Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I am very proud and excited to announce that I was the featured poet on IndieFeed yesterday. I mentioned before on here that my piece Passage got accepted, and it actually premiered on the site on Memorial Day, of all days, which makes it even more memorable for me.
I really have to thank Mr. Mongo, because he did a phenomenal job. He reviewed the poem, which meant a great deal, but he also did A LOT of research on me and mentioned my chapbook Ghosts & Echoes (which is still for sale!), The Speakeasy, and MANIFEST. Honestly, it felt great to have someone commit to doing a thorough job, and I’m very thankful.
You can find the IndieFeed feature here: http://indiefeedpp.libsyn.com/christian-j-collier-passage
Saturday, May 28, 2011
I found out early this morning that Gil Scott-Heron passed yesterday. I remember being aware of The Revolution Will Not be Televised while growing up, but it wasn’t until about ten years ago that I really immersed myself in his material.
Gil has had a definite impact on me. He’s one of the definitive influential voices that have helped to shape me as a writer, artist, performer, and musician.
Last year, he released an album called I’m New Here and it is a great and introspective work. If you’re into Gil and haven’t already done so, you should track it down and give it a listen. Also, you should peep We’re New Here. Jamie XX from the band The XX reworked the I’m New Here record and an album was released earlier this year. Honestly, it is one of my favorite releases of 2011.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Yesterday marked ten full years of me performing poetry out and about (I’ve been writing longer than that). It’s a little crazy to believe. In that span of time, I’ve performed in a good number of states, cities, and venues. I’ve had the honor of sharing the stage with some phenomenally talented individuals and performing in front of hundreds of people I’ll probably never see again.
Going back to the first time I performed out is pretty interesting to me. I was in high school and had a years-long crush on this girl. I wrote a poem for her (which later became the 2nd half of my Love’s Theme piece) and asked if she wanted to hit up this open-mic with me. My plan was to surprise her by doing the poem and that she’d be so overcome that we’d embark on this perfect relationship. Friends, it NEVER works out that way, for future reference. Banish those thoughts now.
Anyway, she never came out to the open-mic, but I signed up anyway. Ten years ago at Barnes & Noble in Chattanooga (back when it was still in the same complex as Circuit City), Jenny Sadre-Orafi hosted a poetry open-mic. After I performed there the first time, I was hooked. It truly was like a completely different world had opened up to me.
I’ve been blessed from that date on. A decade after that night, I’ve had so many wonderful and personally affirming things happen to me. Hopefully, I’ll be further blessed with ten more. Let’s see what happens.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
I have been singing Ian Kamau’s praises for the past two years, and anyone who has been remotely close to me or following this blog can attest to that. At the end of last year and the earlier part of this year, I was e-mailing him about possibly bringing him down to Chattanooga, but things didn’t pan out at the time.
I know that Ian stays busy, and, once again, anyone who knows me or has been staying up on this blog knows how full my schedule has been. I would really like to bring Ian down if his schedule would allow it, and seeing the clip above (which was a new one to me) really reminded me of just how much I would love to bring that hope to fruition. We shall see what happens, brothers and sisters.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The eighth MANIFEST showcase will feature Shane Morrow and Amber Fults, who are two of Chattanooga’s most talented creative forces, on June 10th at the Camp House (1427 Williams St).
Shane Morrow is a virtuoso musician and singer who has established himself in such large markets as New York and Connecticut. He is also the director of The Creative Underground, which is a multicultural collective focused on community arts. Most recently, Mr. Morrow and The Creative Underground produced the Jazz in the Hall and Songbook: Aretha Franklin tribute performances at The Bessie Smith Hall.
Amber Fults is a local singer/songwriter who boasts one of Chattanooga’s strongest and most soulful voices. She released her debut album Center of My Heart last September and has performed across the Southeast in some of the region’s top venues and festivals.
Closing the night will be Christian J. Collier, who is a poet and the organizer of the MANIFEST series. He will be performing a set of original poetry including some pieces from his 2009 chapbook Ghosts & Echoes.
General admission for MANIFEST: Art & Soul is $8. Donations will also be accepted to assist the victims of the tornadoes that rocked the area. Doors open at 8 and the show will get underway at 9.
Monday, May 16, 2011
So, last week I was on WPLZ with David Karnes, and it was big fun. We talked about the Camp house, MANIFEST biz, and the origin of poetry slams. I also had the opportunity to perform a poem while we were on the air. I chose She, which is a poem from my chapbook Ghosts & Echoes.
The interview and the performance went over well. When we went to break and were wrapping up my segment, David seemed very surprised. He confessed that he had never heard anyone read or recite poetry before and expressed some interest in having me back and doing two segments.
I have had two very good experiences with the people from WPLZ. As a matter of fact, the Brewer Broadcasting family has been very supportive of me and my affairs. To say the very least, I sincerely appreciate it. Hopefully, I’ll be back on WPLZ or Power 94 before too long.
Also, shout out to my dear friend Tolan who snapped the above picture. It was taken yesterday at the Bessie Smith tribue. We were kicking out the jams on Chain of Fools.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Hey, everybody. We finished the Aretha Franklin tribute show a few hours ago, and I’m still jazzed up about it. I had the opportunity to play guitar on Chain of Fools, Respect, and Think. Also, I debuted a new poem that (for the time being) I’m calling Soul. I’m almost certain that that title will change in the near future though.
Anyway, I must say that I’ve enjoyed the weekend. MANIFEST on Friday was big fun. The slam went well, and I had a good time introducing the slam and slam etiquette to our first-timers and the crowd. Brother Marcus Ellsworth took first place with Jayce Stock coming in a very close second. So close, in fact, that only a point separated them. Talk about tight competition.
The slam went so well that I’ve decided to do another one over the summer. Right now, we’re looking at July, so keep it in mind if you’re interested in coming out or participating.
Well kids, I’m exhausted and in need of a shower, so I’m going to bounce! There will be more from this past week to come tomorrow. In the meantime, be easy!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Just checking in to let you know that I'll be doing an interview on WPLZ this afternoon at 4:30. We'll be talking MANIFEST business, perhaps a little general info about me, and, if time permits, I might be asked to do a poem. Feel free to tune in!
Saturday, May 7, 2011
I’m still working on getting my voice back to a good place after last night. Wide Open Floor was a really good time. I had the opportunity to see some diverse talents. It was grand to be able to be a part of that.
They didn’t use a microphone last night, and I’m so rusty at performing off of one that I kind of overdid it vocally. Thus, my utilization of the hot teas and all that good stuff to patch my voice up. It happens.
I performed two pieces (although, I could’ve did a few more since so many people dropped out the day of the show). I decided to do Acceptance and Passage. Both went over well, which is always a good feeling. I look forward to more people having the opportunity to hearing it.
Well folks, I’m going to pick out some poems to do tonight at New Voices. I’ve got some work to do!
Friday, May 6, 2011
I’m preparing for Wide Open Floor tonight. Aside from my set, I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else who will be performing is going to do. I must say that I kind of enjoy not necessarily knowing what to expect.
If you’re interested in attending, Wide Open Floor starts at 9 (you can see the previous post for the lineup) and will be held at Barking Legs (1307 Dodds Ave.).
Also, I had a dope time at the Sequoya Review party the other night. It was a treat to be around the peeps that put the journal together. Several of the authors from the publication read, so I enjoyed that as well.
At the end, I was asked to do some poems, so I pulled some off the top of my head (literally). It all went over well. After I jumped off, I asked the peeps who made it into the journal to sign my copy.
If you manage to come across the journal, make sure to pick it up. The good peeps at UTC did a good, quality job.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Here's the info for Wide Open Floor, which jumps off this Friday night.
Wide Open Floor
FRI, May 6 and each First Friday forever!
The Official Line Up:
9pm Tim Hinck
9:10 ChattState Dancers
9:20 Zalendria Wright
9:30 Christian Collier
9:40 Krysten Pound
9:50 Kyle Dagnan
10pm Jessica Jack Wyrick
10:10 Laurie Perry Vaughen
10:20 Amanda Plecas
10:30 Ann Law
10:40 Marcus Patrick Ellsworth
10:50 Lauryn Elise
11pm Angela Sweet
11:10 Bob Dombrowski
11:20 Lauren Anastasia Holmes
11:30 Tobiah Tillman
11:40 Tadd Harlin
11:50 Jessica Murray (we will all move outside to the fire pit)
WIDE OPEN FLOOR
From 9pm-midnight, this Friday, May 6, (and each first Friday of the month thereafter), an amazing array of raw talent will be presented at Barking Legs. We have dancers, poets, musicians, professionals, students, seasoned performers, and those stepping out relatively unaccustomed to the stage. Expect surprises. Expect to be challenged. Expect to see acts that you love, as well as those that may uncomfortably stretch your perspective. Expect a nurturing and supportive environment of sharing ideas and expressions. We are Wide Open to it all. The cost is a mere $5 at the door (cash preferred, please). Thank you!
Monday, May 2, 2011
Man, I don’t really know what to say after last week. I was without power, radio, TV, and internet for four days after the tornados hit last Wednesday. It made me utilize a number of resourceful opportunities to charge my phone, which became my only communication lifeline during that stretch.
On Thursday, I got asked by Butch Ross (via text) to play in Loopstock 3. We played the gig on Friday night, but earlier, I ventured out to the Camp House, set up my equipment, and rehearsed with headphones plugged into my amp. The things you do when you’re without power.
Friday night, we played the show with Kevin Kalimbaman Spears from Atlanta. That man is an absolute beast. I enjoyed watching him play as much as I enjoyed kicking out my own tunes.
When I finally got power back yesterday, I checked my e-mail, and one of the first things I read was a message from Mongo, who runs Indiefeed. If you’re unfamiliar with Indiefeed, here’s some info from the website:
IndieFeed is a community-oriented micro-media broadcast network that delivers fresh, independent content to an intelligent audience that wants cutting-edge and relevant entertainment. Unlike mass-oriented broadcast companies, IndieFeed delivers niche-targeted, single-serving shows optimized for mobile use, helping to provide more choice and control in the busy, on-the-go lifestyle.
Our mission is to provide the best of today's spoken word poetry to an audience that otherwise might never get a chance to hear it, and give these poets a chance to make a living with their work. We understand it's all about exposure, and we're here to make sure you, the performance poet, can get your work in front of thousands of eager fans.
So, when I checked my e-mail and read Mongo’s message, here’s what it said:
I've finally had a chance to review the two tracks you sent, and I want to thank you for your interest in sharing your work with the IndieFeed audience. "Passage" is a hugely powerful work, about a subject that few poets have been willing to tackle. Both your writing and your delivery are top-notch, and I'd be very honored if you'd allow us to share this track with our audience.
It goes without saying, but it’s a tremendous honor for me. They decided to run with Passage, which is going to be really interesting for me to have that be my introductory piece to a number of Indiefeed’s listeners. When the feature comes through, I’ll gladly post it up on here and on every other site that I frequent.
Well folks, that’s all I got right now. I have to make a small setlist and rehearse for Wide Open Floor, which, I believe, is still on for this Friday night at Barking Legs. If you in or around town, come out.