Lizard Lounge Poetry Jam Anniversary—
Celebrating the Life and Work of Omoizele “Oz” Okoawo
This year marks our 27th anniversary at Lizard Lounge!! Many wonderful poets have graced our stage and become members of our “Lizard Family.” One of those poets, Omoizele “Oz” Okoawo, died suddenly in October. He, along with his sister, Iyeoka, were important early performers at Lizard Lounge Poetry Jam. He read publicly for the first time at the Lizard Lounge in the first weeks of our tenure and was a fixture for many years following. He coached the Lizard Lounge National Poetry Slam team from the slam’s inaugural year in 2001 until 2007, competing as a team member for five of those seven years. Though we hadn’t seen much of him in the past few years, he remained an enduring and legendary figure in the Lizard Lounge Poetry Jam story.
Tonight, as we commemorate 27 years of spoken word and music at Lizard Lounge, we will also celebrate Oz’s life and writing with family, friends, and many of the poets he worked with, inspired, coached, and loved.