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PSI Executive Council

Voting Members

Marc Smith - President

BIO: Under Construction


Debora K. Marsh - Whitmore Lake, MI.
Vice-President and Secretary

BIO: Debora Marsh has been the only Secretary PSI has ever had. She has been Slamming in Ann Arbor and around the country since 1991. She has
qualified for the Ann Arbor Slam series many times but has elected to serve the team as performer only once in Asheville in 1994. She has been coach, confident, supporter, facilitator and SlamMaster many times for other Ann Arbor teams including coming to the rescue of the team whose car was stolen in Chicago during the 1991 National Poetry Slam. She has been the official coach of Ann Arbor's team in 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000. She is the author of a chapbook called "Shoulder to Shoulder," and a regular feature at local poetry events and at the Northern Michigan summertime event called Stone Circle. She has been published in many poetry publications including "Poetry SLam! The Competitive Art of Performance Poetry," released by manic d press in 2000. Debora is collaborating on the summer 2001 release of a two-voice CD with her husband Steve. 


Henry Sampson, Oak Park, IL

Henry Sampson
804 N. Oak Park Av.
Oak Park, IL   60302

Teacher of English for 29 years, the last 27 at William Fremd High School in Palatine Illinois.  Primary teaching responsibilities include developer and instructor in the District 211 Gifted Program for the last 15 years.  Developer and instructor in District 211 Advanced Placement English course for  the last 20 years.  Instructor if Creative Writing and Rhetoric of Cinema for the last 20 years.  Primarily responsible for bringing Poetry Slams in to the high school arena. Developed plan for implementing poetry slams into normal high school curriculum beginning in 1990;  presented information on high school slams at The Illinois Speech and Theater Association and at the National Council Teachers of English Conventions.  Head coach of  Fremd High School's Speech Team for 27 years.  Have qualified students for the IHSA State Individual Events Finals 22 of the last 25 years. Numerous Conference, Regional and Sectional Championships.  Chairman of the Illinois Speech Coaches commission of the Illinois Speech and Theater Association.  Commissioner of the coaches association for the last 6 years.  Building Representative for the Illinois Federation of Teachers for the last 10 years;  served a five year term in the same position in the late 1970's. Hosted 1997 regional Poetry Slam in Chicago.  Co-organizer of the 1999 National Poetry Slam in Chicago. Non-voting member of the Executive Council of Poetry Slam, Inc 1999 and 2000. Elected to Executive Council of Poetry Slam, Inc. 2001 to present. Treasurer of Poetry Slam, Inc, 2000 to present. Proposed co-organizer of the 2003 National Poetry Slam, Chicago.


Scott Woods 

BIO: The author of over eight volumes of poetry and prose ("Poetic Predator", "Can You Hear Me Now?" and "Inside" most recently), Scott Woods has performed in
a number of venues and with an assortment of accompaniments.  He has published articles, short stories and other prose work in a variety of publications in print and multi-media platforms.  His work has been used in creative writing and historical literature classes at the Ohio State University and numerous high schools. He was the coach and a member of the Columbus Slam Team that placed third in the 2000 Rust Belt Regional Poetry Slam (and won it in 2001), and was the coach and a member of Columbus's first-ever National Poetry Slam Team that participated in the 2001 National Poetry Slam in Seattle, Washington.  He currently MCs a weekly open mic series in Columbus, Ohio when he is not doing shows, and is the unofficial secretary for the Midwest Poetry Slam League.


Noemi Collins

BIO: Under Construction


Michael Salinger

Michael Salinger lives near Cleveland, Ohio. He has spawned two sons and been spurned by two wives. Salinger is a father, poet, performer, author, director and playwright. He has been involved in promoting creative writing through performance and education in places as interesting as Anchorage, Alaska to Land O' Lakes, Florida.

He is the founder of Clevelandpoetics, a presenting organization that brings poets into schools, universities and museums as well as hosting visiting authors. He has been active in the National Poetry Slam, both as participant and organizer since 1991.

He is the originator of the Nova Lizard Project, a performance art troupe.

Salinger enjoys jazz and fishing.


Paula Friedrich, Seattle, WA, Trustee, slamsister2001@yahoo.com

Paula Friedrich was a member of three National Poetry Slam Teams from Seattle and has coached five teams. She has performed in numerous venues and festivals across the nation, including the Asheville Poetry Festival, Seattle Poetry Festival, Bumbershoot, Fall for Poetry, SXSW, the Albuquerque Poetry Festival, the Phoenix Poetry Festival, the SlamAmerica Bus Tour, and the 2000 Taos Poetry Circus where her team won first place in the tag team bout. Paula often collaborates with other artists, including her group Uterus Universe, and has taught workshops in the Washington State Correctional Center for Women. Her poems have appeared in Art Access magazine, SlamAmerica, Real Change, and Exquisite Corpse.  Paula was the founding Board President of The Seattle Poetry Slam, which merged with Seattle's Eleventh Hour Productions, producers of the Seattle Poetry Festival as well as National Poetry Slam 2001, which she co-directed. Paula is a trustee of Poetry Slam Incorporated (PSI) and an Oberlin College graduate in creative writing, which makes her mother proud. In her spare time, she works in the marketing department at Experience Music Project (EMP), a nonprofit pop music museum in Seattle, WA.

Non-Voting Members 

Mike Henry, Austin, TX - Development Director, mike@austinslam.com 

BIO: Under Construction


Emily Kagan
College Outreach Coordinator, West of the Mississippi


Robb Ryan Q. Thibault,
College Outreach Coordinator, East of the Mississippi


An “Uncle” of the College Slam- produced the first national college slam, University of Michigan, 2001.

Serve as the Association of College Unions International (ACUI)-College Union Poetry Slam program leader.

Founder of the following slams: Fargo: Slam on the Plains 1997-2000, University of Michigan: U-Club Poetry Slam 2000-present, State University of New York, Oneonta: The Big O’Poetry Slam, 2001-present, ACUI College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, 2001-present.

Captain of Team Fargo ’98 & Coach Team Fargo ’99

Served as Bout Manager and Emcee at NPS ’99 (the infamous 6th judge bout resolved w/out protest)

Co-coordinated the Volunteer Service sites at NPS ‘99

I saw my first Slam at Boston’s Cantab Lounge in 1995. The Smith & Brown Show infected me forever.

Larry Francis was my teacher for high school Literature. Wow, that was quite a while ago? Is he still alive?

Reach me at Robb@poetryslam.com


Carolyn Holbrook, Present NPS Host (until 2003)

BIO: Under Construction


Maria Mungai, Future NPS Host (until 2004)

BIO: Under Construction


Steve D. Marsh - Whitmore Lake, MI
Executive Director

BIO: Steve Marsh is the first Executive Director of Poetry Slam, Inc. He has
been a Slammer in Ann Arbor (but not IN the Slammer in Ann Arbor) since
1988. He was a member of Ann Arbor's Slam team in Chicago in 1991, in
Boston in 1992 (where Ann Arbor finished third to Boston and San Francisco), in San Francisco in 1993, in Portland in 1996 and in Austin in 1998. He co-hosted the 1995 National Poetry Slam in Ann Arbor and was a central figure in the move to incorporate Poetry Slam as a non-profit corporation in 1997. He participated in the SlamAmerica bus tour as tour manager for several days in 2000. He is the author of four chapbooks and is looking forward to the production of his first CD in the summer of 2001. He has shared the SlamMaster duties in Ann Arbor with his wife, Debora, and friends Larry Francis and Erik Daniel since 1994.


Gary Glazner - Santa Fe, NM.
Minister of Fun

BIO: Glazner was born in Oklahoma in 1957. His middle name Mex is shortened from New Mexico. His great-grand parents homesteaded in Stanley, New Mexico in the early 1900's and named their son Mex. The name has been passed down since then. Glazner edited the anthology entitled Poetry Slam: The Competitive Art of Performance Poetry , which documents the first ten years of the National Poetry Slam. It was published in July of 2000 by Manic D Press. Glazner organized SlamAmerica, a poetry bus ride across America, which featured 37 readings over a 30 day period in 35 cities. The tour took place in the summer of 2000 and over 100 poets participated. Glazner is working with Aaron Yamaguchi to make a documentary film of the tour. He lives outside of Santa Fe with his wife Margaret and their dog Federico.