ECC: You're known as a poet with a commanding stage presence. Did you refine your performance skills in poetry slams? Or are you naturally extroverted? When you're drafting a poem do you keep in mind performance?
BC:I think I am naturally extroverteda, not necessarily a character trait that I’m proud of. I have never been on a slam team; in fact, I was only part of one reading that was officially called a “slam.” It was many years ago at the Green Mill in Chicago. Marc Smith was holding a sonnet slam that night. I didn’t know this when I decided to go to the Green Mill that night, but I just happened to have a sonnet with me, so I decided to read it. Before I knew what was happening, I had won that slam and about $20. But I never slammed again. I have, of course, practiced my performance skills over the years by doing many different kinds of poetry readings in a variety of settings, as well as during the years that I worked with Sonido Ink (quieto), which was a fairly raucous Chicano/a garage rock band. Yet no matter how many performances I do, I still get nervous every time!
Click on the "interviews" link to read interview. Tip of the hat to Francisco Aragon for asking me to do the interview.