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Poetry and Prose Project presents Marilee Richards and Christopher Fox Graham

Christopher Fox Graham and Marilee Richards

Christopher Fox Graham and Marilee Richards

Originally Published: July 22, 2019 9:55 a.m.

Friday, July 26, 5 p.m., at the Sedona Library the Poetry and Prose Project will present two of the best poets the state of Arizona has to offer.

Marilee Richards’ book Double Zero won the 2018 May Sarton New Hampsire Poetry Prize. Christopher Fox, leader of Sedona’s poetry slam scene, also will perform. Musical guest for this show will be guitarist, singer, songwriter and author Tim Young.

Marilee Richards first learned about poetry in the 1980s at the Berkeley Poet’s Workshop when she lived in the Bay Area.

This was a small group which met twice a month to critique poems and it also put out a literary journal twice a year which used poems from all over the country.

Her first book, A Common Ancestor, was published by Hip Pocket Press. She dropped out of writing for a number of years and then began again several years after moving to Sedona in 2001.

Her poems have been published in many journals including The Yale Review, The Southern Review, and The Sun.

In 2016, her poem, The Double Zero, won the William Matthews Poetry Prize. This book by the same name was selected by judge David Blair as the 2018 winner of the May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize.

The poet John Brehm writes that this is “a searing, unforgettable book”. The vivid poems from Richards book will be read aloud by Gary Every and Mary Heyborne; poet, playwright and potter.

Christopher Fox Graham is a poet and professional writer living in Sedona. Beginning his performance poetry career in October 2000, Graham has been a member of 13 Flagstaff National Poetry Slam teams, representing Flagstaff in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2012 through 2019.

Graham was part of the Save the Male Tour, a four-man international spoken word tour in 2002 that performed in 26 states over three months.

Graham won the Flagstaff Poetry Grand Slam championship in 2004 and 2012. In 2005 and 2006, Graham’s teams won the Slab City Slam at Arcosanti, the state’s poetry slam team championships.

From 2006 to 2014, Graham was the poetry coordinator of GumptionFest, a free, grassroots arts festival in Sedona. Graham was an a featured performer at the Desert Rocks Music Festival’s Poetry Slam, which was alongside featured acts like Brother Ali, Beats Antique and The Wailers.

In 2008, he founded the Sedona Poetry Slam and became a slammaster in 2012, sponsoring the Sedona National Poetry Slam, whose five-poet teams have performed at seven National Poetry Slams.

Graham has published five books of poetry and a spoken word CD, and been published in six anthologies of spoken word and in two DVDs of Grand Slam Championships. He has been featured in two short documentaries on the Sedona art scene.

Graham has performed for MTV’s “Made” and on The Travel Channel’s “Your Travel Guide” episode of Sedona. He has performed poetry in 41 states, Canada, Ireland and Great Britain. His blog, FoxThePoet.Blogspot.com, features his work and those of other national poets and Sedona artists.

Graham and his wife, Laura, are the proud parents of their 13-month-old daughter Athena Zelda Nebula Skye Sylvia Diana Fox Graham, whose long name is actually a haiku.

Tim Young is a writer by trade. it all began in high school when a girl he had shown some poems began to encourage him to write more. Her name is Emily.

Tim is a graduate of Mansfield State University, Mansfield, Pa., where he studied theatre arts and communication.

Shortly after completion of his BA, Tim moved to New York City, to try his luck with acting and discovered he was also a singer/songwriter and rock band leader. His tenure in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood stretched for over thirty years, where he performed his music and filled a flood of notebooks with his writing.

In 2005 he discovered National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and was inspired to go for the long form. Since then he has completed drafts of four different stories. The most recent is “Tony’s Juke Box Blues.” Tim releases his original music on his Not Fade Away label and since 2013 performs live across the Northern Arizona region. Tim will be entertaining the crowd with his music as well as reading a short selection from “Tony’s Jukebox Blues.”

As a special treat for the Poetry and Prose audience two vibrant young performers; Donald Rongholt and Scott Sanders will perform a poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca as well as the classic basket ball poem “Magic Johnson” by Quincy Troupe.

Donald Rongholt is a wordsmith from Milwaukee and is no stranger to the stage. At one point during his interesting life he was part of a professional break dance squad for a brief period of time. He is currently a Cornville resident and a lover of animals with eleven cats and nine dogs.

This show will mark his Sedona debut. Also making his Sedona stage debut is 19 year old percussionist Scott Sanders. Born and raised in Lebanon Missouri, Scott ventured west to Sedona less than year ago. Scott says “That while he specializes in orchestral percussion, he is versatile and always ready to drop some fresh funk beats.”

Poetry and Prose Project would like to thank the Sedona Library, Virginia Volkman and Judy Poe for hosting these events. Also deserving acclaim for their efforts are Mary Heyborne, John Oakes, Sharron Porter, Jim Hatfield and Gary Scott.

Poetry and Prose Project events are hosted by Gary Every.