The University of Alaska Southeast will kick off their spring lecture series, Sound and Motion, on Friday, Jan. 17 with the Mayhem Poets at 7 p.m. at the REC Center on the Auke Bay campus. The New Jersey-based poetry trio combines elements of improv, theater, hip hop and comedy in performances that have been described as “‘The Simpsons’ meets Malcolm X at a Notorious B.I.G. concert.”
The trio has been featured on The Today Show and Eyewitness News and won first place in the Microsoft Idea Wins Challenge in 2006. Their latest CD, “Reverse Birth,” was hailed as one of the Top spoken word CD’s of 2007 by about.com’s poetry section.
The group first began to take shape at Rutgers University in 2000, when Kyle Sutton (Kyle Rapps) and Scott Tarazevits (Scott Raven) started an open-mic on campus called Verbal Mayhem, with the goal of bringing together a diverse crowd. With slam host Mason Granger, the group reached out to community members at facilities such as prisons, fraternities and churches. Their success encouraged them to expand their mission by creating a touring show designed to expand society’s view of poetry and spur personal and social change through spoken word.
The group will also offer a performance poetry workshop at the UAS Writing Center Friday afternoon at 2 p.m.
Here’s a look at the full Sound and Motion schedule.
Jan. 17: Mayhem Poets, UAS REC Center
Feb. 7: Transcendentalists, Puritans and Pilgrims in Alaska, Egan Wing Lecture Hall
Homer author Tom Kizzia will talk about his new best-selling book, “Pilgrim’s Wilderness,” with a focus on the historic white pioneer communities of the Wrangell Mountains, where modern back-to-the-landers found themselves in philosophical and physical conflict with the Calvinist cult world of the Pilgrim Family. A question period about the book will follow.
Feb. 21: Woosh Kinaadeiyí Poetry Slam, UAS REC Center
Juneau’s spoken word artists will come together to do battle at UAS as part of Woosh Kinaadeiyí’s fourth season. Performers of all types are encouraged to take part in the non-competitive open mic portion of the evening, while original poetry is welcome in the slam.
March 14: Alaska Native Studies Conference Kick-off Event, Egan Wing Lecture Hall
Part of a three-day gathering of Alaska Native studies faculty and students from UAS, UAA, UAF, Kodiak College and elsewhere with a focus on indigenous, cultural and language education.
March 28: Treasures from the State Film Library, Egan Wing Lecture Hall
Damon Stuebner, Alaska State Library Historical Collections, will host the fifth annual festival of vintage and historical films and videos from the Alaska State Library Historical Collections. Selections include, “Though the Earth Be Moved”, a documentary detailing the relief efforts after the March 27, 1964 Alaskan earthquake in honor of the 50th anniversary of the event.
April 4: First Friday photo presentation and discussion: A Trip South, UAS REC Center
Members of the kayak and bike expedition A Trip South will present photos and discuss their experiences.
April 18: Gifts of the Crow: How perception, emotion, and thought allow smart birds to behave like humans, Egan Library
Professor and author John Marzluff will discuss his research on animal minds, social learning and fear learning and continue the conversation of this year’s One Campus One Book theme, human-animal communication.
April 25: Tidal Echoes Launch, Egan Wing Lecture Hall
Tidal Echoes, UAS’ literary and art journal, will celebrate the release of the 2014 issue, featuring author Christy NaMee Eriksen and artist is Rachael Juzeler.
For more details, visit the Sound and Motion webpage, www.uas.alaska.edu/sound_motion.