Lisa Martinovic ́ is a native San Franciscan who — to the surprise of everyone, most especially herself — spent most of the 1990s in Hogeye, Arkansas. Yet it was there that she came into her own as a slam poet, writing and performing political satire, ribald erotica, Ozark character studies and a genre she calls poemedy—a hybrid art form combining the most compelling qualities of poetry and stand-up comedy. She has ten self-published books to her credit and the CD Snake Dreams, a joint production with fellow Ozark poet Brenda Moossy.
Lisa has toured as a performance poet throughout the US, featuring everywhere from New York City’s Nuyorican and City Lights in San Francisco to the New Orleans Lollapalooza. She is absolutely tickled to have won “Best Surprise Act” of the 1996 Austin International Poetry Festival for her performance piece, Jim Bob Gets a Lap Dance. Lisa’s poetry has appeared in ten anthologies and numerous magazines, including Andre Codrescu’s Exquisite Corpse, Southern Exposure, The Underwood Review, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, Will Work for Peace, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, Ozark Mosaic: Adventures in Arkansas Alternative Journalism, 1990-2002, Revival: Spoken Work from Lollapalooza 94, How to Make a Living as a Poet, and Poetry Slam: The Competitive Art of Performance Poetry.
Her essays have appeared in several anthologies as well as the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner, Northern California Bohemian, The Ozark Gazette, commondreams.org, counterpunch.org; her commentaries are heard periodically on NPR affilliate KQED 88.5 FM and Pacifica Radio’s KPFA 94.1 FM.
As the Co-Chair of the Ozark Poets & Writers Collective, Lisa organized, emceed and participated in local poetry slams, and served for three years on the Executive Council of Poetry Slam, Inc., the national governing body for the growing world of slam. She was on slam teams representing The Ozarks at the National Poetry Slam every year from ’95 to ’99, and on Team Santa Cruz in 2000. At the ’96 National Poetry Slam she was the 12th ranked individual in the nation. Three-time winner of the annual Ozark Grand Slam, she was not bashful about calling herself the SlamQueen of the Ozarks.
Returning the Bay Area in 1999, she redefined herself as Slaminatrix, hoping that her inner Buddhist would understand. She began photographing flowers as they’ve never been seen before (www.LinguaFlora.com), then developed a most unusual form of cartooning (www.Doubloons.us). Most recently Lisa has reinvented herself as a wellness coach and health care advocate and blogs about it at www.WellnessAlly.net.
Lisa currently performs in an improv troupe with Oakland’s Magic Jester Theater. During their monthly shows, Lisa hosts a creature of her own invention: the Improv Slam. Check it out!