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Artist in Residence: Buddy Wakefield
Presented by AIR Serenbe
Buddy is 2018 Frances Focus Fellowship recipient, awarded to a storyteller with deep ties to the American South.
Buddy Wakefield is a three-time world champion spoken word artist featured on the BBC, HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, ABC Radio National and signed to Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records. In 2004 he won the Individual World Poetry Slam Finals thanks to the support of anthropologist and producer Norman Lear then went on to share the stage with nearly every notable performance poet in the world in over 1500 venues internationally from The Great Lawn of Central Park, Zimbabwe’s Shoko Festival and Scotland’s Oran Mor to San Quentin State Penitentiary, House of Blues New Orleans and The Basement in Sydney, Australia.
In the spring of 2001 Buddy left his position as the executive assistant at a biomedical firm in Gig Harbor, WA, sold or gave away everything he owned, moved to the small town of Honda Civic and set out to live for a living, touring North American poetry venues through 2003. He has not yet stopped.
Having spent most of his career based in Seattle, WA, now claiming Los Angeles, CA as home, Buddy has been a busker in Amsterdam, a street vendor in Spain, a team leader in Singapore, a re-delivery boy, a candy maker, a street sweeper, a bartender, a maid, a construction worker, a bull rider, an incredibly slow triathlete and a facilitator at Quantum Learning Network. He loves peanut butter, power napping, chopping wood and Vipassana meditation. Wakefield is an actor, a writer, elated son of a guitar repair woman, wingman of Giant Saint Everything and pays attention.
An author at Write Bloody Publishing and an original Board of Directors member with Youth Speaks Seattle, Buddy is published internationally in dozens of books with work used to win multiple national collegiate debate and forensics competitions. Wakefield, who is not concerned with what poetry is or is not, delivers raw, rounded, disarming performances of humor and heart.