Even though the two teams he played for, The Rockford Pages, and the Chemung Shamans, finished in last place, Rockford poet Thomas L. Vaultonburg was named the most valuable player of the Outsider Poetry Slam League of America Friday night in a press conference in Kokomo, Indiana. The announcement was made by league commissioner Dr. Millard Rausch. Vaultonburg, the founder and publisher of Zombie Logic Press, accepted the award with some surprise, noting that his teams were not about to win a single OPSLA match this season, but he was honored to be thought of in the voting, which is done by OPSLA poets and fans.
This is a rendering by artist Andrew Davis, of Shitdickers and Gentleman Brothers, of outsider poet Thomas L. Vaultonburg on vacation in New Orleans in 2016. Vaultonburg received the Bukowski Award as MVP of the Outsider Poetry Slam League of America Friday.
Rockford poetry has been given a shot in the arm by the lack of success of the Rockford Pages slam team, and the upshot is an explosion in interest in the written and spoken word in America's 3rd most miserable city. Vaultonburg has received some flack for his gaunt stature as he is pulling down the nation's 6th fattest city standing, but Vaultonburg is unapologetic about not having yet eaten at the Portillos.
The Chemung Shamans and Rockford Pages both released statements congratulating Vaultonburg on being named league MVP, and the Shamans released Vaultonburg later in the afternoon saying they couldn't afford an MVP in a place like Chemung. It is unclear which team(s) Vaultonburg will compete for in 2017, but rumors have been circulated he might go to Rancho Cucamonga to be re-united with Tom Stotes, who he recorded a spoken word album with in 2003. The Rancho Cucamonga Kookamungas went undefeated and beat the Kokomo Oralists in the Championship bout August 7th.