LLL081 Robin Merrill: Feminist Jesus Freak #podcast

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Robin lounges with Lanna Lee and gets a couch!

Robin lounges with Lanna Lee and gets a couch!

I love Robin Merrill! We sat down last week at Portland Maine’s busy (and LOUD) Bull Feeney’s and had a fun conversation about her stint in the Merchant Marines, homeschooling and her Jesus freakishness. Robin talks about slam poetry and her feminism. And she answers 10 questions.

Robin Merrill

Robin Merrill is a freelance writer/editor. She has written five children’s books, all available through Scholastic. Two poetry collections have been published by Moon Pie Press. Her poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared in hundreds of publications, including The Cafe Review, Ledge Magazine, Margie, Pearl, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Stolen Island Review. Three of her poems have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. She is a 2013 recipient of an Emerging Artist Award from St. Botolph Foundation. Robin has performed her poetry and fiction at dozens of venues all over New England and New York. She is a member of the 2013 Rhythmic Cypher National Slam Team from Portland, Maine and is a semi-finalist for both the Port Veritas and Rhythmic Cypher 2014 teams. She has her MFA from Stonecoast and frequently leads creative writing workshops for writers of all levels.

The 411: Robin Merrill

LLL075 Billy Tuggle: Empathy, Forgiveness and a Lot of Chocolate

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Billy Lounged with LannaLee and got a couch!

Billy Lounged with LannaLee and got a couch!

In a swanky hotel, Billy and Lanna talk about slam poetry, being true to yourself, the fun of competition, and how to make the world a better place. Lanna struggles to make her point. Billy talks about his start in performance poetry via Hip Hop and Graffiti, Slam Bingo Topics, and why he usually doesn’t go political in his poetry. Billy gives a call to action! And he answers 10 questions.

Billy Tuggle

Billy Tuggle a.k.a. Karma Threesixty is a vocalist, performance poet, mentor, student, and HipHop culturalist. Since 2004, he has been a member of the Chicago multimedia arts collective PolyRhythmic and, in 2009, co-founded the Chicago Four Star Poetry Club with Andi Kauth. Billy has co-hosted “In One Ear” at the Heartland Café since 2008 with Pete Wolf. As of 2010, Billy is a member of the Arkansas Grand Slam organizing committee.

Billy has been published in such anthologies as The Columbia Poetry Review #14, The 16th & Mission Review, Minglewood Haiku and Learn Then Burn. His first chapbook, Conscience Under Pressure, was published by Fractal Edge Press. Since 2004, he has recorded and released 3 CDs: Flawed Glory (Live Mental Graffiti), Syllabalistics 101 with DJ Risky Bizness, and Turnstyles. In the independent film Urban Poet [New Film Productions, 2002], he played himself.

Billy has been active in the Temple of HipHop for over a decade. Music and poetry have led him to share stages with Brother Ali, Pevin Everett, the Large Professor, Denizen Kane of Typical Cats, DJ Spinna, Jesse De La Pena, Saul Williams, KRS-ONE and “American Idol” finalist Crystal Bowersox.

Billy has represented the Chicago area at the National Poetry Slam 7 years running. Other slam accomplishments include Rustbelt Regional champion- 2006, finalist 2008; Chicago Grand Slam Champion- 2008; NPS semifinalist 2006, 2008; Arkansas Grand Slam finalist and Grand Haikuster- 2009; Lethal Poetry/Chicago Grand Slam Champion 2010. Other teammates and collaborators have included Def Poets Nikki Patin, Marty McConnell, Alvin Lau and Death From Below plus Tristan Silverman, Jon Sands, Laura Yes Yes and JW Baz; all inter/national slam competition finalists. Billy has been a regular volunteer for the Women of the World Poetry Slam, Louder Than A Bomb, the Chicago youth slam, and Brave New Voices.

Billy has also appeared in the educational video Literature Launchers for McGraw-Hill. He has performed, facilitated workshops or has just plain spoken to students at or for the University of Chicago; Columbia College (Chicago); Northwestern University; the University of Minnesota; the University of Connecticut; Hampshire College (Massachusetts); the University of California-Santa Cruz; Humboldt State University, and, in addition to other colleges across America, middle and high schools all over Chicagoland.

The 411: Billy Tuggle

#016 Tina Smith, “TLove”: Rebellious Nature

Tina Smith, TLove, Lounges with LannaLee and gets a couch!

Tina Smith, TLove, Lounges with LannaLee and gets a couch!Tina and Lanna talk about slam poetry, performance and the Dreamship Community. Tina describes her creative process, and explains how she is living her passions. Tina performs her poem, Tomboy, and discusses how and why she wrote it. And she answers 10 questions.

Tina Smith is a performance poet, community organizer, and activist in Portland. In 2009, Tina was a member of the Portland Slam Team and the first Individual Slam Champion for Portland. The same year, she co-published her first chapbook, Butch Poets: A Redefining of Masculinity and a Reclamation of Butch with local jazz poet, Lady Zen. The second edition will be published in 2012 along with Tina’s first solo chapbook, 14: Temperance.

Currently, Tina co-hosts poetry writing and performance workshops and a weekly poetry open mic with musical accompaniment, Rhythmic Cypher Every Sunday at 7pm at Slainte in Portland, Maine which features local, regional and national performance poets, musicians and the occasional travelling queer circus. As co-founder of The Poet Rising Project, Tina also offers poetry writing and performance workshops to youth in middle and high schools and at the Preble Street Teen Center.

Tina’s poem, Tomboy is significant because it is a coming out story about becoming comfortable in her own skin after growing up in a hetero-environment and being discharged from the military for admitting her sexual identity. The poem recalls painful memories of rejection and conformity with a sense of humor and explains a healing process of accepting one’s own identity and finding empowerment in that acceptance.

The 411: Tina Smith, “TLove”

Here is where you can find Tina online.

[Recorded 06/23/2012]

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#012 Edmund Davis-Quinn: Year of Spirit (@rurugby)

Edmund Lounges with LannaLee and gets a couch!

Edmund Lounges with LannaLee and gets a couch!

Edmund Lounges with LannaLee and gets a couch!

Edmund and Lanna talk about spirit, blogging, The Bureau of Awesome, and heart centered-meditation. Edmund gets into the flow as he schools Lanna on the Portland Maine Poetry scene and how to use the Library system. And he answers 10 questions.

Edmund Davis-Quinn is a Writer and a poet. He’s overeducated, underemployed, and blogging every day at ed2dq.com.

The 411: Edmund Davis-Quinn

Here is where you can find Edmund online.

[Recorded 05/30/2012]