MER/made at Asheville Fringe Arts Festival, Jan. 21 + 23

MER/made, by spoken word artist Alli Marshall, is a multimedia exploration of sinking and swimming, and water as metaphor for change. The nonlinear narrative is presented through a series of videos that incorporate imagery, spoken word, music, and fantastical characters.

The 16-minute film will be presented as part of a triple bill at the 2021 online edition of the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival. It screens on Thursday, Jan. 21 and Saturday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m. Buy tickets here.

Also included in the show: Being B.A.D, by activist artist Brittney S. Harris, explores the lengths one woman goes to take that power back after years of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her family and romantic partner.

And, in PICNIC IN THE TIME OF COVID-2, by dance collective Taproot CLT, two friends who can’t gather in person must find each other in an absurd, silent film themed virtual reality picnic that takes place in a future that no longer recognizes the norms of eating real food.

The Black Asheville Storytelling Experience

I recently had the privilege of working on the first installment of videos for the Black Asheville Storytelling Experience, an interview series hosted by Roy Harris and filmed at the YMI Cultural Center.

Being part of Hamilton Media Design, the crew that filmed and edited these videos, gave me the opportunity to hear the stories of some of Asheville’s Black residents. They spoke of their lives, careers, families, and personal encounters with racism. As a white person, these are stories I hear far too seldom. It’s my honor to share them with others.

Watch all of the videos here:

Spoken-word mixtape, now available on Bandcamp

Happy solstice and eclipse! I’m starting summer with a spoken-word mixtape, Bury the pennies and hoard the rain. It’s available for listening, sharing, and purchasing on Bandcamp.

The collection explores themes of environmental decline, questions of identity, shifting landscapes, love, loss, age, hope and (hopefully) humor. I created the beats and loops through beatboxing, household items, and happy accidents. Dave Hamilton collaborated on soundscapes for the track “How to Find Water in the Wild” and also helped with production and mastering throughout.

Smoke Break video podcast with Spaceman Jones

Spaceman Jones, left, is a hip-hop artist, chef, Urban Combat Wrestling producer and podcast host. He’s also a deep thinker and sharp interviewer.

I was recently invited by Davaion Bristol, aka Asheville-based hip-hop artist Spaceman Jones, to be a guest on his video podcast “Smoke Break.” We talked about creative writing, journaling, meeting the shadow self through artwork and self-inquiry, and … wrestling. Watch to the end for a poetry slam like you’ve never seen poetry get slammed before.

New video: Pat Passlof Triptych

Three spoken-word pieces originally created as part of Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center’s “Question Everything” exhibition. They are performed here in collaboration with live painter Blais Bellenoit. Music by Blais Bellenoit, filming by Scott Varn, audio engineering by Dave Hamilton, spoken word by Alli Marshall.

Painting by Blais Bellenoit

The poems celebrate the life and work of Black Mountain College alumna Pat Passlof, an abstract artist who lived until 2011. The first two poems take their titles from articles written about Pat; the third is an ekphrastic poem inspired by Rodin’s “The Centuaress” sculpture, which ties in thematically to Pat’s many images of horses and her feminist life.