Jan 22, 2008

When Poetry Slams

Yesterday, the Yale Peabody Museum had it's 14th Annual Poetry Slam as part of it's day long festivities observing Dr. Martin Luther King Day. I was invited to be a part of the event by serving as a judge.

I enjoy a good Poetry Slam, when they have poets that present poems that are thought provoking, funny, insighful, and controversial. What I don't like is when a Poetry Slam has poets that are copycats of the slamming poets, cliche, simplistic and self-centered.

At the end of the day I appreciate most efforts from anyone that puts SOMETHING out for the world to see. With that said some of the poets brought their A game, while others didn't reach me in that way that only poetry can.

The poets that rocked it and I would suggest you try to see them perform are:

Soulful Jones - He won the slam. My favorite poem of his dealt with how numbers and statistics are the new slurs against black people.

Darian Dauchan - This guy has style. He rocked a poem about hip-hop's fascination with the bling. One of my favorite lines went something like "bling, bling, check out my rings, see my stones from Sierra Leone." He also turned it out with a poem titled "Damn You Barak Obama, You Pretty Mother Fucker" (Yay! I found a video of him performing this poem. Go the the 1/25 post.)

Afrikess - She was the crowd favorite. She got two standing ovations. My favorite part of one of her poems is she said every year she gets invited to the Peabody Museum, which was built on Peabody's fortune he gained from selling COTTON picked by slaves, and that what she gets for her participation is a COTTON t-shirt. (it's true each poet was giving a t-shirt as they left the stage...LOL...Tacky!) She also said she was part of a soon to be extinct breed called the Africus Protesticus.

Carlos Andres Gomez - Solid poet and well known in the audience. He is also mad cute. I have to say I scored him a bit high. I know, I know, bad Allan. Hey! The blood went to my loins.

Queen Sheba - She also rocked the scene. Very talented and an amazing performer. I just wish she would change her name. Her talent and art deserve better than that stage name.

It was a wonderful afternoon, the hubby loved it, and I felt lucky to be a part of it.

Clikc here to read the poem that made me fall in love with the art form. You broke it down brother Pedro!

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