Thursday, March 20, 2008

TAM: about Bob Holman

By now, I am assuming that you have read Lyle Rexer’s excellent catalog interview with Chuck Close and Bob Holman. One of the things that is mentioned in it, is that Chuck Close wanted the artist and writer to be equally important within the book. On that note, here are some resources related to Bob Holman.






Bob Holman reading his praise poem about Elizabeth Murray:

You need to have Flash installed to do this – the web page provides a link.


Listen to some Bob Holman poetry:



The United States of Poetry

The series he produced for PBS, the United States of Poetry , features over sixty poets including Derek Walcott, Rita Dove, Czeslaw Milosz, Lou Reed and former President Jimmy Carter, as well as rappers, cowboy poets, American Sign Language poets, and Slammers. USOP lives on as an anthology from Harry Abrams Publishers (in its second printing), a home video from KQED, and soundtrack CD from Mouth Almighty/Mercury Records, a label Holman co-founded.



SlamNation is a (great, in my opinion) documentary about poetry slams and Bob Holman is in it.

The following movie summary is from

SlamNation chronicles the competitors from the 1996 National Poetry Slam in Portland, Oregon. The film follows the four-person teams representing twenty-six cities as they battle and strategize through preliminary rounds. Ultimately, the final four teams vie for glory and a bronze trophy of books and boxing gloves before a sold-out crowd of thousands at the Portland State Theater.

Despite some ferocious moments between the poets, including a heated spat between Mark Smith and Bob Holman, it is clear they all hold deep respect for one another. They tease and fight in a way only family can, such as Taylor Mali's lampooning of his comrades in his exacting piece "I could be a poet." One sentiment echoed in several interviews, and evident throughout the film, is that the rivalry between competitors ultimately inspires them to create stronger work and more powerful performances.

You can rent SlamNation from or a good video rental store.



Def Poetry – Season 4, Episode 8 (Part 2 of 4)

Featuring Bob Holman "Rock & Roll Mythology" and three other poets: (warning – this clip has swearing and other language/ideas that may not be appropriate for all situations)

You can rent “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry” from It is probably hard to find at video rental stores.



“This is a video excerpt from "Rock and Roll Mythology." Holman is a leading force in slam poetry.” (not my words)


Bob Holman on creativity:


Where to see a Seattle Poetry Slam:

Every Wednesday night at ToSt, Seattle Poetry Slam (Seattle's longest running weekly show) hosts a spoken word blow-out unlike anything you’ve seen before. Come join a supportive community that LOVES the word - written AND spoken. Each week you will see an OPEN MIC, A FEATURED POET and A SLAM. Show begins around 8:30. 21 & over, $5 cover, ID required.



Thanks for all your hard work!


Heide Fernandez-Llamazares

Museum Educator and Docent Coordinator



1701 Pacific Avenue

Tacoma, Washington 98402

T: 253.272.4258 x3018

F: 253.627.1898

Become a Member Today!



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