Aloha poetry friends and family or as we say here in Hawaii "OHANA". Over the course of the two years of my living in Hawaii and doing radio you heard me speak of the wonderful venue we have here. In fact many of you have wondered and inquired of how you could have the opportunity to perform at this wonderful venue. Well the cards are now on the table.

This venue is known as the First Thursdays Poetry Slam hosted and headed by the one and only Kealoha. This venue has hosted featured poets such as Queen Sheba, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Beau Sia, Buddy Wakefield, Sekou tha Misfit, Andrea Gibson, Anis Mojgani, Mike McGee, Angelo Moore from Fishbone, and so many others. First Thursdays provides a platform for all poets who wish to set foot on its stage and share their words. It also strives to expose its audience to touring poets, musicians, artists, and DJ's by hosting a special guest feature at each show which boasts a meager six hundred in attendance.

This month's special feature for January 7th show is Joaquin Zihuatanejo. Joaquin is an Individual World Poetry Slam Champion, World Cup Champion, National Poetry Slam Finalist, and an HBO Def Poet who has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Mexico. He has shared the stage with artists such as Saul Williams, E. Lynn Harris, Alicia Keys and Maya Angelou. Born and raised in a barrio of East Dallas, Joaquin infuses his Latino culture as well as his experience teaching inner city students in much of his poetry.

Kealoha, a poet himself is international known for his fire and passion for the arts. He is the founder of HawaiiSlam, Youth Speaks Hawai`i (2-Time International Champions), and First Thursdays. Kealoha has represented Hawai`i at the National Poetry Slam with a long history of accolades for his accomplishments of which most notably is his contribution to HBO’s Brave New Voices series presented by Russel Simmons. He is the poetic vocalist for Henry Kapono’s “Wild Hawaiian” project (nominated for a Grammy). Actually, Kealoha's activities in the art of spoken word poetry leaves him to be one of the hardest working poets today. So with a leader like him; you have to know that this venue is top notch.

After speaking with Kealoha, over the Thanksgiving weekend, regarding the possibility of be able to extend the invitation to poets who are making major moves in performances, strong content, and possess an atomic like energy to move the crowd. The simple answer was yes, but of course their are some caveats in place with key being content that can move a crowd of 600+ for a feature spot. If this venue seems to be something that you want to take on as a challenge or as your white whale so to speak, the 2011 calendar is ready for booking and with only 12 features a year; you must move quickly.

Send an email to Kealoha containing the following:
  • Bio to include a history performances and attendances
  • 3 diverse pieces of work (audio or video)
  • Website/Facebook/Myspace etc
  • Contact info (phone and email)

First Thursdays is the largest registered poetry slam in the world (600+ in attendance)!! HawaiiSlam has official 501(c)(3) non-profit status through Poetry Slam Inc.

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