Making Myself Legit

As I’ve spent the Southern Nevada winter pretty dormant, now seems like a good time to give an update as things have been sturring as of late.

  • I finally have ramseythevoice.com registered and now linked to my blog!
  • I recently purchased a condenser microphone for my computer and have been creating some audio versions of some slam favorites that I have performed.
  • Related to that, I am working on a Bandcamp site and will release an audio version of Sojourn: A Discovery of Love in the near future.
  • This month is mostly a writing month in the camp as I have two projects in the hopper. One is an anthology of poems regarding my convictions and what has made me, well… me. The other is an experimental EP that I plan on working with a local artist, writing buddy, and my good friend, Mars Luna. More details in the coming future.
  • If all goes well, I plan on having a feature in June.

 

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So, I Did a Thing

Processed with VSCO with b6 presetI am proud to announce that my first chapbook, Soujourn: A Discovery of Love into a physical form and can be purchased through Lulu.

Yes, you read this correctly. You can buy this book. Like, right… now.

This has been a fun project to work on and assemble within these past few months. I’ve been blessed to have my coach, Vogue Robinson, give me pointers on editing this piece. I also have had the very talented Mars Luna working on the cover.

There are plans in the works for a local tour, which includes going to various open mics. When information becomes available, I will be posting them on the events page!

Thoughts on My First National Poetry Slam

I can honestly say that for my first year as a touring poet going to regional and national stages, I am learning fully well that the poetry slam community puts the fun in dysfunctional family.

I have had the opportunity yesterday to become a judge for the first time during one of the group piece semifinals being held at the University of Chicago. I will admit that the more that I am exploring slam with a very diverse group of poets have opened my eyes to more real life stories. And as a Christian, it is challenging me to listen to those who are different from me without judgement. I am in no way ashamed of my faith at all. But I sometimes wonder if as a Christian if I am too quick to judge and too slow to understand where people are coming from.

One of my highlights from yesterday was attending the (dis)abled mic on the south side of Chicago. I performed two pieces that went very well. One of them was a piece about faith healing and how I left the charismatic/Pentecostal movement. The other was a poem that will be featured in my upcoming book, Sojourn: A Discovery of Love. I always get positive feedback from that poem. However, one person told me outside of one of the finals last night that their daughter was at the mic and she hold her mom, “I hope one day he finds live.” Not sure what to think about that, but thank you!:)

Speaking of Sojourn, I am close to finishing my first draft. If all goes well, I hope to get it out soon. This chapbook has been two years of my life as I’m learning what it means to love and be in a relationship. I hope to elaborate further as I enter the first edit stages.

Fitting a Square Peg into a Round Hole Sometimes Requires a Skillsaw

This journey I have been on for the past two years have really opened my eyes to the poetry world.

Ever since I started slamming, I’ve done a lot of experimentation in the poetry game. I put my own spin on the styles of other people. But who am I kidding? I’m no Jefferson Bethke. And I am sure don’t claim to be an eloquent wordsmith (though some have said I had a way with words).

As an artist, I’m seeking to find who I am as a poet. Who do I speak for? Because I really don’t have a cause for people other than art itself.

I’m cis, caucasian, drive a Fiat, but I enjoy wearing camouflage hats sometimes. I was raised on country music, got through high school listening to punk, and I can go on about my spiritual journey. Least to say, it has been an interesting journey trying to find my niche to scratch.

But the big lesson I’m learning in the poetry world is that I have a perspective that nobody else has. Because of that, I don’t have to fear what the outcome is. God is in control of the scores and the audience reactions. All that matters is that I am myself in this art form.

 

The Grind

Writing my first chapbook is really interesting. Especially since I’m coming into the publishing realm with a lot of ignorance.

  • How many poems needs to be in the book?
  • What to call the book?
  • How do I get this published doing the D-I-Y method?

It is going on two years since I have been writing, performing, and slamming with the best that Las Vegas has to offer.  And in this time, I have been asked by a few poets to actually put my proses into a book.

But when I am being told that in my first chapbook I really need be selective, this puts me in a bind.

It is hard to choose which ones I can consider my best work. Especially since the selection process is like trying to track an album and deciding which directions you want to take your audience in.

My original intention was to put out a collection of sixteen poems this fall. However, this project will more look like a collection of eight poems in total. Five of them are edited as of the time of writing this blog. Depending on how well this goes, I might try to put out a “b-pages” collection in the spring.

I can’t give away too much, but I plan to release more details as they become available.

– Ramsey the Voice

A Crazy Summer

This summer as been one of growth for me as a poet. So far, I have traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah to compete in my first ever regional team slam, recorded a video for an awesome organization based out of Houston, Texas called Write About Now, and met some amazing poets along the way. In a couple weeks, I’ll be heading to Chicago, Illinois to take part in cyphers and writing workshops in conjunction with the National Poetry Slam with the Battleborn Slam team.

All that to say, you can expect some big things coming from me pretty soon. I will be performing around the city of Las Vegas this fall (visit the “Events” tab for details). In conjunction with this, I will be self-publishing my first chapbook. I hope to elaborate on the process in the days to come.

Keep checking this blog for updates on what’s happening. I hope to set up some social media accounts in the days ahead!

– Ramsey the Voice