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Editor's Note: Word to your (earth) mother
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Savannah’s bullish on arts of all genres, but to me the single most vibrant and up-to-the-minute scene here is without a doubt that of spoken word performance.

Centering primarily on two major groups (Spitfire Poetry Group and AWOL), local spoken word artists, plying their craft in coffeehouses and schools, display an absolutely sick (and woefully underappreciated) amount of talent.

At their best these are jaw-droppingly intense and electrifying performances. Most refreshingly, these artists do what they do purely for the love of their art and for the sheer joy of performing.

Though these performers border on the underground, there’s simply no way to contain them forever. This much raw talent simply has to burst forth. And burst it does in this issue with Sabrina Manganella Simmons’ photo essay and story centering on a recent AWOL rehearsal for their upcoming “Griot to Emcee” show Feb. 8 at the Lucas Theatre.

In a related story, many local spoken word artists are participating in this Saturday’s much-anticipated visit by legendary old school masters The Watts Prophets. That (free!) show is this Saturday night at the Lucas Theatre. Check out Jim Reed’s take on the gig in "Connect Recommends."

Speaking of old school: Starland hosts a “Graffic Jam” live art block party this Saturday from noon-8 p.m. Organizer Clif Whitehead tells us they will have “several nationally recognized graffiti names who will be legally painting our walls, dope sandwich productions, Scandalous, and some more on the tracks and mics, the b-boys and girls that follow, on top of a variety of apparel lines and magazines that will be manning booths with merchandise for sale and free promotional gear (i.e. cd’s, stickers and that kind of stuff).”

Got all that? You know what to do.


I know I’m inundating you with coverage of the big “Creating a Sustainable Future” conference featuring Robert F. Kennedy Jr. But it’s hard to overstate the importance of this event, and the fact that it’s being held here in Savannah next week. For a full schedule go to, and be sure to dig into my interviews this week with Martin Melaver and Patty McIntosh. It’s worth your time.

The event kicks off this coming Tuesday with a free screening of the green-living-on-a-budget doc Kilowatt Ours in the retail space at Abercorn Common, between White Bluff and Abercorn. Seating begins at 6:15 p.m., show at 6:30.

And yes, get ready for still more coverage of the conference in next week’s issue, including my chat with Savannah Country Day headmaster Tom Bonnell, whose school hosts all the Creative Minds events.

I owe Roger Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado an apology. Last week I incorrectly labelled this conference participant a climatologist; he’s actually a political scientist. As for my inference that he has a skeptical view of global warming, here’s what Dr. Pielke had to say:

“I doubt Peter Webster and I have different views on the science of global warming, much less ‘opposing views.’  I am not a climate scientist so defer to the experts on that issue, specifically the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. A correction would be most appreciated.” Done!


This week we welcome yet another new contributor, Nic Sheff, a recent transplant to Savannah from the Bay Area. A most resourceful young journalist, Nic managed to get an exclusive, extended interview with illustration guru Mark Heflin when he was in town last week to unveil the American Illustrations Timeline exhibit at the Hall Street Gallery.


You know you’re rolling into middle age when you have a 17-year-old daughter named Alex -- and you also have a 17-year-old intern named Alex.

Anyway, we actually welcome two interns this semester: the aforementioned Alex Lukas (the intern, not my daughter), a senior at Savannah Arts Academy, and also Amber Williams, a senior at Savannah State University.


The first-ever UnCon ‘07 blogging conference was a hoot. Attendance was high and most participants seemed satisfied with the content. An even bigger hoot was the eye-rolling coverage of the event by local TV news stations, who tried to look hip by covering the conference while simultaneously patronizing the participants. Ah, well, at least they covered it. For my own unvarnished take on the event go to -- where else? -- my blog, which you can find by scrolling down this website.

As always you can e-mail me at