At national slam poetry events, individual poets who are unaffiliated with a team are referred to as “storm poets.” Poet Danny Solis created this name as a memorial to his friend Pat Storm, who died in 2000.
Pat was a member of several slam teams from the south competing at the national level and was very successful. You can see why in this piece.
Pat grew up in New York City and he returned there, amidst some controversy. He would hang out in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village near where I live. I would visit him there sometimes.
But Pat was struggling with substance abuse. One time when I saw him in the park, he was unconscious on a bench, surrounded by paramedics and police. When they roused him, he burst into fire and it took several men to restrain him. Pat was a powerful force.
In 2000, I invited Pat to come see the SlamAmerica Bus tour’s NYC performance at a club on 14th Street. I think that was the last time many of his slam poet friends saw him. He died soon after.
Pat was well-loved by the slam community and we miss him. For all you proud storm poets, here is your namesake…