work seriously, but we threw ourselves into enjoying the festive atmosphere and meeting new friends. I look back on those days with great fondness.

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

Check out some interviews with Alexandra here and here!

SlamNation Extra - Alexandra Oliver - "Ring-a-Ding-Ding"

Here's a special extra from SlamNation.  This is a full length poem from Alexandra Oliver, as featured in Paul Devlin's film SlamNation.

Check out her commentary on it here!

  © Copyright 2013 DevlinPix, Inc.
17A Stuyvesant Oval, New York, NY 10009
Tel/Fax: 866-552-7697