Starting at 6 p.m., the event will feature poets Kent Winward, Kurt Rasmussen and JulieAnn Carter-Winward. In addition to the three headliners, Jesse Parent of Salt City Slam Team will give a guest performance and host the event.
The performers all have their own unique styles, but they are unified under the idea of subverting cultural expectations, hence the name “Underground,” which according to Winward, also stems from downtown Ogden’s underground tunnels used during the prohibition era to smuggle alcohol.
Each performer deviates from one other, which is exhibited in their particular fascinations and levels of profanity (I am unable to put in print many of the interview segments from some of the performers due to their love of the profane).
Winward, a published author, said she is passionate about “sex, culture, politics, relationships (and) religion. These subjects permeate my work and fuel it.”
Her most memorable niche is her exploration of sexuality within the conservative framework of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Here you’ve got this religion with strict codes of morality, but if you’re ‘good’, you get to go to the highest kingdom of heaven and have lots of sex,” said Winward.
All the various poets stressed the value and pleasure derived from creating a nearly tangible connection between the performer and the audience. Some even felt the need to employ drug metaphors to explain how enjoyable it feels to them.
“When you can tell you’ve really reached down inside someone, it is so cool,” said Rasmussen. “It’s definitely like crack was supposed to be: if you get it once, you’ve got to have it again.”
Parent said he finds satisfaction in being able to engender two or more conflicting emotions simultaneously, which happens to be the exact definition of ambivalence.
“You shouldn’t just be happy, or sad, or angry,” said Parent. “There should be a mix of feelings as an audience member.”
For those interested in attending, Parent said, “Saturday will be an amazing showcase of Ogden’s homegrown talent. There will be high-energy performances filled with tension, comedy and a bit of sexiness.”
Winward stipulated that only adults should come, “Our poetry is not suitable for children.”
She tempered that statement by saying the event will be enjoyable to anyone “who wants to be entertained, who has an open mind, who is passionate about all things human: the good, the bad, the ugly or the underbelly of existence. They should come.”