maggie estep

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Maggie Estep Remembered: ‘She Was Vintage, Pure Old-School Punk-Art New York’

maggienewYesterday, we got the sad news that Maggie Estep, arguably the face of the ’90s East Village slam movement, died at 50. Today, we spoke to Bob Holman, who helped propel her to fame as co-director of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and Mark Pellington, who directed her classic “Hey Baby” video. Here’s what they had to say.

Bob Holman
Maggie came out at the Nuyorican Poets Café when the Nuyorican had just reopened. Slam had just emerged in Chicago and I imported it here – and it became their signature, where the multiculti voices found a home. Maggie’s punk-absurdist, angry-comic voice was a leading edge. I ran the slams, so I was the one who called her up and told her, “Oh, you really are good, you really do have to come back and let us hear some more.”
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Maggie Estep Has Died at 50

Maggie Estep, May 1994, New York City. (Photo by Bob Berg/Getty Images)

Maggie Estep, May 1994, New York City. (Photo by Bob Berg/Getty Images)

Writer and spoken-word star Maggie Estep has died at the age of 50. A friend tells The Times she died two days after having a heart attack at her home in Hudson, New York.

Estep was a fixture of the East Village slam-poetry scene who rose to national prominence via her grunge-era appearances on MTV and on HBO’s Def Poetry, and went on to perform in front of massive festival audiences.
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