Acclaimed local poet brings spoken word to the masses


Award-winning slam poet Rudy Francisco brings his magnetic words to Florent Restaurant and Lounge in the Gaslamp on Monday, May 21. As part of their monthly Poetry Slam series, the downtown locale welcomes home the native San Diegan, who travels the world with his spoken word poetry. With over 240,000 followers on Facebook, almost 92,000 followers on Instagram and 38,000 followers on Twitter, Rudy speaks truth to many poetry fans around the globe.

With relatable lines like “Cupid is irresponsible, and I’m tired of him using me as target practice,” fans connect to Rudy’s honesty and clamor for more.

Confronting issues like race, politics, love and relationships, class, and religion, he embodies the raw emotional power of spoken word poetry. In his poem Margin:

To be marginalized in America
is to be a star on the face of midnight.
We constantly have to rise above everything
and shine our brightest
When it’s dark outside.

With four books of poetry under his belt including No Gravity, Getting Stitches, Scratch and Helium, Rudy is the 2009 National Underground Poetry Slam Champion and 2010 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion. So what is a poetry slam?

Poetry slams are a type of competition where spoken word poetry is performed and judged by a panel or audience response. Alive and thriving since the 1990s, slam poetry was started by poet Marc Smith in 1984 at the Get Me High jazz club in Chicago. Catching on quickly with younger and ethnically diverse poets, slam poetry competitions spread throughout the country. Exploring highly charged topics including injustices of race, gender, and socioeconomics, the movement revives the energy of the Beat and Negritude poets of the past. Currently, there are slam competitions around the globe, with a number here in the United States including the National Poetry Slam, which involves 72 teams competing over five days.

In addition to killing it in poetry slams around the world, Rudy shares his talent with youth and aspiring poets through workshops, coaching and guest lectures. Taking notice of his talent, he has performed alongside Jill Scott, Jordin Sparks, Musiq Soul Child and Gladys Knight, and has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Most recently, he performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, bringing his spoken word to the masses.

On Monday at Florent, his performance starts at 8 p.m., and is expected to be a full house. Get your tickets stat at Eventbrite and get there early for prime seating and viewing. Also performing are Brandon Villasenor and DJ Donald Glaude.

To see Rudy’s spoken word and written poetry visit:




Instagram: @rudyfrancisco

Florent Restaurant & Lounge is located at 672 Fifth Avenue. (619) 595-0123