Katya Szabados


Katya Szabados

To write articulate and presentable spoken word poetry is a daring and artistic feat at any age; to present a 15-minute solo piece of your most emotional written word to a largely unknown audience as a high-school student is just plain mesmerizing. more

Jul 11, 2009 3:00 PM Stage

The poets long ago left for home, the venues are back to hosting live music, and organizers have returned to their day-to-day lives following National Poetry Slam 2008, which was held in Madison in early August. While SlamCharlotte took home their second consecutive national title, and Urbana Poetry Slam won the inaugural Group Piece title, the competition and accompanying Lyrics on the Lake festival were likewise successes for the host city and its arts community. more

Aug 20, 2008 5:38 PM Stage


Katya Szabados

A mere four teams among the 76 total competing at the National Poetry Slam this week took the stage at Overture Hall on Saturday to compete in the final round. This crowning bout pitted last year's champions SlamCharlotte against three other powerhouses of competitive spoken word: Austin Poetry Slam, Boston Cantab, and louderARTS from New York City. It was the culmination of so much work on the part of so many, and the audience was ready for a great show. more

Aug 10, 2008 7:24 PM Stage


Katya Szabados

Despite the maps on the walls, the mid-afternoon hour, and the lack of beer and liquor, a lecture hall in the UW Humanities Building has the aura of a downtown bar after midnight. Throngs of poets enter through the double doors, and the result is cacophony as the Nerd Slam gets started at the National Poetry Slam on Thursday. Cheers of "Nerds Rock!" echo, and the blackboard at the front of the room proclaims, "Hey you fucking nerds, welcome to class." more

Aug 8, 2008 9:13 PM Stage


Katya Szabados

Just a few hours later on State Street, nervousness is building. A team from San Francisco is meticulously studying the map at a downtown bus stop, trying to figure out directions to the Bartell Theatre where they're set to perform in less than ten minutes at one of the first competitions of the night. Outside the Orpheum Stage Door just before the second bout, another poet in a pretty floral dress rubs her stomach, trying to calm the nerves stirring inside. Meanwhile, teams that competed in the first bout are now done, and leave their venues looking relived to go see other teams compete. more

Aug 6, 2008 6:22 PM Stage


Katya Szabados

The Madison team has been meeting for months, starting shortly after city finals competition back in May. Since that time, they've been collectively choosing the strongest pieces from each performer and amassing their verbal ammunition. As the national competition approached, they started meeting more frequently, using the time to practice their pieces, get team feedback, and tweak their performances. Slam. Critique. Repeat. more

Aug 4, 2008 8:19 PM Stage


Katya Szabados

With less than a week remaining before National Poetry Slam 2008 gets rolling in Madison, the city's team is working hard in preparation for the competition. All five members -- Evy Gildrie-Voyles, Josh Healey, Ryan Hurley, Eric Mata, and Danez J. Smith -- are busy making their performance decisions and last-minute adjustments to ensure their success. But how did they find themselves on the hometown squad for the latest addition to Madison's artistic crown jewels? more

Jul 31, 2008 7:00 PM Stage


Katya Szabados

The University of Wisconsin regularly plays host to numerous distinguished speakers, writers and performers. For a city so historically associated with activism and progressive politics, few are as good a fit as the Amiri Baraka, who spoke on Monday at the Wisconsin Union Theatre. His talk kicked off the Third Annual Spoken Word & Hip Hop Educator's Institute at the university organized by the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI) and Youth Speaks Wisconsin in association with Urban Word NYC. more

Jul 8, 2008 5:31 PM Stage


Katya Szabados

The new Madison Slam Team has a message for the 80 plus teams planning on coming to town to compete in the 2008 National Poetry Slam this August: consider yourselves on notice, and beware a formidable showing from them. Eleven local poets went toe to toe on Friday night at the Inn on the Park to compete for five spots on the Madison team for this year's National Poetry Slam. more

May 18, 2008 4:07 PM Stage

Many of the city's top spoken word performers will compete for one of five spots on the Madison National Poetry Slam team on Friday at the Inn on the Park. This five-person team will go on to represent Madison and compete with more than 80 other teams that will converge in town for the 2008 National Poetry Slam in August. Dasha Kelly believes Wisconsin has a unique opportunity to help shape the spoken word landscape for the future. more

May 13, 2008 5:36 PM Stage


Katya Szabados

Strong winds and a day of rain didn't keep a large, loud and diverse crowd from filling the Grand Ballroom of Monona Terrace for "Breakin' the Law," an international bboy and bgirl break dancing competition held in Madison on Friday night. This fifth annual edition of the free event -- dubbed "5inal Sentence" -- drew break dancers from here in the Midwest and around the world. By all accounts it was a resounding success. more

Apr 26, 2008 7:06 PM Stage

Hip Hop as a Movement Week returns to town this week for its ninth year, kicking off on April 18 under the banner: "Element Fusion, a True Skool Evolution." Running through Saturday, April 26, the week's events explore numerous aspects of hip-hop history, music and culture, through musical and spoken word performances, dance, discussions and film screenings. The fun starts on Friday at the Memorial Union Rathskeller, with the ladies presenting "Femme Fresh: Women's Music Hip Hop Festival," with performances by Psalm One, Butterscotch, Apani B Fly, Rhythm Queenz and DJ Garnetta. more

Apr 15, 2008 7:14 PM MUSIC

There are few stories more heartbreaking to watch than that in "Jerabek", a documentary that tells the story of a young man from Green Bay who was killed in Iraq while serving with the U.S. Marines, and his family's confrontation with its consequences. The film was screened in the Wisconsin Film Festival on Sunday, a date that marked the fourth anniversary of his death in combat. more

Apr 8, 2008 5:30 PM Movies

Decades of attacks by a myriad of countries and occupying powers have left Afghanistan devastated, its people impoverished. Recurring Taliban control has made life stricter, particularly for women under Islamic Sharia law. We see these stories and pictures again and again on TV, and there are very few people who know a different Afghanistan. Wazhmha Osman, the narrator in "Postcards from Tora Bora", is one of those few people. more

Apr 8, 2008 4:00 PM Movies

Despite the rain, an enthusiastic crowd formed a long line outside the Bartell Theatre Thursday night for the sold-out Bing'ai. The documentary, compiled by independent filmmaker Feng Yan over the course of ten years, follows Chinese peasant woman Zhang Bing Ai and her family through their struggles with power, poverty and government. more

Apr 4, 2008 7:30 PM Movies

"Turn the River" excels as an independent film, with sincere and believable acting complemented by a vibrant set. The colors on-screen seem to pop, and if there's a theme in the movie, it's a color: blue. There are blue-lit pool halls, lots of blue shirts, blue walls, curtains and books in Gulley's room. more

Apr 4, 2008 3:00 PM Movies

The National Poetry Slam 2008 may be many months away, but Madison organizers are already laying the groundwork for a lively and successful festival. Held in Austin, Texas over the last two years, the competition is moving to Madison in 2008 and 2009 after Wisconsin organizers successfully won a bid over many other applicant cities around the nation. more

Jan 24, 2008 7:43 PM Stage

Dozens of people, many of them longtime north side residents, attended a public listening session regarding stadium renovation plans for the Madison Mallards at the Warner Park Community Center on Tuesday evening. The team sought to update community members on the status of the project, present changes to the plan and hear and respond to attendees' questions and concerns. more

Jan 16, 2008 2:11 PM News



It all began with a busted motorcycle, borrowed by a guitarist from a bass player, after a successful first show at Madison's during the weekend of Halloween 2003. Four years later, the band steez is still entertaining local fans, though no vehicles have recently been totaled. A five piece funk group at its core, the have also built up a nice following around the Midwest with sets of controlled jams punctuated by obscure covers by the likes of Blondie and Hot Chocolate. more

Dec 13, 2007 7:06 PM MUSIC

"I think they're one of the best jam bands in town," comments a patchwork-clad lass at the King Club last Tuesday. Out of the darkness, another, higher pitched voice declares, "They're not a jam band!," with the disdain of someone who's heard it straight from the group. more

Nov 25, 2007 8:50 PM MUSIC