I got a random email the other day from a poet. Her name is Alina Seigfried, who goes by stage name of Ali Jacs.
She got my name from the New Zealand poetry society web page as a contact for the Cuba Street Garret writing space.
Ali was organizing and promoting Poetry in Motion, a performance poetry night with US guest poets Ken Arkind and Carrie Rudzinski, both slam poets extraordinaire. I didn't even know what slam poetry was until tonight, but I already love it. Look them up on youtube for a taste. No matter how good they seem, in-person is just so much better.
Before the guest poets went on, there were a few kiwi poets as well: Micah Timona Ferris, Ali Jacs (the host and organizer), Duncan Hope and the P-Town Poet's society out of Porirua. They were all funny or moving or cute or deep or a range of other awesomeness.
I ended up talking to almost all the performers in the personal atmosphere. This was one of the best things I've gone out to do all year - it makes me want to read, listen to and write poetry and you can't ask for more than that.
Firstly, let me say that I have great respect for people who can go up in front of a group of complete strangers and pour out their personal experiences and vulnerabilities in one of the scariest possible ways. I realized after tonight exactly why it is SO worth it.
And finally, I've always admired and been envious of oration skills. While all of the poets were good, Ken and Carrie really demonstrated how it's done, with power, eloquence and beauty, they left everyone in awe of their performances. Bravo!
Run, don't walk to any chance to see these guys perform!