Juliette Torrez founded the Albuquerque Poetry Slam in 1994 after headlining on the Lolapalooza tour. Yes, THAT Lolapalooza.
When interviewed by PBS for the documentary, “Summon the Fire,” about her role in pioneering the Burque Poetry Scene, she gave this humble response with a smile, “It’s not about me, it’s about the poets.”
These words of our founding Slam Mistress have been the ethos of ABQ Slams for a quarter-century.
In celebration of 25 years of poetry slam in Albuquerque, we present our accomplishments as one of the most diverse, inclusive, & unique scenes in the country.
This data is a mere representation of just those few talented poets who each year worked & earned their way onto teams, won championships or coached. Since the first Poetry & Beer in 1992, thousands of Burque poets of myriad ages and identities, have hit the mic at our monthly shows, Grand Slams & Championships.
Such is the power of Poetry Slam: it’s art, it’s heart, it’s people, it’s fun, it’s enlightening, it’s necessary.
ABQ Slams enters its 25th year proud to carry on its mission: to embrace & honor our history of diversity and inclusion, produce professional poetry shows, providing Brave Spaces for underrepresented voices to speak & be listened to & be heard with open ears; to encourage our fellow Burqueños to create, spectate and perform poetry; and humbly continue Albuquerque Poetry Slam’s legacy as the premiere competitive spoken word troupe in the Southwest, if not the nation.
Albuquerque, NM – ABQ Slams, The City of Albuquerque Cultural Services Dept., The Kimo Theater, and Zullo’s Bistro are proud to present the 2018 Southwest Shootout Poetry Slam Championship — the biggest night of slam poetry in Albuquerque this year on Friday & Saturday, July 20th & 21st at 7:00 pm. Poetry Slam is the art of competitive spoken word, and the Southwest Shootout will feature the top poets from Colorado, Texas, California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico in team and individual competition.
July 20th, Friday night Preliminary Slams are free to the public and will take place at Zullo’s Bistro, 509 Central Ave NW at 7:00 PM.
July 21st, Finals Tickets are $15 At the Door/$10 Pre-Sale available online at www.kimotickets.com, by phone, or in person, at the Historic Kimo Theater Box Office (505) 768-3522. Doors open at 7 pm. It will be an evening of high level performance poetry with ten of the top stage poets in the Southwest in poetic competition. The Southwest Shootout celebrates its 15th year, and features world class slam teams which will represent t at the National Poetry Slam in August.
“The 15th Annual Southwest Shootout Poetry Slam”
July 20 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm @ Zullo’s Bistro 509 Central Ave NW Free Show
July 21st 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm @ The Kimo Theater 423 Central Ave NW $10 Advance $15 at the door
Saturday night, The Outpost Performance Space was sold out for another year and Albuquerque Poetry Slam crowned its 22nd consecutive Slam Team. Our show was hosted by ABQ Slams Legend, Manuel Gonzalez, and featured a slew of first-time finalists and seasoned poets: Kae Piller, Cathy Cook, Robin Reynolds, Marcial Delgado, and Brooke Von Blomberg all qualified for this year’s Grand Slam Championship. In the end, your 2016 AB! Slam Team is, Eva Crespin, Audrey Tobyas, Avery Frank, Mercedez Holtry, and Damien Flores. The team will compete in The National Poetry Slam in Atlanta, GA in August. Stay tuned for more news about the team and where you can catch their next performances.
After a great slam at the Outpost Performance Space on Friday night, Mercedez Holtry was crowned our champion for the second year in a row. She will represent the Duke City at the Women of the World Poetry Slam in Brooklyn, NY this March!
Also congrats to our finalists: Avery Frank, Robin Reynolds, Brooke Von Blomberg, Eva Crespin, and Audrey Tobyas.
Llego a esta tierra,
Cubierta con espera.
Espera, mi lengua no prospera.
Mi lengua no es entera.
Deja, que fluya por la tierra.
Dulce, la sangre de mis venas.
Llego a esta tierra,
Con esperanzas de lograr alguna meta.
Sin esperar que la tierra me encarcela,
Quisiera sacar toda la hierba.
Romperla con manos sin espera.
Llego a esta tierra,
Sin darme cuenta que
Vista pura y amarga me encarcela.
Paredes blancas, concretas que rodean.
Cielos blancos, palidos, duros,
Figuras largas, secas que no dejan.
Quisiera romper toda la hierba
Con manos que escurran rojo.
Deja que fluya po la tierra.
Quisiera regar toda la tierra
Con rojo de mis venas,
Con rojo de mis manos
De arrancar toda la hierba.
Que fluya la sangre de mis venas.
Que corra por la tierra.
Que sangre hasta la mesa.
Que coman de la mesa.
Que coman de las hierbas
Las lenguas que no dejan,
Las lenguas que babean.
Las lenguas que jadean.
Llegamoa a esta tierra
Sin saber que nos espera.
Deja que fluya por la tierra.
Sergio Méndez Aguirre passed to the next world on Sunday. He was an Albuquerque High School Poetry Slam Team Alum, State Poetry Slam Champion, and kind soul. Our community is deeply saddened by this loss and offer our prayers and support to Sergio’s family. Click here if you would like to make a donation to help during this tragic time.