Spoken-word artist Buddy Wakefield is back from a two-and-a-half year hiatus where he took time to lay roots in the Northwest and write a book for backyard chicken keepers called HENHOUSE (based on Penthouse, but for chickens and their lovers). Now the three-time world champion is uprooting to embark on his 2014-15 world tour Riled Up and Wasted On Light.
Audiences, buckle in — Wakefield’s energetically disarming delivery and humorous knack for baptizing failure into fireworks promises to drop jaws and warm hearts everywhere. Each 60 minute performance offers something new in this raw, rounded, part-stand-up, part-storytelling, largely poetic revival that is often breath-giving and eye-opening.
Born in Shreveport, LA, mostly raised in Baytown, TX, Wakefield now claims Seattle, WA, as home. Buddy has been a busker in Amsterdam, a lumberjack in Norway, a street vendor in Spain, a team leader in Singapore, a re-delivery boy, a candy maker, a street sweeper, a bartender, a maid, a construction worker, a bull rider, a tri-athlete and a facilitator at Quantum Learning Networks.
In the spring of 2001, Wakefield left his position as the executive assistant at a biomedical firm in Gig Harbor, WA, sold or gave away everything he owned, moved to the small town of Honda Civic and set out to live for a living, touring North American poetry venues through 2003. He never stopped.
In 2004, Buddy Wakefield won the Individual World Poetry Slam Finals thanks to the support of anthropologist and producer Norman Lear. Wakefield successfully defended that title at the International Poetry Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands against the national champions of seven European countries.
Wakefield won the Individual World Poetry Slam Championship again in 2005, and has gone on to share the stage with nearly every notable performance poet in the world in hundreds of venues internationally, from The Great Lawn in Central Park and Scotland’s Oran Mor to San Quentin State Penitentiary, House of Blues New Orleans and First Avenue. Buddy Wakefield has been featured on NPR, the BBC, HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and is signed to Righteous Babe Records. An author of Write Bloody Publishing, Wakefield, who is not concerned with what poetry is or is not, delivers strong, vulnerable, quality experiences of humor and heart.
“Wakefield has had a profound impact on the contemporary Poetry Slam movement, both in his performance and writing style as well as how he has conducted his career,” says author Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz in her book, Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam. The author named Wakefield as “the modern poetry slam role model.”
“…[Wakefield] sold everything he owned and toured the country, living out of his car when he wasn’t crashing on couches,” Aptowicz wrote in her book. “He was not the first slam poet to do this and certainly not the last, but he was definitely the most high-profile, and he really set the stage for what I like to call the ‘Troubadour Movement’ in slam, the whole desire simply to tour, to reach out and be with your community.”
Catch Wakefield live on the Riled Up and Wasted On Light tour coming to the Winnipeg Fringe Festival
July 18-27th, 6:30 pm
Artbeat Studio 62 Albert St – 4th Floor.