Robbie Q. Telfer

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For other people with the same name, see Robert Telfer (disambiguation).

Robbie Q. Telfer is an American poet and poetry slam performer. He has been a featured performer in dozens of poetry shows throughout North America, including Toronto, Detroit, Oakland, Austin, St. Louis, Honolulu, Boston, and Providence, as well as the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City and the Green Mill in Chicago. While his work can be found in several slam poetry anthologies and DVDs through the Wordsmith Press and elsewhere, he also helps to bridge the divide between stage and page poetry by publishing poetry and criticism in places like the cream city review, Octopus Magazine #10, and the March/April 2006 American Book Review. Unrelated to poetry, he also wrote dialog for the video game Ninjatown released for the Nintendo DS in October 2008.

In 2005, he and five other Chicago performance poets (Joel Chmara, Tim Stafford, Molly Meacham, Dan Sullivan, and Tennessee Mary Fons) founded the Speak'Easy Poetry Ensemble under the direction of slam poetry founder Marc Smith. He and the Speak'Easy Ensemble performed at the annual Bertolt Brecht Festival in Augsburg, Germany the summer of 2008. In 2007, he placed 8th overall at the National Poetry Slam in Austin, TX. He frequently tours with Mighty Mike McGee, and was part of the Junkyard Ghost Revival tour with famous performance poets Anis Mojgani, Buddy Wakefield, and Derrick C. Brown.

He is currently the Director of Performances for Young Chicago Authors, a nonprofit that gives creative writing, performance, and mentorship opportunities to Chicago teens. Through Young Chicago Authors, he is the head organizer of Louder Than A Bomb, the Chicago city-wide youth slam and the largest team-based youth poetry slam in the world. He's an active teaching artist and lecturer in the Chicago community.

In 2008, along with Shanny Jean Maney, he co-founded The Encyclopedia Show, a live literary variety show that presents different topics at each show. Since its founding, the show has spread to over a dozen cities in four different countries around the world.

His first full-length collection of poetry, My Huge Heart Still Has No Room for You, was self-published in 2006 through His first published collection, Spiking the Sucker Punch, is out from Write Bloody Publishing. In 2011, he was named Best Local Poet by the Chicago Reader.[1]


  1. ^ Raymer, Miles (2011-06-28). "Best local poet". Retrieved 2011-11-09. 

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