Last summer, the National Poetry Slam was held in Charlotte, when my niece would be here visiting. Neither of us had ever seen any performed, but we both love poetry and liked a lot of the slam poetry on youtube. We went, and had an amazing time. We were there for the last two nights, the finals, and we sat right up front. (As a result, you can see the back of our heads in many of the videos on youtube. 😉 ) Anyway, we fell in love and were blown away. The performers captivated us. Some of the poetry made us cry, some made us laugh, some was so powerful it made me shiver. It was different than anything I’d gone to before, and that’s a good thing. People snapped rather than applaud, so as not to interrupt the poet. That reminded me of the beatniks.. I remember seeing them portrayed on some show or another wearing all black, including black berets, telling incomprehensible poetry and snapping. 🙂 This poetry was very easy to connect to. I tried to explain it to my stepmother, but found that difficult. She asked if they just read their poetry, and I said it was more than that.. that it was part performance, and sometimes they act it out. She seemed mystified.
So, since we went to the competition, my niece and I scoured youtube looking for videos of the performances. I contacted someone with the organization trying to get the performances on cd, but that was like pulling teeth. This morning I found one of the poems we saw performed. If they aren’t videos marked from NPS, it’s hard to find them, because in most cases we had no idea what the names of them were. So here is one called “The Last Judgement”.
The NPS is held in a different city each year so who knows when it will be here again… but I hope to go to more performances. When my niece is here, I’ll have someone to go with, but I don’t know anyone else who’d be interested. I hope she goes to college down here.