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Wednesday Watercooler (#ArtOutside)


Seth Walker drawing

Seth Walker entertained while hosting open mic nights at Art Outside.

In addition to music and many kinds of visual creativity, Art Outside also features spoken word artists like Seth Walker, a slam poet who hosted the spoken word open mic nights during the festival. From his website:

Seth Walker is currently ranked as one of the top 4 slam poets in the world and is the Individual Slam Champion of Denver, Colorado’s world famous Cafe NUBA Poetry Slam.   Seth began his professional art career in 2007, after being titled Houston’s premiere national spoken word artist and winning the Grand Slam Championship of Houston.   After placing 2nd in the state at the Texas Blue Bonnet State Competition, that November, he left Houston to follow his art and travel across the country to find it… he has not yet stopped.

Since then Seth has performed at nearly every major venue in the country including Da Poetry Lounge (Hollywood, CA), The Green Mill (Chicago, IL), & The Nuyorican (New York, NY). Along the way he won several noteworthy titles such as: Slam Champion of the Utah State Arts Fair Poetry Slam (2009), North Beast Indie Slam Champion (North-Eastern Regional 2010), as well as as slamming with the 2010 semi-finalist Austin Poetry Slam Team.

What’s more poetic than a poem about a tree? But this piece, entitled “A Tree’s Story,” goes places that Joyce Kilmer never would. Though I never found a real knack for writing in the style myself, I appreciate hearing a skilled slam poet at work. I love the fast-paced three-minutes-or-less poetry-meets-theater feel that comes through with a skilled performer.

Walker’s energy was loud and high all through the nights he hosted. Even when the crowd was small (as people drifted in and out of the New Movement Theatre / Cafeteria structure at the event), he kept everyone who was there awake and enthusiastic about poetry.

Seth Walker’s most recent album is called What the Wind Whispers to the Mountain’s Ear.

Do you have a favorite spoken word poet or stand up comedian? Share a clip in the comments.

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Image from Seth Walker Poetry Facebook page.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and