Greg Bem is a student, writer, performer and marketer living in Columbia City, Seattle. He grew up in Southern Maine and got his BFA from Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island. From 2008-2010 he lived in Philadelphia, where he was a member of the Poetic Arts Performance Project, and New Philadelphia Poets, and a full-time volunteer of the AmeriCorps program City Year. In late 2010, he drove across the country with two of his closest friends in a moving truck, settling in Southeast Seattle. He volunteers for the Seattle Public Library, the Rainier Valley Food Bank, the Ballard Landmark, and the Northwest Spoken Word Lab. His poetry, creative prose, and book reviews have been published in numerous online and offline places, and he currently attends the University of Washington in pursuit of an MLIS degree.
Until 2010, Alex Bleecker was stuck to the tri-state area (NY, NJ, Conn) like a fly on rice – born, raised, studied, lived, loved, worked, etc. After ten years as a teacher in New York where, among other things, he made poetry and waffles with his students at the High School for Public Service in Brooklyn, Alex spent a year in India and Southeast Asia before moving to Seattle. This coincided with his mother moving to Florida, though it was no coincidence.
Besides “shit in general,” Alex runs Respuestas (http://nerudaproject.wordpress.com), a website unbiasedly devoted to eliciting and sharing poetic responses to Pablo Neruda’s Book of Questions. His own poems have appeared in print and online in Brownstone Poets Anthology, Clwn Wrs, fre•quen•cy, INACTUAL, Matter, PageBoy, Poets for Living Waters, Shampoo, Squaw Valley Review, et al., and he is a regular contributor to Uphook Press anthologies. His chapbook Found in a Cord (Poets Wear Prada Press) was published in 2006. Like his Breadline co-curators Yoda and J-French (see above and below), Alex, too, is a member of the extended SPLAB family.
He currently works for the nonprofit writing and tutoring center 826 Seattle, where he considers himself a custodian of imaginations. He holds a BA in English from Wesleyan University and an MS from Bank Street College of Education. Alex believes that bread is life, and we’re all waiting in line for a slice…
Jeremy Springsteed is many things in many places and times. Painter, activist, hooligan, father, barista and poet. He began writing when he was eight, weaving together stories about spies, Armageddon and Nazis in Nebraska. He then moved on to writing about love and depression like any melodramatic teenager and currently melds all past and present experiences in a kaleidoscope of existential confessions. He also loves birds. After spending his late teens and early twenties driving around the United States spouting off Marxism and desperately trying to keep his socks dry, he then found himself in the cozy city of Seattle where he dove head first into the world of anti-war activism. Later to keep the lights on he began his career in coffee.
In 2010 one of his customers offered him a scholarship to a weekend poetry retreat where he was introduced to Seattle’s poetry scene. This sparked a motivation to actively seek out more events, eventually leading him to meet Alex Bleecker and Greg Bem. The three formed a friendship over double wet willies and beer. Soon after they started talking about the idea of a performance series based in Capitol Hill that could offer a conversation amongst divergent art forms and broaden the perspectives of artists and audiences. Thus Breadline was born. Co-curating this event has given Jeremy the opportunity to introduce new voices that are inspiring to him and as the open mic host he has the pleasure of consistently promoting creativity and performance in others. This stands in line with his passion to help people feel empowered and validated in their right to be heard.