Welcome, October poetry fans! One of the joys of having a featured poet every week at the Boston Poetry Slam is the opportunity to book a vast array of poets from different cities and moments in their poetry career. Last night might have been the year’s best example: Ocean Vuong, an award-winning, widely published Pushcart Prize winner, was unknown to much of the audience, but his intense, densely crafted, deeply emotional work stuck a chord with the crowd and will no doubt ring familiar in voices of open mic readers for weeks to come. What an excellent and eye-opening night.
Following our feature, a six-poet extravaganza of slam took the stage: first-timers bringing polished work, veterans bringing work still in the notebook, and at least two judges willing to spend as much time at the bar as necessary to get them through the slam. A surprisingly consistent team of listeners awarded Adam Stone and Ed Wilkinson the spots in the final round: Adam edged out Ed for the win and a crisp $10 bill we assume he will waste on notebook paper.
Next week: we are back with local favorite Andrew Campana! Austin poet Jena Kirkpatrick will also be in the house for an oh-so-slightly snarky spotlight feature on the open mic.
But wait: there’s more! If you need your slam fix tonight, you might not even have to leave the comfort of that questionable papasan chair you picked up at Allston Christmas last month… The Individual World Poetry Slam kicks off in Phoenix, Arizona, this evening, and you can follow all the action at scores.poetryslam.com. Check in on how our 2014 IWPS rep Sean Patrick Mulroy sizes up against 71 other top poets from around North America, including some other local names we love like Meaghan Ford, Emily Eastman, Generalissimo, Franny Choi, Robin Merrill, and Porsha O! Break some legs, poets!