Buddy Wakefield (born June 4, 1974) is a spoken word poet, signed to Sage Francis' record label, Strange Famous Records. He has been praised for his explosive energy and captivating lyrics.
Buddy Wakefield was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and was raised in Baytown, Texas and now calls Seattle, Washington home. In 1999 he released his first spoken word album, A Stretch of Presence. In 2001 he left his position as an executive assistant for a biomedical firm in Gig Harbor, Washington, sold or gave away everything he owned and moved into a Honda Civic to tour North American poetry venues.
In 2004, Wakefield released his first book of poetry, "Some They Can't Contain" (The Wordsmith Press; now on Write Bloody Publishing) consisting of many fan favorites such as "Convenience Stores", "Pretend", "Marbles in The Trees", "Arizona Summers", and "A Little Ditty Called Happiness".
Also in 2004 and again in 2005, Buddy Wakefield won the Individual World Poetry Slam Championship title, becoming the first poet to win the title two consecutive years.
In 2006, Wakefield signed to Sage Francis' label Strange Famous Records and released his second album, Run On Anything. Sage Francis' third solo album entitled Human the Death Dance takes its name from a Buddy Wakefield poem with the same title and excerpts from the poem can be heard throughout the album.
Over the course of his career, Wakefield has been a member of several slam poetry teams including Team Seattle in 2006 and 2007. He is also a member of 2007's Solomon Sparrow's Electric Whale Revival and 2008's Junkyard Ghost Revival. He founded the The Bullhorn Collective, a now defunct spoken word talent agency, and currently serves of the board of Youth Speaks Seattle, a non-profit literary arts organization.
Wakefield has had a profound influence on the contemporary poetry slam movement, both in his performance and writing style as well as how he has conducted his career. In her book, Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam, author Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz named Wakefield as "the modern poetry slam role model." She wrote,
After his iWPS victory, sold everything he owned and toured the country, living out of his car when he wasn't crashing on couches. He was not the first slam poet to do this and certainly not the last, but he was definitely the most high-profile, and he really set the stage for what I like to call the "Troubadour Movement" in slam, the whole desire simply to tour, to reach out and be with your community.
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