German/American Poetry Night!!! It HAPPENED in KL!!!

Greeting SIONpoetry subscribers (a.k.a. Mom...),

deusflag

So last night (7 October 2104) it finally happened! We had our first German/American (Deutsch/Amerikanisch) Poetry Night! With the invitation of the Kultur Kollektiv and co-sponsored by the Kultur-ohne-Kommerz and the Raumpiraten, the Freiraum 1.0 ("Freespace 1.0") took place! So the premise of Freiraum 1.0 was this... a local business called "540" (a skate shop) moved locations (it actually moved really close to my apartment ;-) ) so their old location was vacant. I don't know too much of the background but basically the local culture clubs pooled together and hosted arts events in 540's old commercial space for a whole MONTH! They decorated the place with carpets, cool lamps, lighting fixtures, random projectors play animation, setup a bar and a PA system... it was rad! See the picture below!

In the interest of privacy, I won't use people's names that I have not gotten a verbal confirmation that they want me to disclose it on this lovely SIONpoetry blog... BUT... for the Deutsch/Amerikanisch poetry night we had 4 German and 4 American poets with Markus and I being the German and American hosts respectively. For the American poets, we had some of SOUL SOPHISTICATION's standard pool of talent consisting of Iri J. Nelson, Renard Yearby, Lawrence and I. For the German poets, we had Felix, Jonas, Michael and Markus (Markus and Felix being the organizers of the Kaiserslautern Poetry Slam held at the Benderhof in KL). Additionally, we had a special guest James Alston from SOUL SOPHISTICATION who is a beast of a singer... He doesn't need a mic and needless to say he brought the house down! 

The crowd was likely 2/3 German and 1/3 American but it as really great to get everyone under one roof, off the (damn) base and have everyone brought together to perform and listen. What was kind of fun was Markus and I went over our announcements that way I wouldn't be lost when he was speaking German and we could kind of volley back and forth. Markus introduced all the of Americans in German and I introduced all the Germans in English... It was a cool back and forth. I think the German audience likely got more from the event since we American folk are not too strong in German and the English ability in KL is pretty strong but... either way... we were really happy to bring these two art communities together!

We also made an announcement about bringing some German guests on the base for SOUL SOPHISTICATION. We took down numerous e-mails from folks that expressed interest in coming to SOUL and hopefully we can organize it for the November and December SOUL events. We'll see what happens.....

All in all... a really rad night!

Heart Shapes,

sionsig

October SOUL SOPHISTICATION... was poetically FRIGHT...ful...

Man ohhhhhh man,

So SOUL SOPHISTICATION for October was PACKED... and by packed... I mean it had more than 5 people! TRY 60!!!! It was a good night. We were able to get some ins on some e-mail distribution lists which greatly assisted in getting the word out and we had a really great turn out with some great performances! Sadly... We don't have a photographer at the moment but needless to say that the first Friday of every month is the place to find Iri. J. Nelson and I and our crowd of friendly, open-minded people! One thing that is really great about SOUL is the fact that we really do provide a place for people to come and experiment (without anal beads and condoms.... I mean artistically...). 

Additionally, working with my good friend and poet Markus who is a German poetry slam champion, he was able to get SOUL SOPHISTICATION linked up with the numerous culture clubs in Kaiserslautern to have our first Deutsch-Amerikanisch Poetry Night! The plan as of now is to have 4 German poets and 4 American poets and do a unity event... Plans are a bit hazy but this is in unison with the FREIRAUM 1.0 event that the local KL culture clubs are hosting.

I'm not sure many "Amerikaners" known about the culture clubs in Kaiserslautern, but for a small city of 90,000 inhabitants, there are 3 culture clubs in the city! The one I know best (since Markus is an organizer of theirs) is the Kultur Kollektiv. They host the quarterly Kaiserslautern Poetry Slam held the first Tuesday of March, June, September & December (every quarter). Additionally, I performed at an event held by Kultur Ohne Kommerz ("Culture Without Commerce") or "KoK" (also cutely refer to themselves as the KoK-Roaches) which also holds events in the city. I also have been made aware of the Raumpiraten ("Space (like free-space, not outerspace)-Pirates) in Kaiserslautern which have hosted other Freiraum (Free Space) events! I hope to post a great success with this Freiraum 1.0. event. See the culture club logos below for more details on their "happenings..."

Heart Shapes,


 

 

 

 

 

September SOUL Sophistication... My experimentation basement...

Hey folks!

So... The October Soul Sophistication went... alright... but had minimal participation which was a bit sad <Insert Sad Face...>. Sadly, (but... in a very fun way...) we were competing with about 5 festivals in the area: The Kuseler Herbstmesse, The Kaiserslautern Swinging Lautern Fest, The Brussels Beer Fest, The Bernkastel-Kues Wine Fest... and I'm sure a bunch of other stuff!

At start time, about 10pm... there were only about 6 people at the event and the only one performing was me... So it could have very easily turned into the "Matt Sion Show... " But thankfully, at about 11pm we had about 19 people in the audience and about 5 performers so it got much better! I considered it our "experimentation basement" and by encouraging people to just come up on stage and perform whatever poem/song/dance/etc. they were working on, it made it a kind of cool artistic experiment for some of our artists. You can perform in your bathroom mirror... or on our SOUL stage with wireless mics and smiling faces <Insert happy face>. I'm hoping that we can up our participation in October!

Heart shapes,
SION

P.S. So... sadly we don't have a photographer since Steven C. Price has left Germany... We thank him whole heartedly for the FANTASTIC photos he took for us and wish his the best of luck in the U.S!

Soul Sophistication was effing Sophisticated!

Poetic family!

Very pleased to display some true love for our last Soul Sophistication! Hosted by Iri J. Nelson and I, we again had a great night! Albeit, rather quiet as compared to our normal fan base, we still had a good time when we hosted on 1 August 2014. Sometimes it's nice when the crowd is light because it can give artists a chance to feel a little less stressed and free to experiment. We had a woman come out by the name of "Julia" who had never performed before... It was her first time and MAN... The imagery this woman exhibited syllable by syllable really made me remember why open mics ARE so fun... because it brings the creativity out of people into public view where it ordinarily would be hidden in plain sight. If you're wondering what she said... you should just come and find out... 

We do Soul the first Friday of every month at the E-Club on Ramstein! Contact SION@SIONpoetry.com for more info or... click the Wiki links provided for Soul Sophistication. Check out the images below from our last Soul event and huge thanks for Steven C. Price Photography for these AWESOME photos! If you want to see more, check out the whole album -HERE

Heart,
SION

"Written in Wine"... was... fermented sentiment...

Folks,

I have too much to say and it's been too long. Needless to say this summer has been rad. Lots of traveling and great poetry. On 19 July Iri J. Nelson and I hosted "Written in Wine" - spoken word poetry and spanish wine fusion event which was swanky as hell. We wanted to take our Soul Sophistication event out into swanksville and Melovin Vino in Schrollbach offered a great opportunity for us to come together for an upscale poetic exhibition which proved to be a wonderful night. We got dressed up and had 7 poets, 2 singers and 2 spanish guitar musicians performing in a lovely garden sanctuary, complete with tasteful lighting, a small stream with tapas and liters of Rioja wine were flowing...

Below you'll find a photo album with some key shots of the event. All photos were taken by Steven C. Price Photography and you see the entire album (300+ photos) HERE. Additionally, an incredible promotion video was produced by Peace by Piece Productions which I also have a linked to below which really captured the ambiance of the event and the exact atmosphere we were trying to instill for our audience. Huge thanks to Melovin Vino for hosting us... I'll take my glass of wine now please...

"Written in Wine" produced by Peace by Piece Productions. 19 July 2014

I'm ALIVE!!!.... and I can see...

Hey Poetic Minions...

Post LASIK surgery having dinner with my brother Brandon at Čestr in Praha, CZ.

Post LASIK surgery having dinner with my brother Brandon at Čestr in Praha, CZ.

So it's been waaaaaaay too long since I put up a blog post mainly because things OUTSIDE of my poetry life have been majorly distracting. I don't know about most of you but it often seems as though I have a hard time devoting attention to the divided fragments of my and I also have trouble merging these fragments together. I started a new job on May 18th which has been challenging. New IT concepts and systems that I'm trying to wrap my head around. I had a trip back home for my Grandfather's 80th birthday then a trip to Cambridge, UK, and then had LASIK surgery in Prague (courtesy of LEXUM Eye Clinic). Yes... my life is rad haha! Seriously, I'm immensely happy with the travel opportunities that I have had and the job I've been able to hold but all of these things are very much amputated from my poetry life. I tend to write when I'm in my apartment isolated from the world... Isolated orphaned stanzas tend to flow within the same writing environment... How morose...

So... with that in mind some exciting events on the horizon. An event called "Written in Wine" is being organized and hosted by my friend and poet Iri J. Nelson and I. We're hosting it at Melovin Vino in Schrollbach, Germany which is a spanish wine venue. The plan is to hold an upscale, black tie affair where Iri and I present a poetry showcase with many of our talented poets from Soul Sophistication. The event with be Saturday, July 19th starting at 8pm. Click the links for more details but so far this will be rad!

Also, I have a new poem that I've written called "What we want to be" and in collaboration with Mark Seawell's Photo World and PitCrew Productions... we have a rad video! It should be released in the coming weeks and trust me... there will be many posts about it! Thanks as always for all the support and be on the lookout for more creative endeavors!

Heart Shapes,

Catch me at the FREIRÄUME Kulturfest in Kaiserslautern

FreiRaumeSP

Greetings Supporters,

So with much pleasure, I'm pleased (<--redundant) to tell you that I'll be performing at the Kaiserslautern FREIRÄUME Kulturfest this Saturday. The fest runs from 12pm-9pm and will be held at the Stiftskiche in downtown KL. The event will consist of numerous art performances. My good friend and co-host of Soul Sophistication, Iri J. Nelson will be performing along with Renard Yearby, and Janina Strong J and with 4 other German slam poets which should be fantastic.

This whole event came about through my friend and German slam poet Markus. He is a member of Kultur Ohne Kommerz (which is a Kaiserslautern Culture Club) as well as the host of the Kaiserslautern Poetry Slam. I spoke with him and mentioned that I'd love to try to form an event where we could host a German/American slam and bring the American poet population and German poet population together for a night of togetherness and unified cross-cultural expression... This... would be rad! So... as a hopeful beginning to this proposition, he invited us to perform at the FREIRÄUME Kulturfest which should be a great opportunity. 

We poets will be performing between 4:45-5:15pm and 6:30-7:00pm. If you have the time, come out and support me (<--SION) and your local artists, poets and musicians! As a side note... my good friend and great acoustic guitarist Ruppert Spielt will be performing at the event as well... Check him out too!!

Tiredly yours,

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Soul Sophistication (2 May 2014)... was effing rad brah...

So.... This past Friday was Soul Sophistication, an open-mic event (mainly focused on poetry) that my friend and fellow poet Iri J. Nelson and I are currently hosting. It's hosted on Ramstein Air Base (where I'm currently working) the first Friday of every month at the Ramstein Club E' and it serves as a great outlet for many in the American community to simply share their artistry and express themselves.

Jade Love performing at Soul Sophistication - 2 May 14. All photos taken by Steven C. Price Photography

Jade Love performing at Soul Sophistication - 2 May 14. All photos taken by Steven C. Price Photography

Another great poem was one by Jason Wong (Right) who wrote about a heart-wrenching experience where he witnessed the death of one of his fellow military members while on a deployment. It was poems like these that make one realize that poetry is indeed a form a therapy like any other. Framing one's experiences in a poetic form; turning negative to positive; and sharing experiences like these with others can really help people heal; both the performer and the audience.

Jhon Jimenez and Sebastian Palacio performing at Soul Sophistication - 2 May 14. All photos taken by Steven C. Price Photography

Jhon Jimenez and Sebastian Palacio performing at Soul Sophistication - 2 May 14. All photos taken by Steven C. Price Photography

The show as closed out by an impromptu collaboration between a local singer named Charlie Bunch and a local guitarist named Nate (Right). With an amazing, soulful acoustic rendition of... a song... which name escapes me (*shakes head in shame...*) Many poets at Soul tend to delve into deep and sentimental topics, so ending the night with some an uplifting tone really tied the whole night together and we were all really happy that they took the steps to create something beautiful on-the-fly. 

 
SION (ME...) performing at Soul Sophistication - 2 May 14. All photos taken by Steven C. Price Photography

SION (ME...) performing at Soul Sophistication - 2 May 14. All photos taken by Steven C. Price Photography

The night honestly went beyond Iri and I's expectations with roughly 65 audience members in attendance and fantastic performances. I'd love to highlight a few of them for you here. First, was a performance by poet Jade Love (Left), who did a stunningly touching piece about women in abusive relationships. One of the most sentimental and deep comparisons she made within the piece was comparing an abusive male lover to Michelangelo, and his female lover as his work of art, with her visage being sculpted by him punch by punch. It was incredibly touching...

Jason Wong performing at Soul Sophistication - 2 May 14. All photos taken by Steven C. Price Photography

Jason Wong performing at Soul Sophistication - 2 May 14. All photos taken by Steven C. Price Photography

We also had great musical acts by immensely talented guitarists Sebastian Palacio and Jhon Jimenez (Left). These guys are from Columbia and are phenomenal performers. When they can make it to Soul Sophistication, they always rehearse weeks beforehand which you can really see in their focused and surgical delivery. They often perform in spanish which... is soooo much better than english... Gentlemen cannot hold onto their ladies... 

Charlie Bunch and Nate performing at Soul Sophistication - 2 May 14. All photos taken by Steven C. Price Photography

Charlie Bunch and Nate performing at Soul Sophistication - 2 May 14. All photos taken by Steven C. Price Photography

Along with co-hosting, I also performed a new free verse piece that night called "What we want to be" which will soon be released in video collaboration between Mark Seawell's Photo WorldPit Crew Productions and myself but... I may release the live audio from the last Soul here in the coming days... (if you're lucky... ;-) )

It goes without saying (so... I'll type it instead) that all of the performances at Soul are raw, insightful and really fantastic but obviously we are all touched by some more than others. This was just a brief highlighting of my top 4 but if you want to know what all the fuss is about than... you should probably just show up! All of our artists (yes... I'm claiming them... All Right Reserved...) that are willing to come up to the mic and perform for their peers all garner my respect, Iri's respect and of course the respect of our audience!

To see all of the pictures produced by Steven C. Price Photography check out the album link HERE. Also, be sure to check out the Soul Sophistication YouTube Page for links to our performance videos!

Stay Inspired,
SION

I'm nerding out... like... wicked hahd...

What Up Supporters!

So this weekend I was nerding out wicked hard and I'm about to have a new promo video posted this week. The concept was capturing my writing process. My NaPoWriMo '14 posting for 26/30 literally took me 3 hours... Mainly because I decided to make it heart shaped aaaaand... I suck at heart shapes! BUT... I left my camera on and filmed myself for the whole writing period which was then sped up and condensed into a 2 minute clip! It's pretty rad so far so I hope you enjoy once I piece it all together. Enjoy... another work week... :(

 
SIONPremShot
 

Heart Shapes,
SION

I got a spread in Full Spec Magazine!

So, through an opportunistic hook-up, I'm being featured this week on the online magazine Full Spectrum which is highlighted artists affiliated with Soul Sophistication, the event I'm currently co-hosting/organizing with friend and fellow poet Iri J. Nelson. A little press is always nice to see!

There is a video shot at Soul Sophistication of me doing my poem "Toxic Crayola Sticks" (Listed under my "TEXTS" Tab) but at the time of the video's filming I didn't have an official title for it, so we just called it "Our Children"... Hence why Full Spec has it listed as such. I plan to release a better quality video of this poem in the coming week but having this out there is still rad! Thanks for all your support folks!.

Check out the article linked in the pic below!

Heart shapes,
SION

We Are Silent

“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” —Malala Yousafzai

Today, April 17th, Malala Yousafzai's #WeAreSilent campaign has begun in coordination with Free The Children which promotes efforts to stabilize the live's children to that they can get a proper education and live fulfilling lives. As of now they are silent... This movement transfers their silence to us to spread awareness that we have the means to make a difference. Join one of their campaign to contribute to the well being of the voice-less...

NaPoWriMo Catchup is killing me...

Hey Poetic Peoples!

So you are likely aware, April is National Poetry Writing Month (in the U.S. anyway...) and so this beginning/halfway mark of the NaPoWriMo Challenge... 30 Poems in 30 Days (30/30). I was doing well April 1st through the 3rd then... terror struck...

I co-hosted Soul Sophistication, an open-mic event I've been involved in organizing with my fellow poet and friend Iri J. Nelson, and once that night was over I felt awful... I then fell ill to a sinus infection, bronchitis and laryngitis... I'm genuinely thankful that I live in the age of modern medicine or else I would have been thrown in a mass grave years ago... But all this to say... I have a lot of NaPoWriMo 30/30 to catch up on!

Be sure to check out my NaPoWriMo 2014 Calendar with my daily poems posted on each day of the calendar. You can click the "NaPoWriMo '14" link at the top right or just click HERE

Hoping you all stay inspired!!

Heart Shapes,
SION