Thursday, August 05, 2010

National Poetry Slam update (we made semis!)

Wow. Very good week so far. My team (Saint Paul) took first in both our prelim bouts, so we're going on to semifinals on Friday night at 8pm. I don't know which venue yet, but check late tonight and tomorrow to find out. We've been performing pretty flawlessly, if I may say so, and are very excited for semis.

If we win our semifinals bouts, we'll move on to Finals on Saturday night at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium. P.O.S. will also be performing at Finals, so there's that.

A few random highlights:

~I facilitated a workshop on "Engaging Youth with Spoken-Word" and it was AMAZING. No broad philosophical rambling about nothing-- just smart people sharing concrete, practical tips, strategies, activities and more. I'm going to email out our notes to every teaching artist that I know-- there's some GOLD in there. If you want to be included in that email, leave a comment.

~I also hosted the Hip Hop Headquarters open mic and-- though I sometimes have misgivings about (other) poets trying to rap-- the event was beautiful. Local and national artists blessed the stage, from Eyedea to Desdamona to Jive Poetic to Kristoff Krane to Bamboo MC to No Bird Sing to Sean Anon to Ezra to Bugs to Tish Jones to See More Perspective and many others. Even a poet named "President Obama," played the piano and rapped Lupe's "The Cool."

~Our bouts were both packed-- shoulder to shoulder sweaty packed. Thanks so much for the love. Home field advantage.

~It's been disgustingly nice outside, at least today and yesterday. There was a freak windstorm during Albuquerque's bout, but that's about it.

~I got to be on the Current, KFAI, Kare 11 TV, the Star Tribune, Vita.MN and the Pioneer Press, which also published my op-ed about why slam poetry matters. Whatever happens in the tournament, I'm getting lots of press, haha. More importantly, the Twin Cities spoken-word SCENE is getting lots of press. Our September and October slams had better be huge. Oh also, Khary and Sierra got to go on Kerri Miller's show on MPR.

~Chocolate-covered potato chips aren't my pre-bout ritual-- I just like them. Candyland is right around the corner from the AQ.

~ @wardrubrecht and @fishdesmith have been live-blogging/tweeting bouts, and are going some great play-by-play analysis. Ward, in particular, is being a hard-ass, which I whole-heartedly support.

~Follow the #NPS2010 hashtag on Twitter for all kinds of random thoughts.

More soon.


Mari said...

I'd love to receive the notes on engaging youth. ( m.e.kivisto[at] ) Thank you for being an advocate for both the arts and our youth.

Guante said...

will do!

meanyhead said...

I'd like those notes, too - There's so much to learn.