I usually don’t like communicating non-poetically but I think with the inspiration that came out of last night I will have to elongate my mode of communication. Yesterday I went and participated in my first Poetry Slam in Edinburgh, Scotland hosted by the Loud Poets (more on them later). I was not entirely excited to go but as my mouth was longing for the stage I said what the hell? Might as well! But little did I know all that I didn’t know about slamming in Edinburgh and slamming in general.
I slammed a wee bit in the States, participated in Brave New Voices 2010 as a part of the Los Angeles team (thanks Get Lit Words Ignite) where my mind was blown on so many levels; I learned so much about myself: I learned about my potential and how much work I was going to have to put in to achieve what I wanted to achieve (a whole hell of a lot!). I have many people to thank for that and all of whom are too busy with their amazing poetic lives to really pay this blog any attention (lol). However, even after the rush of the scores being ran off, the pain of low scores, the addiction to approving snaps, and the roar of applause, I found out a couple things:
and for those reasons I stayed away from Slam poetry and decided to work on my writing as a spoken word poet instead. Fast forward some years and 2 plane rides later, here I am entering a Slam in Edinburgh! I thought I knew what I was in for: fake new york accents, really fast poems, and screaming that damages your throat in the long run (thanks Beau Sia). I thought I knew what to expect, I thought I knew where I would place, and I thought I knew what Slam was and could be for all eternity everywhere. How was wrong was I? Let me tell you…
Refreshing. That is the only way I could describe it. NONE of the poets sounded the same; each poet rang out with a different manifesto and creed in rhythms that resembled ABAB and speeds so varied I wouldn’t dare guess their YouTube inspiration. The topics? Completely off the charts! Masculinity, being ginger, being big-boned, not being big-boned, love (of course), and burning money even! I sat in my cushioned seat in the “poet pit” and choked on my own judgements of Slam poetry here and even back home; these poets were coming with things I have never seen before and never even bothered to look for or appreciate back home. How unfair was I to ignore these aspects in the Slam I was born in! Not only were the poets dynamic and different, the energy was so supportive! I finished a poem and received hugs! How could this be? My preconceived notions of what Slam Poetry could be were burned on the stage and blown away by the power of these poets. So much inspiration and so much more to learn. And then the surprising news, I actually won 1st place! (I was not expecting that!) Not only did I get a bottle of bubbly and a picture with a cool championship belt, but I also get a spot to compete in nationals in Glasgow (I was not expecting that either!). What a wild ride this will be! But that was not even the best part. The best part was sharing this moment with supportive friends and making new ones in the process. What I learned from this Slam is vastly different than what I learned from the last one:
If you have not heard of Loud Poets (either because you are in the States and not hip to them yet or just not listening hard enough to their declarative decrees in the UK and beyond) you should look them up, take a hint, and follow what they are doing and who they are inspiring. If I coud get the Conscious Poets Society to join forces with Loud Poets, we would be INVINCIBLE across the globe!! If you haven’t heard of the Conscious Poets Society (either because we are too far to reach your heart or you're just not hip to us yet, check out the Conscious Poets Society tab and our Facebook page for more info on the 5 College Slam coming up in April!). All this amazing inspiring stuff is below and deserves a gander. And all of this is to prove my point I have been trying and will keep trying to make for the rest of my life:
Poetic Communication changes lives and alters minds.
links worth clicking!