Mighty Mike McGee

Ivor Griffiths, Poet, Novelist & Short Story Writer

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Mike McGee November 18, 2005
Mike McGee November 18, 2005

Michael Matthew McGee, more commonly known as Mighty Mike McGee, (born January 12, 1976) is an American slam poet.

Born in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, McGee is the oldest of 8 children from several marriages. He has spent most of his life in and around San Jose, California where he started his career in spoken word, poetry slam and performance poetry in 1998. He is a contemporary of Jack McCarthy and Buddy Wakefield.

The nickname "Mighty" inadvertently came from McGee himself. In 1997, McGee became interested in the internet, however, he was unable to acquire a simple email address without numbers in it, so mightymikemcgee was the only username acceptable to him. A fellow slam poet agreed to use it publicly until it caught on with friends and audiences. It has become a standard introduction for him by hosts and emcees prior to most performances.


  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Poetry slam titles
  • 3 Discography
  • 4 Filmography
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


McGee was born with the neural tube defect spina bifida and was never expected to walk or talk as an infant. However, his case of spina bifida is relatively mild, and McGee has been able to live a relatively normal life.

In 1999, McGee helped form Bleeding Edge Spoken Word, under the directorship his then-roommate. Over two and a half years, the two released 33 compilations of contemporary American spoken word. Although the label is now defunct, McGee started his own imprints – 3XMsound and 3XMpress, in 2001 – in order to produce and release his own CDs and chapbooks.

In 2001, after three years of competing at the San José Poetry Slam, McGee earned a spot on the slam team and went to his first National Poetry Slam held that August in Seattle, Washington. He then returned to the National Poetry Slam with the same team in 2003 (where he topped the Individual category) and 2004.

In 2003, McGee co-founded the Vancouver, B.C.-based "talk-rock" trio Tons of Fun University with Shane Koyczan and C. R. Avery. Their debut was before a crowd of 15,000 at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, July 2004. The trio has since toured extensively throughout Canada, performing primarily in music festivals.

In 2005, McGee performed a revised version of his popular poem "Like" on a fifth season episode of Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry on HBO.

Along with various local and regional poetry slam titles, McGee is the first slam poet to win both the American National Poetry Slam Individual Grand Championship, in 2003, and the Individual World Poetry Slam Championship, in 2006.

Poetry slam titles

  • Individual World Poetry Slam Champion, 2006
  • International World Poetry Slamionship, 2006 (2nd)
  • National Poetry Slam Individual Grand Champion, 2003
  • San Jose Poetry Slam Grand Champion, 2003 and 2004
  • San Francisco Poetry Slam Grand Champion, 2003


The Them They're Talking About (Tons of Fun University EP), 2005, Mother Press Media
Happy Is The New Sad (guest on track 6, Delta Activity's album), 2005
New High Score: Best of Urbana Compilation, 2005, The Wordsmith Press
Live In Denver, 2004, 3XMsound
For Mayor (Best of), 2003, 3XMsound
Miscellaneous, 2003, 3XMsound
Is Beautiful, 2001, 3XMsound (discontinued)
Mighty, 2000, Bleeding Edge Spoken Word/3XMsound (discontinued)


  • Ill List Volume 1, 2004, Word Groove, Inc.
  • 2003 National Poetry Slam, 2004, Word Groove, Inc.
  • Russell Simmons' Present Def Poetry Jam (Season 5, Episode 34)
  • Gotpoetry.com article
  • Cloudy Day Art: Saturday, March 18th, 2006 at 2:22 pm - Mighty Mike McGee video
  • Feedburner: Mike McGee's Podcast
  • San Jose Museum of Art - ArtCar Fest 2003, September 27, 2003 including performance by Mighty Mike McGee - "San Jose's own National Poetry Slam Champion".
  • Mike McGee's Myspace Profile
  • Mike McGee's Livejournal
  • PoetrySlam.com
  • Scene Missing Magazine Interviews Mike McGee
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