Buddy Wakefield

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Buddy Wakefield
Born (1974-06-04) June 4, 1974 (age 40)
Shreveport, Louisiana
Genres Spoken Word
Years active 1999–present
Labels Righteous Babe Records
Website www.buddywakefield.com

Buddy Wakefield (born June 4, 1974) is an American performance poet/slam poet. He is a two-time Individual World Poetry Slam Champion (2004 and 2005)[1] whose latest works have been released by Righteous Babe Records (CD) and Write Bloody Publishing (books).

Biography[edit]

Buddy Wakefield was born in Shreveport, Louisiana[2] and raised in Baytown, Texas. In 2001, he left his position as an executive assistant for a biomedical firm[3] in Gig Harbor, Washington, sold or gave away everything he owned, and moved into a Honda Civic to tour North American poetry venues.[4]

In 2004 and again in 2005, Buddy Wakefield won the Individual World Poetry Slam Championship title, becoming the first poet to win the title two consecutive years.[5] Wakefield has been a member of several poetry slam teams, including Team Seattle in 2006 and 2007. When asked about his thoughts on the "Poetry Slam" and "Slam Poetry," Wakefield responded:

Wakefield continues to make his living through his poetry and performance. In addition to touring the country solo, Wakefield has also been a core member of several traveling poetry groups, including 2007's Solomon Sparrow's Electric Whale Revival, 2008's Junkyard Ghost Revival, 2009's Elephant Engine High Dive Revival and 2010's Night Kite Revival, where he shared the stage with poets such as Derrick Brown, Anis Mojgani, Andrea Gibson and Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, among others.[7] As of April 2012, Wakefield has performed his poetry in every state in the U.S. except "Montana, Mississippi and North Dakota."[6]

When asked in an interview why he made art, Wakefield responded:

When not on tour, Wakefield lives near Seattle, Washington and serves on the board of Youth Speaks Seattle, a non-profit literary arts organization.[8]

Books and records[edit]

Wakefield has published three books of poetry: Some They Can't Contain (2004, originally The Wordsmith Press; reissued by Write Bloody Publishing), Live for a Living (2007, Write Bloody Publishing).[9] and Gentleman Practice (2011, Write Bloody Publishing)

Wakefield has also released three full-length spoken word albums with producer Jon Berardi: A Stretch of Presence (1999), Run On Anything (2006) which was released by Strange Famous Records,[10] and Live at the Typer Cannon Grand (2009) which was released by Ani DiFranco's Righteous Babe Records.[11] DiFranco first became aware of Wakefield when her mother saw him perform at an art gallery in Buffalo NY and gave DiFranco a print out of Wakefield's website, saying, “You have to do something with this guy.”[3] The album contains recordings of live performances, including several from Wakefield's numerous times opening for DiFranco on her tour, as well as one studio-produced track.

Influence[edit]

Wakefield has had a profound impact on the contemporary Poetry Slam movement, both in his performance and writing style as well as how he has conducted his career. In her book, Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam, author Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz named Wakefield as "the modern poetry slam role model." She wrote,

Discography[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

Anthologies[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Poetry Slam Inc. Website Announce of Wakefield's Repeat iWPS Championship
  2. ^ a b Artist Interview with Buddy Wakefield: Fine Line Magazine
  3. ^ a b "The Energy Engine of Buddy Wakefield: Arguably the Most Successful Spoken Word Poet on the Road" by Suzy La Follette, The Splinter Generation
  4. ^ Official Buddy Wakefield Biography
  5. ^ Individual World Poetry Slam
  6. ^ a b "Used Furniture Review: Interview with Buddy Wakefield"
  7. ^ Poetry Revival Tour Website
  8. ^ Wakefield Interview with The Southeast Review
  9. ^ Write Bloody Publishing website
  10. ^ Three tracks from Run on Anything published in The Pedestal Magazine
  11. ^ Page on Righteous Babe Records website
  12. ^ Aptowicz, Cristin O'Keefe. (2008). Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam. Soft Skull Press. Page 354. ISBN 1-933368-82-9.

External links[edit]