End of Year Letter 2017

Hello Southern Fried Family!

On behalf of the Southern Fried Poetry, Inc Board of Directors, we hope you have enjoyed celebrating the 25th anniversary of our festival!

This is our end-of-fiscal-year report, following what we believe to be one of the most successful Southern Fried tournaments in our history. 2017 was our first year that a centralized Council assisted in the organizing of the festival, but that should take nothing away from Lance G Newman II and the host city of Louisville, Kentucky who earnestly set a new bar in many ways for how efficient and fun our annual gathering can be.  

We would love to receive your feedback, so if you haven’t already, please visit http://www.southernfriedpoetryslam.com/2017-tournament/survey-post-tournament/ to take our post-tournament satisfaction survey.

Congratulations to Ed Mabrey of Charlotte, North Carolina, the first three-time Individual Champion, and Team Champions Slammageddon, from Baltimore, Maryland!

We would like to take a few moments to update you on some decisions that were made during the two Slam Masters Meetings this year.

First, the Slam Masters voted overwhelmingly to make concerted efforts to compensate the four team champions and four individual champions who were not paid their prize money by the 2016 host city. These are:

  • Team Sno - 1st Place Team
  • New Jeru  - 2nd Place Team
  • SlamCharlotte - 3rd Place Team
  • Say What - 4th Place Team
  • Ed Mabrey - 1st Place Indie
  • Pages Matam - 2nd Place Indie
  • Ebony Stewart - 3rd Place Indie
  • Zack Linly - 4th Place Indie

Three decisions were made in this respect:

  1. A decision was made to create a six-month-long fundraising campaign with the sole purpose of raising the $4400 currently owed to our 2016 champions. The campaign is being spearheaded by Dasan Ahanu, who will provide more information soon.
  2. A motion was passed to raise the entry fee for teams and individual competitors by 25 dollars. This motion acts as a failsafe for the previously mentioned motion. This 25-dollar fee will be canceled if the prize money is successfully fundraised.
  3. The Slam Masters decided to waive the entry fee for the eight champions at the 2018 tournament in San Antonio, Texas. This motion is not contingent upon the success of the fundraiser or the increased registration fee.

Though we cannot truly repair the damage that was done, the collective Slam Master body is hopeful that these steps will be the beginning toward paying what is owed.

The Slam Masters also voted on several measures that will be important to the growth of our festival and organization in the future. These decisions include:

  1. Now that Southern Fried Poetry, Inc is a 501c3 organization, the Slam Masters voted to implement our first Board of Directors. Effectively, the six advisory council members were chosen as an initial board: Akin “Shadow” Sawyerr, Adam “Henzbo” Henze, Kirk Hardesty, Inkera Oshun, Ebony Payne, Dasan Ahanu, with a seventh member to be decided later. Members of the board have agreed to serve for two years, agreeing that in the first year, no member will make money from per diems or contracted work from the organization.
  2. In an effort to raise revenue, the Slam Masters have elected to make Southern Fried Poetry, Inc a membership based organization. Members wishing to participate in the tournament and other programming will be responsible for a personal 20-dollar-a-year membership fee, which will unlock special content on the website and other networks and make members eligible for future discounts.
  3. In order to improve the consistency of volunteers at our tournament, the Slam Masters voted that every team is responsible for filling just one volunteer slot at future tournaments (i.e. one bout in the entire tournament).  The volunteer will be a competing team member/slam master and will not necessarily include Hosting, Emceeing or Bout Managing. The 2018 organizers are committed to ensuring that new volunteer duties for poets do not conflict with their competition time.
  4. The Slam Masters voted that only cities within the pre-approved regional boundary can host the Southern Fried Poetry Slam. However, if no in-region group puts forth a bid in a given year, then a city from outside the Southeast region can put in a bid to host Southern Fried.

Additionally, 2018 hosts Sarah Maddux and Eddie Vega provided the collective with an update on next year’s tournament in San Antonio, Texas. The host city appears to be well underway with preparations, and we on the Board would like to express how excited we are to take Southern Fried to Texas for the first time in our history.

Finally, we are elated to announce that Fayetteville, North Carolina was decided upon as the site for our 2019 tournament.

If you have any questions, please contact your local Slam Master or email info@southernfriedpoetryslam.com.

Thank you!

Southern Fried Poetry, Inc

In memory of Tavis Brunson

To the family and friends of Southern Fried Poetry:

As you may have heard by now, the Southern Fried Poetry community lost a very important member in the early morning of December 27th. For many poets, Tavis Brunson represented the spirit of Southern Fried as an exceptional performer, writer, competitor and spoken word emissary.
Continue reading "In memory of Tavis Brunson"