Amoja 'MoMan' Sumler wins Rocktown Slam, will perform in Phoenix | Rock Candy

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Amoja 'MoMan' Sumler wins Rocktown Slam, will perform in Phoenix

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 1:13 PM

click to enlarge Amoja "MoMan" Sumler
  • Amoja "MoMan" Sumler

Four poets competed in the Rocktown Slam Wednesday night at the Arkansas Arts Center for a chance to represent Arkansas at the Individual World Poetry Slam in Phoenix in October. After the poets Kita Marshall, Greer Joplin, Anna Hannaford and Amoja “MoMan” Sumler performed a four-minute poem, a one-minute poem, a three-minute poem and a two-minute poem for the five randomly selected audience-member judges, a tie remained between Sumler and Kita. Following a round of three sudden-death haikus, the judges awarded Sumler first-place. His winning lines:

George Bush said they hate
Us for our freedom. Removed
Freedom. Hatred remained.

“I used to be a martial artist,” Sumler said. “And in the style they taught us, which was Aiki Jujutsu, there are four levels of mastery. The first level is unconscious incompetence. The second level is conscious incompetence. The third level is conscious competence. The fourth level is unconscious competence. I feel like my poems today were threes. They were consciously competent. I really had to be checked into it. By the four, you’re balancing your checkbook and it’s just magic.”

But mere threes were enough to secure Sumler his first Rocktown Slam win, notwithstanding his 13-year tenure as Rocktown’s slam master. Sumler also works as an educating artist on Arkansas Arts Council’s Arts in Education Roster, as well as the Arts on Tour Roster. He’ll be lecturing in Los Angeles at the end of the month about spoken word as a form of advocacy for the Long Beach Pedagogy Conference.

“What I’m interested in is seeing poetry grow in a positive way that’s healthy and helpful,” Sumler said. “At least at Rocktown, all of our poetry is tied to activism.”

Many of the poems throughout the night touched on feminist themes, as in one of Anna Hannaford’s poems – “Sometimes, men, the verbal confirmation of your libidos is enough to disgust me because I wonder if anything you do is consensual.” After host Heather Polly announced one judge’s score of 7.5 for the poem, an audience member shouted, “Fuck the patriarchy!”

Other poems wandered into more general realms like those of language, high school or death. Kita Marshall, for example, performed one poem about women in a moonlit woods:

“When boys say we are ‘moon-stricken’ I remind them why women go into the woods. Our cycles follow the moon because we once ran with wolves. Little Red Riding Hood told you. It’s why I smile with all of my teeth – to show you how big they are.”

But at the end of the night, it was Sumler who earned the right to travel to Phoenix, though he said he’ll have to improve before he makes the trip.

“I’ve definitely got to put a little more effort into it to get it to where it flows more naturally, not just to the point where I know the poem but to the point where I am the poem,” he said.

Stage four, that is – unconscious competence.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Clayton Gentry

  • Few: A startup with heart

    Little Rock creative agency builds websites and community
    • Jan 15, 2015
  • Review: 'Memphis' at The Rep

    You can’t help but feel the heat of summertime Memphis in 1958 as the forbidden love story of white radio DJ Huey Calhoun (Brent DiRoma) and black club singer Felicia Farrell (Jasmin Richardson) unfolds before you on the stage of the Arkansas Repertory Theater. It’s one of the hottest, loudest musicals I’ve ever seen at The Rep, and perhaps the most uplifting since “Les Mis” came to Main Street in 2008.
    • Sep 22, 2014
  • Eric Church to Verizon

    Also, '40 Years of the Arkansas Times' at the Historic Arkansas Museum, KABF Girls Night at White Water Tavern, the Arkansas Times Latino Food and Music Festival in Argenta, "Northville Cemetery Massacre" and "Death: Live in L.A." at Riverdale, "Rushmore" at Ron Robinson and Tony Joe White at Juanita's.
    • Sep 11, 2014
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Federal judge wants John Goodson to explain class action maneuvering

    A show-cause order filed Monday by federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith indicates class action attorney John Goodson has some explaining to do about the move of a class action complaint against an insurance company from federal to state court with an instant pre-packaged settlement that has been criticized as a windfall for Goodson.
    • Dec 22, 2015
  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • John Goodson and others add lawyers for hearing on forum shopping

    Lawyers facing federal court sanctions for forum shopping a class action insurance case have brought in new legal guns from out of state to fight potential sanctions.
    • May 26, 2016

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Riverfest calls it quits

    • Executive Director and the board failed the festival. Period. They blame other festivals, rising costs,…

    • on July 21, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation