Fine Arts

Who Will Represent Providence in the National Poetry Slam?

With the passing of 2013’s National Poetry month, I mourn the random email notifications that there is a poetic happening within moments from where I’m standing, all of my poet friends engaging in a NaPoMo 30/30 (that’s when people commit to writing a poem a day for 30 days) , and most of all, the words. But fret not, May is upon us.
In case you missed it, The Providence Poetry Slam held its semi-finals to preliminarily pick who will represent our capital city at the National Poetry Slam happening this summer in Boston, Massachusetts.
National Poetry Slam is an annual poetry slam tournament that gathers teams of four or five people from all over North America and Europe to compete for the national team title. The organization calls the event part Super Bowl, part poetry summer camp, and part traveling exhibition. The high-profile showcase is held in a different city every year, and Providence is a well-known powerhouse in this competition. Our city has proved itself year after year as being more than formidable when it comes to creativity and moving performances.
May 2 will be the Providence Poetry Slam Finals, something you won’t want to miss. The semi-finals proved to be not just a shaking of the tree, but a bulldozer monster truck trail blazing through the Garden of Eden. Hosted by “Women of the World Poetry Slam” finalists and Providence residents, Laura Lamb Brown-Lavoie and Franny Choi, everything from the open mic to the reading of the final score big-banged brilliance into every dark silence attempting to remain inconspicuous at a poetry slam. Eleven poets showed up like gunfighters at high noon, but only eight could make it to the big show. This eight includes three long-time poetic pugilist veterans, an international slam champion, two brothers keeping it in the family, and a couple of freshmen and sophomores who can definitely carry the torch for a couple of legs in this race. So don’t miss this event. It will definitely scare away any bit of winter hanging around.
At As220, every last Tuesday of the month and totally unrelated to Providence Poetry Slam, is CousCous. Started by Mairead Byrne, CousCous is the exact opposite of Olympic-styled poetry. Mairead has handpicked her performers since its conception. Because of her deliberate choices, CousCous is a mix of music and poetry that blends the academic aesthetic with the hip wobblies’ community of Providence. Doors are at 8 pm, and be sure to get there early because there is an open mic that fills quickly.  Also happening is Got Poetry Live. You can find it every Tuesday at Blue State Café on Thayer at 8 pm.