Friday, July 29, 2011

What's New!

It’s been an interesting week. On Sunday, I had lunch with a friend of mine who’s recording an album. I think we both came away from the exchange with a sense of understanding, curiosity, and excitement as to what the next phases of our lives hold.

Immediately after our conversation, things started to happen for the both of us. I (to use the cliché) have been doing a lot of soul searching. Monday night, I went off on someone who was trying his BEST to bring his problems to my doorstep, and ever since then, I’ve felt alive. I feel hungry to really live and experience what’s waiting for me. Honestly, I kind of feel like I did some years ago.

Aside from working on the personal, I had a photo shoot with the lovely and talented Susie Lovins on Wednesday. We’re scheduled to link back up for round 2 tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to that a great deal.

Also, earlier this week I met with someone from Create Here, and we will be partnering up for a MANIFEST Presents collaboration in the next few months. Stay tuned for more details! I’m keeping the lid on what’s going down a bit longer.

I started a new poem earlier in the week as well. When it’s ready to go, I think people will be able to enjoy and relate to it. Time will tell, brothers and sisters.

Lastly, my dear friends Marcus and Brandi of The Divine Write performed at The Hunter Art Museum yesterday evening. I can’t imagine it being anything less than stellar, so the next time you see them (separately or together) in town, please congratulate them. They’re doing the city of Chattanooga proud (yup, I said it).

Well folks, be good until I catch you again. Once again, the next MANIFEST is on August 19th. Unfortunately, the date changed after the fliers went out, but it happens.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Making Changes

I’ve been in an interesting headspace as of late. I’ve been giving some serious thought my life, my projects, etc. In lieu of Amy Winehouse’s passing at the age of 27, I thought back to numerology. I’m not extraordinarily involved in it, but what I am aware of fascinates me.

Remember happiness doesn't depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think.
--Dale Carnegie

One of the things that has been most interesting to me is the number 9. In numerology, 9 represents (among other things) transition and completion. It’s the end of one chapter and the natural progression into the next one.

I’m 27, and if you add the 2 and the 7 together, you reach 9. I really feel that I’ve been going through a change, both creatively and personally speaking. Yesterday, I did a lot of thinking, and I sincerely feel that the next phase in my progression will have to do with restructuring my future relationships and refining the ones that are already in place. The goal is to better ensure that I’m getting what I need and want. I need to demand certain things for myself, and from those around me.

Of one thing I am certain, the body is not the measure of healing - peace is the measure.--George Melton

When I was blogging in 2009, I would frequently throw challenges out there for those who chose to take the time to read what I wrote. I’m going to do that again. I challenge you fine folks out there to think about what your life has been like this year and seriously consider where your path is leading. It’s a worthy exercise.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Getaway

I went to Atlanta earlier tonight for the Art Amok poetry slam. I’ve been known to bounce out of town just because, and I’ve really needed a break from Chattanooga (even if it was just a few hours), so I figured it was a fated excursion.

Honestly, I really didn’t know what to expect. Every slam is different. Every slam community is different. When I arrived though, I was VERY pleasantly surprised. Everyone was mad nice and the vibe was very open. It’s a special thing when that’s the case. I’m definitely looking forward to popping back down to GA and doing it again.

In other news, I read something recently that’s really got me thinking about what I want in my life and what I need. I exert myself a lot for a number of people, and, often, that energy isn’t reciprocated. However, I am extremely thankful for those people who are in my inner circle. It’s nice to know that I do have peeps that I can rely on when the times are trying for me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What's Going On

Hey everybody,

Due to double-booking (which happens), August’s MANIFEST has been moved to the 19th instead of the 12th. Everything else is exactly the same. You’re still getting DJ Flannel Boy moving your body, The Hearts in Light blowing your minds, no forking fee if you bring wine, and free hugs all night long from yours truly. Bring yourselves!

You can check out DJ Flannel Boy in action here, by the way:

It’s been a little more than a week since my last post, and in that span of time, I’ve been doing a number of things such as:

1. Rehearsing the story that I’ll be reading in the near future for an audio book
2. Reading a lot of diverse stuff and listening to some great music instead of writing
3. Getting the word out about MANIFEST
4. Spending some time with the fam
5. Getting a NEW PHONE
6. Working on some new projects that I can’t divulge at this time

Well folks, I’m off to go beat up the day. Be good, and I’ll see you when I see you. Oh, and feel free to follow me on Twitter. I’m IChristian3030

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

MANIFEST Aims to Move You

The tenth installment of the MANIFEST arts showcase will feature DJ Flannel Boy and The Hearts in Light, two of the Scenic City’s most unique talents, on August 12th at The Camp House (1427 Williams St.).

DJ Flannel Boy is one of the most eclectic and well-versed djs in Chattanooga. This year alone, he has been the in-house dj for February’s MANIFEST: Love & Other Struggles Poetry Show and the Tunes for Tonya Benefit at Rhythm & Brews in January. He specializes in electro, breakbeat, and other dance–oriented genres and also has a wide variety of mixes which can be found online.

Headlining the night will be The Hearts in Light, who are an electro-pop/rock band. They released their debut album Summer Hearts and Dolphin Death Dreams earlier this year. Since the release of their record, they have played a steady number of gigs, including a recent spot during the New Dischord Festival. Their live show, which is very visually ambitious, utilizes a number of elements audiences have to see to believe.

General admission for the show is $8. Doors open at 8 and the show will start at 9. For more information on MANIFEST, Christian J. Collier can be reached at

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

On Friday, we had the MANIFEST: Storms of Summer Poetry Slam and it truly was a special evening. An eclectic range of poets came out to compete, and each one of them did a great job.

As fate would have it, we ended up having a tie in the second round, so we went into extra innings. After the final round, I crowned the winner for the night. Her name is Victoria, this was her FIRST slam, she performed barefoot, and you WILL be seeing and hearing more from her in the future (This, I guarantee).

The night began with an open-mic. It was a lot of fun to see what those who signed up chose to perform. I decided to pull out my poem Mr. Hayward, which is about former BP head Tony Hayward and some of the comments he made last year. Hopefully, I’ll have something dope to throw on here from Friday. Stay tuned and we shall see. Mua ha ha.

Friday, July 8, 2011


This has been a pretty active week, but in a great way. On Wednesday night, we had the second anniversary party for The Speakeasy. If you’re unfamiliar with what The Speakeasy is, it began as a poetry/spoken word open-mic that I started in June of 2009. I’ve had the opportunity to help bring a diverse crop of writers and performers together over the years, and we have all grown pretty close.

We got together to bowl and to just have fun. The way that our schedules are these days, we lack the chance to regularly link up and enjoy one another’s company. For more that two years now, I have referred to the people who have supported, attended, and performed at The Speakeasy as a family, and after watching everyone at the lanes, I really feel that it’s apt. The whole thing made me feel proud.

Yesterday, I went on 95.3 with David Karnes for the second time. This time, I brought Marcus Ellsworth, who won the last slam we did, and Brandi Alexander, with me. We all got to perform on the air and I gave a little background on what MANIFEST is and some of what people can expect at tonight’s slam. It was a lot of fun and it’s great to have the media that we have in Chattanooga taking an interest in artistic affairs. Hopefully, I’ll have the chance to go back on in the near future.

See you fine folks TONIGHT! I’m administering FREE HUGS if you step out the house. FREE HUGS, baby!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Oh, July

I sincerely hope that everyone out there had a pleasant & safe (NO MISSING LIMBS DUE TO FIREWORKS!!!) 4th of July. Honestly, I’m very thankful for the people that poetry & art have brought into my life. I enjoyed spending a good bit of the night around them.

It’s interesting for me to think back to last year’s 4th. I actually had a double ear infection & one of my ears completely closed while I was performing on the backstage at JJ’s Bohemia. It was VERY surreal. The experience was pretty painful, but hey, it did provide me with a story to tell, so I can only complain so much.

Lastly, I just wanted to remind everyone that I’ll be on 95.3 with David Karnes this Thursday with Marcus Ellsworth. We’re promoting the MANIFEST poetry slam, which takes place THIS FRIDAY! Bring yourselves!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Strange Bedfellows 4 Wrap-Up

I’m very VERY proud to say that last night’s Strange Bedfellows was big fun. The energy was phenomenal, both the talent and the quality were fantastic, and, most importantly, everyone had a great time.

One of the things that’s most exciting for me is having the opportunity to see the mixture of the crowd. I’m honored to have Black, white, straight, LGBT, etc. people in my audiences and I love seeing everyone on the same page and having a good time TOGETHER.

My only complaint is that we had a few people who came in, stayed through most of the acts, and then balked at paying the $5 cover. Artistically, it’s disheartening when you can give so much of yourself, entertain a room full of people, and not have some of them value what you do enough to put money in your pocket. I know that Chattanooga isn’t the only place where this happens, but Chattanooga is pretty bad about it.

In case you weren’t there, here are some videos from my set last night. I had a grand time playing as Night & the City with Travis Kilgore again, and I really enjoyed myself while I was performing my poems. Good times, good times.

Lastly, MANIFEST: The Storms of Summer Poetry Slam is this Friday. I hope that you can come on out. I’ll be giving away free hugs there, too.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Feature in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Hola Folks,

Last week, I did a phone interview with Casey Phillips from The Chattanooga Times Free Press. We talked about the Strange Bedfellows show (it goes down tomorrow night!). Today, the feature ran in the newspaper, and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. Much praise due to Mr. Phillips, and, if you’re reading this, I hope to catch you at the show.