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Work Samples

in which I get to be myself for a living

2011 i win a thing 2012 i travel the world as a poet 2010 i am a teacher by day dirty hippie by night then i win a thing and 2012 is everything changing is when time stops making sense

6 of 33 - Chris August - Poetry Slam - Spring LEAF 2014

IN WHICH I SPIN OUT in 2013 i am invited to omaha to be the artist in residence and also almost died in a car crash and also processed a sexual assault form before and then another and then my White boss used the n-word and then my White boss used the n-word at a youth poetry event and then my White boss used the n-word to a student of color at a youth poetry event and then i got fired.

Occupy Baltimore - Chris August - Poet

In which... I dig out. Some. Find ym People. 2011 2015 2017 and .


About Chris

Baltimore City - Station North A&E District

When I was 25, I came to XandO Cafe in Charles Village when it existed and competed in my first poetry slam. Then I culled decades of notebooks for anything worth performing in front of a basement of beautiful, unwashed college folk, then I became co-host and slammaster and started representing the DC/Baltimore area at Poetry Slam, Inc. (PSi) events around North America. Between 25 & 35, I published my first two poetry collections (Fridge Press's A Life Called Special, rooted in my decade... more

5.- my city and me in couple's counseling

this is the midpoint
or turning
point. i am displaced
in my city and my city
is displaced.
so i write.
i write my white lens and
my white grief
i call it 
Baltimore burning.

  • 3 from Baltimore Burning.pdf

    I think these are the first three poems I wrote as the Uprising began. Before the analysis of what being a White Baltimorian meant in that particular moment, all I could really do was channel the pain my city was in. I became obsessed with staying out up until curfew, refuting the upsettingly off-base assessments of old school friends on social media, and just trying to set a standard for White presence when everything feels like it's on fire.

    PDF icon 3 from Baltimore Burning.pdf
  • Me as middle sliver on the allyship venn diagram.pdf

    Then I started thinking about why it's significant that I was some queer White dude dating an incarcerated Black man from the Midwest while watching my home crumble under its own hate.

    My country asked me to celebrate gay marriage and ignore burning churches.
    My country asked me to gerrymander my heart so I could love and forget in equal enough measure.
    No wonder we fall out of time and place so easily.

    I really need to finish that manuscript...

    PDF icon Me as middle sliver on the allyship venn diagram.pdf

seven- owning the experience of falling out of time and space

everything is the Multiverse now
it occurs to me
that trauma
the accident
the assault
the termination
the break up
the assault
the election
the assault
the assault

it all
the trauma
the assaults
the assault

won.- i begin as a poetic representative of a city

I co-host the longest running poetry slam in Baltimore, and I represent the DMV at the National Poetry Slam seven times and the indiviudal world poetry slam 5 times including...

Oh, and I book huge tours and get invited to Paris to rep the country (like, this one) and before that I go...

And I was finally friends with my ex again, and...

it happened on tour   right after i won that big tournament and quit teaching it happened in california and someitme it feels like it keeps happening and happening and it followed me on tour and in europe and as a writer and my ex stopped calling and

a YEAR in the mIDwEST


  • Travel_and_Trial_FINAL.pdf

    These are the Omaha poems. They document the near-fatal car crash, the early stages of processing rape, the mutually unfulfilling relationship, the firing from my job, the depleting of so many funds, the disappearance of so many trusted allies, for instance, me.

    PDF icon Travel_and_Trial_FINAL.pdf

sics- experiencing the experience of falling out of space & time

  • On the 9's FIRE.pdf

    As I reattach myself to some sort of continuum, I revisit my youth; my coming out and subsequent search for my people and identification as artist and survivor. Among the loving products has been a berth of screen work I am HELL BENT on getting produced.

    This is movement two from a feature length screenplay about a queer artist coming of age on the road with his wildly liberal great grandfather.

    PDF icon On the 9's FIRE.pdf

for- my well being and my art; back to baltimore

In the main picture of this portfolio, the one with the suitcase, you can make out a few scraps of brown paper. It's been gradually disintigrating in backpacks and the pockets of my pants since I wrote it years ago. I don't type it up. I don't memorize it, and that violates every bit of my slam training. I performed it twice. One is recorded. The guy who filmed it made it private out respect. Real talk, I'm not sure I know how to alter privacy setting on...anything, really. But if this particualr clip isn't accessible, that won't be the reason.


Funny. Theses are so long ago, some of them. And still, they don't just feel like who I was, they fell like who I will always be. And it's comforting. You know?

  • 3 poems from Loving Instruments.pdf

    All written as I shifted between teaching and touring, as I flitted between goofy and pensive, as I found things worth pursuing and, unfortunately, worth avoiding. But not forever.

    PDF icon 3 poems from Loving Instruments.pdf
  • Loving Instruments

    Sargent Press, 2013 cover art by Melissa Newman Evans

    (here is me trying my hardest to alchemize ANYTHING into Love. bless my heart.)

    PDF icon Loving Instruments
  • Chris August (Etats-Unis), "Infixing"

    Here is me performing a vulgarity-heavy poem steeped in American vernacular. In France. In a competition. In which at least one judge is roughly as old as The Louvre. 'Cause I lurvs me an easy sell. For real though, I love you all. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Connect with Chris

Chris's Curated Collection

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