Saturday, May 15, 1999

Jeff Meyers

Jeff was born in Miami, Florida in 1965 but grew up in a small fishing village on Long Island where he was subjected to all the awfulness the 70’s could bestow upon a teenager. From the joy of gas-rationing (his father owned several gas stations) to the hell of Top 40 Radio, he managed to bury himself in books, acted in as much theater as possible and spent the summer of 1977 going to see Star Wars thirteen times.

He attended the University of Illinois-Urbana on a scholarship, transferring from the Theater Department to a major in Animal Science to a degree in Microbiology, thus losing his scholarship. In his final two years as a senior, he discovered the joys of writing and film... and picked up a Minor in Cinematography.

In 1988, Jeff moved to Chicago and began working at Northwestern University in Genetic Analysis. He started writing screenplays with his best friend and became loosely affiliated with the Neo-Futurists Theater Company. He also started experimenting with poetry because he wanted to impress women.

In 1993, he moved to Portland so his wife could start her residency in surgery. In February 1994, The Portland Poetry Slam was founded and since then Jeff lead five teams through national competition, organized the 1996 National Poetry Slam (which was made into the documentary, SlamNation), established The Great Northwest Salmon Slam (now in its fourth year) and started a monthly show. He won Seattle’s Bumbershoot Poetry Slam in 1997.

Jeff is the co-founder of Theatre Vertigo and is a well-respected theatrical director in Portland and the author of two chapbooks, Come Over Here And Leave Me Alone and Half Empty. His latest screenplay, The Darkest Way is currently making the rounds in Hollywood.

His current projects include a play involving a religious cult, a manuscript of poetry based on the porno industry, moving his theater company into a new space and more screenwriting and directing. He makes his living as a molecular biologist.

Todd Davis

TODD STEVEN DAVIS was born at mid-century and grew up in a small Virginia mill town but has lived in the Northwest for twenty-five years and now resides in Seattle. He has an MA in Creative Writing, taught at the college level and has been writing and publishing since he was fifteen years old. He makes his living as a Registered Nurse specializing in spinal cord injury.

Todd says he writes poetry because he feels the compulsion to write, because it gives him great pleasure, and because he likes the adventure. He uses writing to organize his ideas and emotions. Often, he doesn’t know how he feels about something until he writes it down. Performing is the way he checks his editing. When he performs, he knows what he’s done by audience reaction.

Todd believes in poetry as an oral art. What people unconsciously love about language is rhythm, rhyme, repetition, word play, stress. The current generation of poets, he says, is lucky. After decades of academic verse, spoken word, Hip Hop poetry, and the sport of poetry slams has reached the forefront.

Todd is a regular performer in Seattle Slam and in 1995 was a member of the team that represented Seattle in the National Poetry Slam. He has toured nationally, performing in New York and Chicago and all over the west coast. He was the 1996 Grand Winner of the invitational Bumbershoot Poetry Slam.

He is also the author of three books:
  • Sun & Moon Rendezvous
  • Criminal Thawts
  • Like Wings Of Birds.
He is also a singer for the band Eldorado Drive-Thru.