Lip Smack: A History of Spoken Word Poetry in DC

Published in 2010 by Beltway Editions

An illustrated timeline of major people and events from 1991 to 2010. Limited edition non-fiction chapbook.

Commissioned by the Humanities Council of Washington, DC and released in conjunction with their 30th anniversary. Co-sponsored with Beltway Poetry Quarterly and The Word Works, Inc.

Out of Print
Limited copies available; query the author for more information

From the Introduction

“Spoken word is a literary art designed for performance and Washington, DC is one of several cities at the forefront of the development of the form. DC is notable for its national contributions in several areas: we were a model for the development of youth poetry slams, for organizations that nurtured women performers in particular, and for the range and number of reading series that have taken place here…Lip Smack begins with the early 1990s, when the term ‘spoken word’ came into regular use. (Prior to that, the phrase was most often used to describe a category at the Grammy Awards for any text recording, which could include poetry, comedy or storytelling.) Several of the same performers who identified as ‘performance poets’ in the 1970s and 19802 began calling themselves ‘spoken word artists’ in the 1990s. No art movement begins in a vacuum, and spoken word is no different. In fact, the greatest strength of the form is its amazing flexibility, its ability to incorporate many influences and cultures.”