"I have nothing but the highest praise for the work Clare Ultimo has done in creating "Verbs on Asphalt," the history of the Poetry Slam at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 1989-present, with commentary. The site is chockablock with solid info, easily approachable for updates, adds and edits, and has a terrific aesthetic sense. A scene like this is so transient, ephemeral — like most all aspects of the oral tradition, it exists in people, in the live events. It takes hard work, dedication and spirit to unearth the info, and the eye of an artist to catch the spirit of the scene in the design. I was the original Slammaster of the Cafe, never took off my leather pork pie. I raise it to Clare!"
– Bob Holman, Founder and proprietor, Bowery Poetry Club, NY (Click for more)
"This...creates the first cohesive story of our Poetry Slam for the world to see... Clare has conveyed the Nuyorican tradition of artistic integrity to a new generation of poets and performers.
– Miguel Algarin, Poet, writer, educator and Founder of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe
"With her project "Verb on Asphalt," Clare Ultimo has done the near impossible. Not only has she carefully and tirelessly catalogued the who, what, when and how the Nuyorican Poetry Slam, but she has done so in way that embraces the thrilling energy and no-holds-barred spirit of the Nuyorican and the Poetry Slam movements.
It is easy to find the answers you are looking for the site, but it is just as easy (and much more slyly pleasurable) to get lost in it. Reading firsthand accounts from the poet's themselves, watching video of jaw-dropping performances, poring over the years of
archived articles and photographs: the site can easily be an addiction. But having exhumed the history of the poetry slam myself, I know what Ultimo has made look so easy and logical is truly the result of years of dedication and a peerless passion. "Verbs on Asphalt" is in invaluable resource to our community, and we are
so grateful to Ultimo for it.
– Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, author of "Words In Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam" (Click for more)
"Verbs on Asphalt/History of Nuyorican Poetry Slam" is the first attempt by anyone to capture and document an activity that somehow influenced an entire nation...Now, it does not have to be filed away with the once noticed and shadowy things of past unknowns. This document is a telling of those times and those people who went from the largest stage in the universe, as we called it at the Nuyorican, to Broadway stages and beyond.
– Keith Roach, writer, poet and radio host – No Boarders 24/7 Poetry Radio (Click for more)
"Verbs on Asphalt" is a document not only of the history of Slam at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, but also a history of contemporary poetry here in New York City. It is done with artistic mastery and a truthful eye and it will serve as a template for future historians of literature and spoken word. As a non-profit organization with a mission to be inclusive to our artistic community, she's done us well.
– Lois E. Griffith, poet, writer, educator and Director of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe
"Verbs on Asphalt" is an indispensable, impressive, skillfully curated history of slam at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Clare's dedication and commitment to preserving the legacy of this legendary performance venue is unsurpassed.
– Steve Colman, writer, performer and 1998 National Slam Team Champion, Nuyorican Poets Cafe