This August I made a long road trip to Charlotte, NC with my poetry teammates Cathy Petch, Britta B and Noah Kaplan. Our coach Alessandra was our mainstay of support and strategy as we competed in the US National Poetry Slam against 72 teams from all over the US and a couple other parts of Canada.
Our first bout was against teams from Seattle, Denver’s Mercury Slam and Texas’ Puro Slam. I performed in a team piece with Cathy Petch and Britta B that made the audience dumbstruck. We creatively made the self care of women’s health sexy.
On our second night of competion we were up against a loud and fierce teams from Denver’s Slam Nuba, Philly’s Fuze and the Hawaiian team. On a night of a lot of loud and fiery poetry taking the stage, the quiet heart wrench of my paper cranes piece stood out.
It was a full week. I took in a lot of poetry. It was almost all I ate. Amongst my favorite pieces from the festival is this one: http://youtu.be/ATzIZDRzlVU
As I reflect on the challenges and opportunities of the festival, I’m reminded that performance is a muscle – one that I want to build.