Word of Mouth Cincinnati (WoMC) is a literary event consisting of both an Open Mic and a Feature Performance that runs the last Tuesday of each month at MOTR Pub.
The Feature Performance TONIGHT is Abiyah!
Take a Soul Train dancer from 1974 - one of them sistas who didn’t give a fuck about cameras or Don Cornelius - well, if that sista made love to George Clinton and they had a baby girl and they let Patti Smith and Sister Carol raise that girl child in an embrace pre-dating same-sex marriage debates, that girl child woulda grown up to be Abiyah. By the early aughts, Cincinnati-based Abiyah hit upon a highly workable concoction: she fused her punk ethos with her love of Hip Hop, Dancehall, Dub, Alternative Rock and Spoken Word and racked up recorded collaborations and stage-to-the-page performances that resonate to this day - a poet published in the 2001 Random House anthology Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Abiyah killed it on her impressive 2002 EP debut single “Free Wild Muse”, got all Grace Slick on 2004’s Coltrane Motion remix of her psychedelic cicada love song “Rise” and tweaked Bobby McFerrin’s notion of melodic vox on “Ring Around the Rosie,” an a cappella/beatbox meditation recorded with Fairmount Girls’ Dana Hamblen and beatboxer Marty Spitfly.
From her iconic days at the forefront of the floetry genre, when she pre-dated and sidestepped the stereotypical lovelorn verses spit at coffeehouse open mics, to her postmodern style smeared and sometimes sung across any style she chooses, Abiyah still has something to say. And it’s gonna be in a language she invented. And it will be spoken, sung and rapped to the ages.
Word of Mouth Cincinnati, which began in January 2014, is co-hosted by fellow writers Jim Palmarini and Mark Flanigan. It was founded in memory of the late Aralee Strange who, after many years living, writing and producing work in the Cincinnati area, moved to Athens, Georgia where she co-founded Athens Word of Mouth.
WoMC is an intentional arc of both past and future utterance, inspired by our most revered voice, with a nod to her Athens, GA compatriots. Word of Mouth asks poets to Show Up, Mouth Off and Pay Attention.
Admission to Word of Mouth Cincinnati at MOTR Pub is free, starts at 7p and open to all ages, although some material may be adult-oriented.