Wednesday, April 16, 2008

instant poetry is beautiful

On Monday night, my friend Amnesia Jane Smith and I hosted an Instant Poetry Slam at the Vancouver Poetry Slam. This was part of the "alt-slam" series - themed or alternative-format slam nights on the second Monday of each month. The poets' scores don't count for standings, and standard slam rules are warped or morphed for fun and creativity. In January we had a Group Piece Slam. In February, it was the Pan-African Slam. In March, it was the Sista'hood Slam. Different hosts step up to organize these slams, so a variety of styles and preferences take the stage for a unique night of poetry for the sake of play, once each month.

Amnesia Jane and I were a bit worried about getting poets for our slam. Participating was a risky proposition:

Come to the cafe at 7pm
Receive a writing prompt
Write a new poem starting NOW
Perform you poem in the slam, beginning at 8:45pm

We were delighted to find 15 poets ready to be in the slam. The writing prompt was "shake well before use." The poetic responses were varied in content, style and presentation, but were all related by their use of the prompt. Judges were instructed to rate the poem half on their overall assessment, and half on how well the prompt was incorporated. Amnesia Jane and I wrote too. We didn't perform our work though, because there were more than enough brave poets ready to write and perform without a net. It was an excellent night.

I have posted my unperformed Instant Poem in the post below this one.

question: would you, could you, write and perform something, all in one evening?

mompoet - I bet you could

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