Arizona Slam Poet Christopher Ya'ir Lane has passed away. He was on a few NORAZ/Flagstaff teams and was also the coach of Sedona's BNV team. From Northern Arizona poet Kayt Pearl:
I write to share some very sad news with you all.
Christopher Ya'ir Lane passed away last night in his sleep.
Chris was dear friend to me and a true mentor to me in the field of arts programming. We worked closely together with his poetry organization and shared a great deal of mutual support for each other’s dreams. I've been balling my eyes out all day but pulled together enough to write to you because we all knew him and loved him. Some of you know much better than I who his friends are in the poetry community and beyond. Please share this news with love in your hearts.
We are planning a memorial benefit for his family on September 14th, in Sedona AZ, at Java Love Cafe, which is a venue here in town that was just acquired by another dear friend of his, Dotan Lior, who is opening his doors for this event.
I am looking for friends, poets, colleagues, students, and former students of Chris's who would love to be a part of this event, -- to perform, to offer words of remembrance, and to share feelings of gratitude and love for this man's life. Please be in touch or direct people to me to get in touch about it. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
. Email or facebook.
He leaves his two beloved sons Oren & Zephryn and his wife Akasha here, and they are in need of your support. We are hoping to raise a large sum of money for his memorial services and their living expenses, as well as establish a memorial fund for his boys.
Phoenix poet and youth mentor Myrlin Hepworth once said to me that "Chris is like an OG of slam poetry", and its true. For almost 2 decades(or more?!), he has lived and breathed it, and he leaves a poetry legacy behind that will live on for many years to come. As a 3-year newcomer to AZ and a 3-year old friendship with Chris, I only know a small part of the story. I can only partially attest to the thriving poetry scene he helped to establish here Northern AZ and the rest of the state, from the ground up, and to the networks and relationships he has built, connected, and immersed himself in over the years, out of love for the literary arts. My hope is to compile a more complete picture of his influence from those who felt love for him.
Recently, he had handed over the Director role of our youth program Young Voices Be Heard to me, so he could free up some of his time to dedicate towards expanding our non-profit and fundraising on a much higher level than ever before.
I will attempt to piece together some of those relationships that our non-profit LARC – Literary Arts for Rural Communities, formerly NORAZ Poets, thrived on. Christopher had a core belief in the power of the word, “Voice=Legacy” , and I do hope, with all of your help and connectivity, that I can keep the fabric of this organization together. Please share this info with those you may know who would seem appropriate.
For now, our community is focusing on supporting his family and honoring his life. For those of you who can contribute in any way, through words, monetary support or presence at the benefit, please get in touch. Akasha as I understand, is neck deep in working out what is there is to work out after such a tragedy. I'm sure you can imagine.
Thanks for your support, prayers and well wishes to his family.
No more words.
Best, Kayt Pearl