Lake Effect Poetry

Cleveland, Ohio's Poetry Slam Team

What’s Ahead…

Contrary to what is being said and reported elsewhere, I, Vertigo Xavier, have NOT stepped down as the slamministrator of Lake Effect Poetry.

That said, Lake Effect Poetry HAS passed its status as a PSI Certified Slam Venue on to AKeemjamal Rollins’ new The People Slam.

There are some very big things in the works for LEP right now, but they will take time to come to fruition.  I cannot reveal too much right now, but if you happen to see me at a show, feel free to ask me about what’s cooking for the next 18 months.  Meanwhile, LEP will likely still assemble teams for some regional slam events.

The People Slam takes place on the SECOND and FOURTH Thursday of each month at the Happy Dog Euclid Tavern (11625 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, OH 44106) after two inaugural events on December 15 and 29.  Follow the series on Facebook at (




San Diego Victorious in Slam Semi-Final with Lake Effect Poetry

San Diego Poetry Slam claimed victory in Semi-Final Bout #1, against Lake Effect Poetry, Slam New Orleans, Bowery Poetry Slam, and Dallas Poetry Slam.

Lake Effect sent up group pieces for the first three rounds; “Identity” scored 24.5, “Summer Time” scored 26.3, and “Inheritance” scored 25.5.  For the fourth round, AKeem performed “In Response to Women Who Say Men Can’t Write About Rape” and scored 28.5.

San Diego finished with 109.5 points. 108.7 points placed New Orleans second, Bowery was third with 105.5, Lake Effect came in fourth with 104.8, and Dallas had 102.4.


Vertigo drew the D this bout, having the team start last in the first round. (YAY, NOT THE A!!!)  For the first round, Azriel and AKeem group-pieced “Poemaholic pt.2” and scored a 27.5, starting us in second place behind Northampton’s 27.7.  Next, Ephraim performed “Bullet Points,” snagging two tens and a 28.6, putting us in the lead by 1.1 points.  In the third round, Damien did “Henrietta Lax” and scored 27.7 while Northampton’s 27.8 inched them closer behind.  For the final round, AKeem’s “Playpumps” scored a 28.3.  Northampton’s group piece scored a 28.5, cutting Lake Effect’s lead down to .8, but leaving us victorious!  Lake Effect finished with a 112.1.  Northampton had 111.3.  Team Olympus / S.A.F.E. Space ended with 106.9, and Urban Spoken Word had 101.4.  After winning both our prelim bouts, Lake Effect will be competing in Semi-Finals on Friday night!  Check out to see where we will be and whom we will be up against!  😀 😀 😀


Addendum: This bout was live-streamed, thanks to Tara Jean of Northampton.  If you’d like to watch the video, check it out at Periscope. 🙂

Lake Effect Wins First Bout at NPS2016!

Lake Effect Poetry’s first NPS2016 bout (Bout 17 at the Decatur School of Ballet) just wrapped up.  Slamministrator Vertigo Xavier drew the C.  Nuyorican drew the A, Eclectic Truth drew the B, and WeSpoke drew the D.

For the first round, the team sent up a group piece, “Race Card,” and scored a 25.7.  Ephraim went for the second round with “Nappy Boy” and picked up a 25.3.  Damien scored a 25.4 in the third round with “Brokeology.”  AKeem ended the slam with “You Gon’ Get This Twerk” and scored a 26.9, the highest score of the bout.

Eclectic Truth finished fourth with a 98.6.  Nuyorican’s 101.6 landed them third.  WeSpoke’s phenomenal fourth-round group piece brought them up 102.1 and second place.  Lake Effect won the bout with a 103.3!

The team’s next bout (Bout 32) is tomorrow at 9:00 at the Java Monkey Coffee.  We will be up against Northampton, Urban Spoken Word, and Team Olympus.  If you’re in the Decatur, GA area, we will see you there!

LEP Wins Bout at Ohio MeatGrinder Slam, Competes in Finals

Damien was unable to come to Columbus for the 2016 Ohio MeatGrinder Slam due to a new evil-day-job, and Azriel was competing with his Writing Knights team.  Vertigo (trusting Alexis-Rueal to slamministrate his Poet’s Haven team) stepped in as LEP’s alternate, and Andrew Golden joined us to complete the roster.  The team won it’s prelim bout!  Team No Means No took second place, and the Writing Knights and Poet’s Haven teams were, unfortunately, eliminated.  In Finals, there was an abundance of mind-blowing poetic performances and consistently high scores, with the victor’s trophy claimed by Team Ratchet (which included past LEP team member Siaara Freeman).

On a personal note, this year’s OMG was EVERYTHING slam is supposed to be.  Poets coming together to share work and put on an amazing show, with little to no care about what the scores were.  Can we make this happen everywhere???

Roster Changes

Due to her evil day-job not allowing her to take the necessary days off to compete at MeatGrinder or NPS, Skylark Bruce has had to step out of this year’s team lineup. Azriel Johnson will be taking her place on the roster for NPS. Vertigo Xavier (who finished sixth in our Grand Slam) will be taking Azriel’s place as team alternate. Skylark will still be joining the team at some of our fundraising events and team appearances. Azriel will be competing with his Writing Knights team at the Ohio MeatGrinder Slam, so Vertigo will be on Lake Effect’s roster for that tournament. (Vertigo will also have a Poet’s Haven team competing at MeatGrinder, but Alexis-Rueal will be handling slammministrator duties for the event.)

GRAND SLAM Results: Your 2016 Lake Effect Poetry Team is…

After three wonderful rounds of poetic slam combat, your 2016 Lake Effect Poetry team is: AKeemjamal Rollins, Ephraim Nehemiah, Damien McClendon, and Skylark Bruce!  Azriel Johnson placed fifth and will be our "alternate."  Vertigo Xavier placed sixth, and thinks that's perfect because he gets to go to NPS anyway as Slamministrator. 😉

A huge THANK YOU goes to Hive Mind for hosting our Grand Slam finals!  They host all kinds of awesome events each week; find them on Facebook to see what they've got going on next.

Stay tuned, as we will be announcing our fundraising events and team appearance schedule over the next few weeks.

Results from Final 2016 Qualifier at Cultured Coffee

The final qualifier slam of the 2016 season took place tonight at Cultured Coffee in Canton.  Azriel Johnson captured first place with Colleen Harrington in second.

With all eight qualifiers completed, the following poets are now eligible to compete in the GRAND SLAM this Saturday night at Hive Mind in Akron: Skylark Bruce, Azriel Johnson, Andrew Golden, AKeemjamal Rollins, Damien McClendon, Colleen Harrington, Vertigo Xavier, and Ephraim Nehemiah.

The following poets are eligible to compete in the LAST CHANCE SLAM that will open the Grand Slam event: Nikann Charney, Dandy, Zack Lee, and Rae Hallstrom.  The winner of the LAST CHANCE SLAM will then get to compete in the GRAND SLAM.

Feature Lineup Change for Final Qualifier

The FINAL Lake Effect Poetry slam qualifier of the 2016 season is TOMORROW at Cultured Coffee in Canton, OH!  This show is part of Writing Knights Press' Stark Knights Poetry Tour.  The feature lineup has changed and expanded a bit: the show will now feature Erie, PA Poet Laureate Cee Williams, MKE Poet Mwatabu Okantah, and Colleen Harrington!

This is the final opportunity for poets who have only competed in one LEP qualifier to meet the two-qualifier minimum to garner a spot at the GRAND SLAM on Saturday.  This is the final opportunity for everyone else to qualify to compete in the LAST CHANCE SLAM that will take place at the opening of Saturday's GRAND SLAM event.