Hi. I’m Lauren. I'm ridiculous amounts of get-down. I love vintage magazines, photos of people I don’t know and laughing so hard I snort. I believe in the power of naming things and making up words. I believe poems should be easy to get to so everyone can find them when they need them most. I am Creek Nation/Irish/Finnish/Okie. My GEBO is witchy femme/queer, she/her, feminist/submissive, polyamorous brained/monogamy practicing. I mother two incredible humans: Kavi Moon and Briam Sky (13 & 11, obsessed with musical theater.) I partner a hot babe named Kai Ridge (musician, ICU nurse, ftm, lover of sea creatures & the sound of floor drains). I’m working on my container garden, kraut recipe and ability to allow good things in my life.
I write poems and say them out loud for a living - a thing some people call Spoken Word or Slam Poetry. I call it the Thing That Made Me Stop Using Drugs to Numb My Feelings. The Thing I Can’t Stop Doing. When I was 18, I won a poetry slam with a rap. I won $12, two cigarettes and a condom so I decided performance poetry was my calling. In 2009, I published my first poetry book with Penmanship Press & went on my first poetry tour (so many couches, so many gas station showers!) In 2011, I published my second book with Write Bloody, got a booking agent & quit my job to become a full time poet. (My mom was thrilled, obvi.)
Since then, I’ve performed poems and facilitated workshops in hundreds of universities across the country. I’ve performed in churches, prisons, coffee shops and as the opening act for more famous people than me. I’ve represented Oklahoma City in 13 national & international level poetry slams including 3 Top Ten finishes and once I was even the 5th ranked poet at the 2012 Women of the World Poetry Slam (what a weird thing to rank poets!) If you are wondering what in Gorgeous Goddess that is, you should go here. I have some poetry videos on YouTube. In case you haven’t heard Spoken Word is blowing up on the interwebz. When you have time, not before a test or job interview, please slide down the Sparkle Tunnel of Poets on YouTube. (Maybe you already did, maybe that’s how you found me. If so, thank you for digging deeper and landing in my canoe. How is it that we can hold each other with all these moons between us?)
The thing that poetry slam has given me, more than anything, is community. The true power of a slam is not that it gets people to care about poetry again, it is that it gives a voice to the silenced. Not only does it give a microphone to anyone with a story but it gathers people in a room to LISTEN to each other. The banker listens to the mechanic. The hula hooper listens to the bus boy. Sometimes they just sit around and text but A LOT OF THE TIME PEOPLE LISTEN.
And this is what my life has become about. These are the questions I can’t stop asking. How can I listen better? To my body. To my surroundings. To the people swimming in my same strange reality. How can I unlearn what Systems of Oppression try so hard to teach me. How can I remember the wisdom of my ancestors? How can my poetry be in service to the movement? How can we create more, hate less? How can I stop burning the grilled cheese?
If you would like to talk about a performance or collaboration, contact me or my booking manager. We can be care bears in the clouds together.