Phil West

Phil West

1995 Team Member
1996 Team Member
1996 Austin Slam Champ
1997 Team Member
1998 National Poetry Slam Organizer
1999 Team Member

Hear this poet:
   Beat Poem - Phil West
   Response to Question Number Three On My Ten-Year High School Reunion Questionnaire: What Have You Been Doing Since Graduation? - Phil West

Your Name: Phil West

Your Nickname: Pony

Born (place and year): Santa Monica, CA., November 17, 1968

Day Job: Graduate Student / Writing Consultant

Formative Childhood Experience: Running nude through my neighborhood while other kids chanted "Streaker!" (Age 5, Simi Valley, CA.)

Your Interests include: Noise rock, basketball, coffee, writing, nail polish, kissing my girlfriend, vodka tonics, smoking, baseball, baseball players who smoke (e.g. the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies), contemporary art, fully functional appliances, insanely spicy food.

Last Book Read: Lipstick Traces by Greil Marcus

Ambition: To teach, to write, and to eventually pay off my credit card bills.

Recent Accomplishment: Drove home from the Albuquerque Poetry Festival with a screw embedded in my left front tire for 700 miles and lived.

Prized Possessions: My computer, my bike, my trusty car, and my pen.

When you started Slamming: August, 1994

One-sentence description of your Slam style: Fast, frenetic, often pop cultural, and caffeine-crafted.

Influences (poetic and otherwise): Allen Ginsberg, Frank O'Hara, Susan Mitchell, Pavement, Sonic Youth, Pixies, Lester Bangs, Buddha, Chogyam Trungpa, virutally everything in Austin, the hypno-dreadlocks of Danny Solis, the whole slam community, bearers of chocolate and cigarettes, people who talk loud enough to be overheard and compellingly enough to be worth hearing.

Favorite Slam Poet: Beth Lisick

Favorite Cartoon: South Park / Milk & Cheese

Favorite Episode of M.A.S.H.: The one where Klinger wears a fur coat for an entire summer day.


Articles by Phil West:
Spoken Word at South by Southwest - 1996
Spoken Word at South by Southwest -1997
My Slammer Vacation - Phil's Diary of the 1997 Nationals

Phil (at far left) in Seattle, 1988, (age 19) as lead singer of Neurotic Party. It was my first band. We were Goth. Can you tell? Eric Cooley (the guy who looks like Robert Smith here) is STILL in a Goth band, a decade later.


Phil in 1994, with Madison poet Ken Hunt, at an Austin bookstore. We were members of everyone's favorite slow dissonant noise-rock band, Self-Help Seminar, which explains why we're so at home and at-ease in this particular setting.

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