Spike Gillespie & La Love Robinson & Ebony Stewart

Coming up on our next Writing on the Air show, we speak with author Spike Gillespie and poet La Love Robinson.

Listen to the Interview

This is going to be another great edition, so don’t miss out. We go LIVE every Wednesday from 6-7pm Central Texas Time on KOOP.org 91.7FM. You can also stream us LIVE from anywhere around the globe — all you need is an internet connection — at KOOP.org.

Spike Gillespie is the critically acclaimed author of seven books and countless magazine articles. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Real Simple, GQ, Esquire, Elle, Smithsonian, National Geographic Traveler, Interweave KNITS, The Christian Science Monitor, Texas Monthly, The Dallas Morning News, and other publications. In 2006, Austin Chronicle readers voted her Best Author in Austin. Spike also provides commentary for Austin’s NPR affiliate, KUT. And she is the President of the Office of Good Deeds, an informal group of Austinites who enjoy performing good deeds for those in need. She lives in Austin with a couple of dogs, several chickens, and one very loud cat.

You can learn more about Spike by visiting her websites: MeditationKicksAss.com, SpikeGillespie.com, and WriteWithSpike.com.

La-Love started writing at an early age but became a spoken word artist in 2002. Her inspiration to write her first slam poem was the death of her father in 2003. Since then she has published a chapbook titled “Last Night the Mic Saved my Life” and is the creator and producer of the quarterly spoken word competion/ showcase in Austin, TX titled “The Make it Wet Spitfest”. 2014 marked her 10th year of the successfully running event.

La-Love is the former hostess of Austin’s Neo Soul Poetry Lounge currently located Catfish Station, The “Evolution”, formerly at Nuno’s and Jovitas. Love is also was a member of the 2012 Neo Soul Slam Team that won 1 place in group piece finals in Charlotte, NC. and the Xenogia Spoken Word Collection. Also in 2012 she competed at the Women of the World Poetry Slam in Denver, CO placing in the top 20 of 72 to participants. Finallly she has performed for colleges/universities and taught creative writing classes at Akins and Travis High Schools.

La-Love is affiliated with Austin’s Poetry Slam and Neo Soul Poetry Lounge. She has and currently is a part of EXSE Spoken Word Showcase, SXSW spoken word events and serving on the Austin Host City WOWPS board.

She is a teacher, mother of 2, and activist in her community while juggling her passion as a writer, producer and performer. For upcoming Spitfest events, Spitfest DVD orders, booking or other information contact 512-903-8027 spitfest@yahoo.com www.spitfest.com.

Below is the press release for WOWPS:

Austin, TX has been selected to host the 2014 Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWPS), a national spoken word event in its 7th year. The event is scheduled to be held March 20-22, 2014.

Austin has one of the most thriving slam poetry scenes in the nation, and is home to many slam poetry top four champions, including the National Poetry Slam Champions of 2008, the National Poetry Slam Champions of Group Piece Finals in 2012-2013, as well as the Individual World Poetry Slam Champion of 2006. This will be the third time that a national poetry competition will be hosted in Austin, TX.

Venues for the preliminary competitions and daytime events will be held central to downtown Austin at The Love Goat and Spiderhouse Ballroom on March 20-22, 2014. Our day events will include writing workshops, forums, youth poetry slam competitions, and a series of open mics that will be free and open to the public. One of our late night events will be hosted by ten years running spoken-word competition, “SpitFest” by La-Love Robinson, who has played an immense part in the growth of poetry here in Austin, TX. La-Love was also a part of the 2012 Austin Neo Soul Slam Team and competed in the 2012 WOWPS. Finals night will be held Saturday, March 22, at the Paramount Theater located at 713 Congress Ave.

Chosen for its vibrant poetry and arts scene, strong female voice, and local resources, Austin offers hundreds of participants and a host of amenities. Several members of the board including, tenth in the Women of the World Poetry Slam Tova Charles (2011), second in the Individual World Poetry Slam Christopher Michael (2007), and fifth in the National Poetry Slam Amir Safi (2013) are working hard to make sure that the event is well attended bringing tourism and an audience into Austin and from within Austin, promote slam poetry in Austin to new audiences, and provide a platform where women can be heard.

“Austin is well known in the world of slam poetry for producing some of the most honest and finest collaborative work in the country,” said Host City Board Member (and Austin’s three time slam champion in 2007, 2009, 2011) Ebony Stewart. “Opening up our arms and welcoming the International slam poetry community to our city, yet again, is a great honor – and responsibility. We have grown so much as a city and value the voices of women; I look forward to working with Austin’s arts and business communities to make this event a huge success.” Ebony has even taken it upon herself to work with Cindy Stewart at Kealing Middle School to foster and encourage the voice of young ladies in an afterschool program called, “Girl Power.” These brave voices will be heard on the radio and even seen on television reciting their own women empowerment poetry.

The Women of the World Poetry Slam is a tournament created for women, facilitated by women, honoring women. Participating poets perform in preliminary poetry slams where 72 competitors, most of whom are their city or region’s champion, are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 on their original poems, their presentation and their creativity by judges chosen at random from the audience. From these events, 12 poets ascend to the finals stage to determine a winner.

This year marks the seventh year for this competition. Previous winners include Andrea Gibson (Denver/Boulder), who won the 2008 competition, Rachel McKibbens (NYC), who won in 2009, Eboni Hogan (NYC), who won in 2010, Thresea Davis (Atlanta), who won in 2011, Dominque Ashaheed (Denver), who won in 2012, Denice Frohman (Philidelphia), who won first place in 2013.