On pretty much any Wednesday night at the Boston Poetry Slam, you could tell yourself you were looking forward to a diverse, solid, and highly original open mic, a standout feature, or a baller all-star poetry slam. When the stars align, though (not that you’d know from our lightless basement, but let’s metaphor for a change), you can get all three parts of the show to dovetail flawlessly. What a great night at the Boston Poetry Slam!
After a really excellent open mic, showing off some real-talk dialogue among regulars and offering some standout new readers (not to mention a couple of debut hosts), Tim Toaster Henderson took the stage. And by “took the stage,” we really mean “rolled the stage up into a six-dimensional cigar and took us on a magic Linklater carpet ride into intersectionality, bigot recognition, and cicada heaven.” Did you miss it? Would you love to see more? He’ll be at Slam Free or Die in Manchester tonight and the House Slam in Boston on Friday.
The slam was, as advertised, packed with all-star winners from the past eight weeks, all looking to try on the crown of the venue’s coveted Champion of Champions title! Last season’s champion, Mckendy Fils-Aimé, stood by in the wings, waiting for this season’s finale to mint an opponent for him: the champs 8×8 slam came down to Jess Riz and Emily O’Neill, both bringing illuminating, remarkable work straight from the page. After gaining some momentum in an early-night tiebreaker round, Emily took the big win for the season title! She elected to move on and challenge Mckendy for the venue champion title in the highly anticipated all-new-poem finale round. Both poets showcased their own voices beautifully, but an off-page debut poem by Mckendy took the win in a 3-2 split from the judges. Congratulations to everyone! Long live Mckendy Fils-Aimé, who’ll be defending his new title on December 30!
Next week (that’s right, the hits keep on coming): we’ll feature a National Poetry Slam Champion, Melissa Lozada-Oliva of the 2015 House Slam Team. Our open poetry slams will also begin again: eight weekly chances remain to qualify for the 2016 Boston Poetry Slam team.