100 Profiles: Sam Sax Shakes Up the S.F. Slam Scene

"Most folks read their poems like they're written by somebody else

100 Profiles
SF Weekly interviews 100 people in San Francisco arts and culture.

No. 100: Sam Sax

If you asked me: Hey Evan, what's the best thing on the literary scene right now, I'm not sure I could give you a straight answer. But I could give you a queer one. Sam Sax writes lurid and often shocking homoerotic poetry that is sometimes violent. His use of metaphor is so masterful and his commitment to emotional candor so zealous that you identify with his words regardless of gender, sexual preference, or penchant for danger. More of this, please! A rare combination of shock value and honesty, Sam is not just talking to hear himself speak.

Hailing from the slam tradition, Sam recently toured the country for more than a year with the collective We Are the Unreal, performing poems and (probably) drinking too much. He is on the San Francisco Slam Team and has just finished his first manuscript, Hella Gay Notes from Underground. Next month he will assume the duties of co-hosting the Poetry Mission with Andrew Paul Nelson and Nic Alea –exciting news for any writer cum provocateur.

After the Rumpus the other night, Bucky was telling Sam and Andrew about how David Lerner used to throw peanuts at people when their writing was bad.

This probably has something to do with Sam's recent dreaming of a “badass literary scene where if people didn't like you they would throw bottles at you and if they liked your poems then you would be part of this community. That's really appealing in a lot of ways. To have that type of visceral and violent response from your audience I think is really sexy.”

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