SnapShot: The Flowpoetry of Adam Pergament

Features 15 Oct 2006

Adam PergamentIn a unique and inspiring move, the King Club recently named their first Poet-in-Residence, Adam Gregory Pergament. His intense “flowpoetry” performances, over 400 in the past four years, have garnered him a significant reputation as a fresh voice full of passion and creativity. Pergament is utterly dedicated to “open space for spoken word and music to flow into, facilitate a deep sense of communal and artistic inclusiveness, and generate an acknowledgment of the value of moment-by-moment creative expression.” The King Club has latched on to this inventive idealism, hoping to support a community whose vibrant voice has struggled to be heard. With Pergament heading this new project, he will be heard in a variety of performances, augmenting the King Club’s live music shows with his “flowpoetry” style. In addition to his new post at the King Club, you can hear him perform every Monday night at the Madison Center for Creative and Cultural Arts. For more information on Pergament and his upcoming performances, please check out and

Rick’s CaféWhat do you feel your role in the poetry/spoken-word scene is, and how do you see that scene evolving in the coming years?

Adam Gregory Pergament: My role as a spoken-word performer is subject to interpretation. I love to work with musicians, and a few in the poetic community have devalued my words because of that. I bring a density of language to the stage and a few in the music community have devalued my sense of sound and composition because of that. All of that is okay because there seems to be others who enjoy new forms of creative expression and support moment-by-moment attempts to open spaces where poets and musicians can create together. We are all in this together and the world needs more poets.

RCHow did your unique position at the King Club develop and what exactly will it entail?

Adam PergamentAGP: My appointment as Poet-in-Residence arose out of a few developments. The owners of the King Club had seen and heard me perform and saw in me a way to reaffirm their very sincere and earnest support of innovative Madison-based performers. The idea crystallized when the recent wave of violence hit King Street and the appointment was made as a positive artistic and creative vibration put forth into that landscape. Providing a residence for a spoken-word performer in a music and dance nightclub is without precedence, and both the King Club and I hope to build community across the arts, put on great shows for rockers and lovers alike, and stir up as much dancing and fun as possible. As Poet-in-Residence, I will perform regularly at the club on a variety of bills that would have heretofore never considered including spoken-word. I will also emcee shows from time to time and help with the copy on the club web-site,

RCHow could this community be more supportive of the poetry being created and performed in this town?

Adam PergamentAGP: The Madison community is already very receptive in too many ways to count. However, all of us could better support spoken-word performance through actively seeking out shows and opportunities to listen to poets rant, read, spit, snarl, coo and hum in the clubs around town. The music clubs themselves could put poets on stage as ‘tweeners and as featured performers more often. We have a small footprint. The Overture could have a poet’s corner during events and let us entertain the patrons as they sip their drinks before shows and at intermission. Madison should make a point of more intensively checking out the not-for-profit Madison Center for Creative and Cultural Arts at 306 West Dayton Street where Hanah Jon Taylor has invested so much of his energy supporting the spoken-word and creativity. Poets just starting out could establish open-mics and facilitate spaces for others to perform while honing their own craft. All of us could write more poems and shout them up and down State Street in a mass weekly gathering of voices.

RCHow can people contact you, find out more information, learn more about poetry in Madison and see you perform?

AGP: The easiest place to reach me is through my website at Sign in on the guestbook and let me know where you are. A good place to start learning more about Madison poetry I lead Chime Collective sessions every Monday evening at the Madison Center for Creative and Cultural Arts. These are free-flow freak outs, moment-by-moment musical explorations, and deep-earth-diving musical and poetic sessions that are open to the public. Finally, go to for upcoming Poet-in-Residence and Chime Collective Big Band performances. Please support your local poets.

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About the author

Rick Tvedt

Rick is publisher of Local Sounds Magazine, formerly Rick's Cafe, Wisconsin's Regional Music Newspaper. He is also the Executive Director for MAMA, Inc., a non-profit organization that produces the Madison Area Music Awards and raises funds to promote youth music programs.

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