Reservoir Dogwoods


The Reservoir Dogwoods, four of Indiana’s finest spoken word artists, are traveling through Central and Southern Indiana this spring. Jason L. Ammerman (Indianapolis), Matthew Jackson (Columbus), and Joseph Kerschbaum and Tony Brewer (Bloomington) have joined forces to showcase their brand of homegrown performance poetry across the Hoosier state.

“The four hardest-working poets in Indiana today are bringing their unique styles together for a breathtaking show,” says Jason L. Ammerman, member of the Reservoir Dogwoods. Performances are scheduled in cities such as Bloomington, Columbus, Evansville, Greenwood, Shelbyville, and Indianapolis.These poets draw on such wide-ranging influences as the Beats, Saul Williams, Scott Russell Sanders, Charles Bukowski, Etheridge Knight, Miles Davis, and the list goes on and on and on. Each poet is established in his own community and brings a solid sound to create a symphony of images and styles for the mind.

This is the poetry/spoken word event of the year. You don’t want to miss it!

To learn more about the Reservoir Dogwoods, check

What event organizers are saying about the Reservoir Dogwoods:

“The Reservoir Dogwoods rate an A++! They were able to do in one evening what it takes most of the faculty ten weeks to do. The Dogwoods’ show brought poetry to life, engaged the audience in a fresh and exciting way, and provided thought-provoking entertainment! Their work came across as a stunning, relevant, educational experience. Students on our campus (IUPUC) are still talking about the experience as “awesome” and “real.” Everything poetry and education ought to be!”Judy Spector, Professor of English, IUPUC

“College campuses often attract the best and the brightest creative talents and this was certainly the case when the poetry troupe, Reservoir Dogwoods, four bodacious bards playfully toured our campus with their postmodern pastiche of hip hop, slam, hipster, lyric, and narrative voices. Be forewarned: This is not your average academic poetry tour. Sometimes restrained and poignant, sometimes inspired and bawdy, our students and community welcome them back –SOON!”Katherine Tsiopos Wills, poet and Assistant Professor of English, IUPUC 2009

“The Reservoir Dogwoods turned my first-year students on to poetry. After attending the show, my composition students were more engaged in their reading and their writing. They loosened up and were eager to risk sharing their own ideas in classroom discussion. Student reflections on the Reservoir Dogwoods included: “I liked how the poems were very real—up to date,” “I wasn’t used to funny poems because in high school all I read or heard were serious boring poems,” and “my look on poetry is much different now that I have gone to my first poetry reading. I think poetry is a way of expressing how you feel. I could definitely see myself going and listening to poetry again!”Lisa Siefker Bailey, Lecturer of English, IUPUC


“What you notice first about any Reservoir Dogwoods program is the energy and vitality that the four members bring, unstintingly, to what they do. You feel that, if need be, they could single-handedly re-invent—or invent, even—those aspects that make poetry (whatever else it may be) a spoken art. At their performances, you are drawn—willingly, willingly—into the bright, non-stop enthusiasms of their work. To listen to Reservoir Dogwoods is to get in touch with your own powers of enthusiasm.” — Rob Stillwell poet and Professor of English, IUPUC 2009


March 18, 2009: Shelbyville News (Shelybville, IN)

March 31, 2009: Liberty Monthly (Columbus, IN)

May 2, 2009: The News and Tribune (New Albany, IN)

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