Franny Choi

Angry Asian Man!

Posted by on Jul 17 2012

My poem “Wire Woman” is up on Angry Asian Man today! I’ve been following this blog for years, so I’m absolutely thrilled to be featured in the new Angry Poetry Corner segment of the site. Thanks to Phil Yu, Cara Van Le, and the whole crew over at Angry Asian Man.

Check out the video and post here!

TEDxBoston

Posted by on Jul 17 2012

Photos and video are up from my performance at TEDxBoston, the local and independently organized series of talks featuring some amazing local innovators. I performed “POP!goesKOREA!” and then gave a short interview with Radio Boston of WBUR (Boston’s NPR station), who was broadcasting the talks live.

Performing “POP!goesKOREA!” at TEDxBoston

Stream and download the Radio Boston interview here. I go on at around at around the 43:25 mark (it’s easier to skip to if you download the file).

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DGulIdI-3XE]

More photos and goodies here.

Summer 2012 Tour Recap

Posted by on Jul 17 2012

Thanks so much to all the venues/slammasters/schools/etc. who brought me to their cities this past May!

I started out with Dartmouth, Timberlane, Cantab, and Intangible in the North(b)east. Then it was onto the West  Coast with Lit Slam, Berkeley Poetry Slam, Giant Robot, and Jubilee Fest. I was so lucky to be able to perform to such amazingly hype crowds out there. I also won the Lit Slam, which means my work will be published in their literary journal by the end of the year.

Performing at the Lit Slam at Viracocha in San Francisco, CA.

 

Check out this blog post from the reading I did with Chiwan Choi, Ed Lin, and Traci Akemi Kato Kiriyama at the Giant Robot Store in L.A.!

From left: me, Traci, Ed, Chiwan.

Write Bloody Finalist

Posted by on May 11 2012

I’m so honored and ecstatic to be a finalist in the Write Bloody Open Submissions Contest! Hundreds of writers submitted poetry samples, and I was chosen as one of the top twenty (along with some GREAT folks/dear friends, including Miles Walser, Sam Sax, Sara Brickman, Aaron Levy Samuels, and Hieu Minh Nguyen).

If my manuscript is selected, then my collection of poems, “The Girl’s Guide to Mirrors,” will be published by Write Bloody! Wowza!

YOU can help me get a book deal with Write Bloody in 3 simple steps:

  1. Watch the video below (“Wire Woman,” filmed & produced by Jess X Chen).
  2. Click “like” on the YouTube page.
  3. Share the video with your friends!

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mix9ZnerYIc&feature=related]

 

The world of slam can sometimes be murky, and I think “Wire Woman” exemplifies the kind of work I’ve tried to put out for the past few years– poetry that’s honest, challenging, and thoughtfully crafted. As large or small as our audiences may be, I think there’s a tremendous amount of responsibility that comes with this work. As a performer whose body is marked in various ways (race and gender being the most obvious), this responsibility is heightened even more. If my manuscript is selected, I will be the second woman of color and first APIA woman on Write Bloody. I don’t treat this lightly.

I believe that it’s our responsibility as performance poets to use our stage time to say things that are new and important; to reveal truth, create consciousness, and change the game. To speak fearlessly about race and class. To speak the oppressor’s language back, garbled and mangled– just as they garbled and mangled us– to show the truth in all its ugliness hidden there. To be loud in the face of silence, and defiantly quiet in the face of hypermasculine bellowing. To be strong. To read the world aloud. To know words will never be enough.

I’m still trying to figure it all out– but for now, I know it’s these beliefs that keep pushing me to do what I do. If you think these things are important, please like & share my video.

Peace, love & solidarity,

Franny

 

WoWPS 2012!

Posted by on Mar 13 2012

Still coming down after an amazing, amazing week(end). Highlights include:

  • Reading “Pussy Monster” (which ends with the word “pussy” read 40 times in succession) on finals stage as the sac.
  • Meeting some of the most incredible female gurus in the community (including but not limited to Marty McConnell, Mindy Nettifee, & Lauren Zuniga) for the first time.
  • Rachel McKibbens and Gypsee Yo going out with a hell of a bang at my second prelim bout, saying eff you to the scores, speaking their unapologetic truths, and preaching love. Also the incredible support I felt from these legendaries.
  • Sonya Renee’s RUHCUS workshop, which tore my heart apart and gave me a glimpse of my nucleus, if only for a moment.
  • Sharing a room with Jamila Woods and Megan Thoma. Collectively freaking out // conveniently blaming our woes on altitude sickness. Also seeing Jam kill it in her first prelim.
  • Sara Brickman & Tatayana Brown are full of love and light and happy things. Sara’s opening poem.
  • Megan Falley, Miles Walser, and Misian Taylor keeping me grounded all week.
  • Rachel sneaking a banana phone when no one was looking.
  • Dancing old-school with Jamila, Tova Charles, Theresa Davis, Amy Everheart, and… who else? Oh, I can’t even remember. (Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-altitude.)
  • The Portland squad! Ba-boom!
  • Every single powerhouse of a woman on finals stage: Joanna Hoffman, Kait Rokowski, Dominique Ashaheed, Lauren Zuniga, Melissa May, DeAnn Emett, Porsha O, Krista Mosca, Olivia Gatwood, Kay Krown, Miss Haze, and Whitney Greenway. Each poet took my breath away and gave me 100% goosebump bliss.
  • Tittler, tittler, tittler!
  • FRIED PICKLEZ.
  • Magic realism with Rachel. “Your language is lawless.” “Don’t let the white male Western eye tell you what’s real. This is the only language that lets us say what happened.” She kills me, and I am resurrected a better poet.
  • Sitting with Gypsee and Lacey on the train, listening to Gypsee talk about fighting for WoWPS in its first year, and fighting for it ever since.
  • Karen G’s presence, in general. Also the presence of all the ATL folks: Theresa, Gypsee, Haze, Gabe.
  • Being surrounded by women, and true lovers of women, in probably the most gender-friendly space I’ve ever been in.
  • Getting to read the work I love and feel proudest of, and sometimes being rewarded for it. Feels good, man. Feels good.

I’m going to WoWPS!

Posted by on Feb 04 2012

I’m very proud and humbled to say I’ll be representing Providence again at the Women of the World Poetry Slam in Denver next month. Last year’s competition was amazing, and I can’t wait to dive back into the insane lady love fest that is WoWPS. The qualifying slam at AS220 was a ton of fun, with a fantastic showcase that included my friends Nicole Parrish and the incomparable Laura Brown-Lavoie. I slammed with three of the fiercest ladypoets in the PVD: Megan Thoma, Cassie Clarke, and Astrid Drew. Megan and I hilariously TIED (like what, when does that ever happen) and had to go into a sudden death round, or at least I think that’s the right phrase. I never really understood what that expression meant when applied to poetry. WHATEVA.

Coming up: A feature at Got Poetry Live on the 28th, and a show at Brandeis in March (date TBA).

North Beast 2011!

Posted by on Nov 19 2011

Had an awesome (though coughy and sore-throaty) time at the 2011 North Beast Regional Slam, hosted by the Poet’s Asylum in weird-in-a-New-England-kinda-way Worcestor, Mass. Megan Thoma, Laura Brown-Lavoie, and I schlumped up from Providence to Worcestor, where Nick Davis hopped on our team (and helped Meg perform the most amazing zombie breakup poem probably ever). I advanced to rep the 401 the next day and ended up taking second. Congrats to Matt Gallant for being North Beast Champ! Had fun kickin it with my fellow Northbeasterners.

Also had a blast at my show at Roots Cafe in PVD two nights ago with Ryk McIntyre! Great open mic, great crowd, and playing tag-team with Ryk is possibly my new favorite game (Drunk Clue being a close second).

In other news, I got a chance to perform for my good friend and fellow WORD! alum  Sarah Kay‘s 9th grade English class at Classical High School. And PrYSM has just started bringing in a poetry workshop led by my friend Jess Chen for Poetry in Service to the Community (which is incidentally among the best classes I took at Brown because Rick Benjamin is magical, like on some Hogwarts-type sh*t).

Looking forward to hitting Hampshire College tomorrow with absolute beasts Jared Paul and Laura Yes Yes.

And then of course, PrYSM is celebrating seaQuel Thanksgiving this Sunday! Food! Drag! Community Lovin! It’s gonna be ridiculous. I can’t wait. (5:30 pm at 669 Elmwood Ave, Suite B-10, Providence. DO IT.)

Opening for Andrea Gibson

Posted by on Oct 11 2011

I had the amazing opportunity to open for Andrea Gibson this past weekend at her show at RISD. She’s one of the best in the business and a truly inspiring poet and activist. Fellow WORD! members Zainab Syed and Zach Ballard (who was also my teammate on the Brown University CUPSI Team this past year) also opened.

It was a pretty hectic week for performance, with the Providence Slam Team feature at AS220 and my feature in the PoetrySPEAKS Showcase at Rhode Island College. It’s always really lovely to perform here in Providence– what a great scene.

Much love also to Alex Charalambides and the rest of the Dirty Gerund crew for hosting me at their open mic in Worchester a few weekends ago.

Up ahead: possible shows at Hampshire College (maybemaybemaybe) and Wash U, and an upcoming article in CHAOS Magazine!

Finals stage at National Poetry Slam

Posted by on Sep 24 2011

This is a super late update, for sure, but I’m proud and humbled to say that my team, Providence Poetry Slam, made it all the way to finals at the 2011 National Poetry Slam in Boston/Cambridge, placing 3rd overall out of 72 teams. I could not have been more honored to rep little Providence on the big stage. And no better crew to do it with than the incomparable Megan Thoma, Phil Kaye, Jamila Woods, Laura Brown-Lavoie, and Fatimah Asghar.

Peep the shoutout I got in the Huffington Post here!

We had a crazy NPS, mostly due to a semis bout that was first interrupted by a fire alarm, turned into a silent-applause slam because of the Y’s quiet hours, and finally had to get rescheduled to the morning of finals because of a poet’s medical emergency. We were at NUPIC (the underground indie slam) until 4 in the morning that night supporting Laura, woke up the next morning to a voicemail saying our re-do bout was in an hour, won our semi bout, and then had just enough time to grab some burgers before hauling ass over to finals. Needless to say, we were smelly and exhausted but pretty satisfied when the dust settled.

The second most awesome thing to happen at NPS was that Phil and I won the Nerd Slam with a Pokemon-themed parody of Kanye West’s “Monster” (entitled “I’m a Mutha-Pocket Monster”). I’ve never been so incredibly proud to hear a group of people chant “NERD. NERD. NERD” at me.

Top-ranked female poet at Southern Fried!

Posted by on Jun 11 2011

Southern Fried, the Southeast regional slam, is taking place in my hometown of Atlanta this year, and since I wasn’t home for the qualifying slams (and didn’t have the cashmoneys to register as a storm poet) I figured I probably wouldn’t be able to compete.  But lo and behold!– AARPoets, a Columbus, GA team, had a last-minute drop-out and desperately needed a fourth man, so I got to hop on and join them! It’s been an awesome three days of prelims, so great to be able to celebrate our region, wonderful to see and meet so many talented poets.

I’m happy to say that, as an individual poet, I’m ranked #7 overall (out of 95 ranked indies), which also makes me the top-ranked female poet, right next to the amazing Theresa Davis, current WoWPS champion and constant inspiration. Good company, great poetry, what more could you ask for?