Some summer nights are just sweet enough to make the whole New England winter situation worth it, right? (Sorry to bring it up, but listen…) Nestled in between our two stormy summer slams on June 22 and July 6 was the beam of light known as Nicole Shantè, a Midwesterner by way of the South who’s spending a summer in nearby New York. Nicole brought beautifully crafted and delicately performed work to the stage, opening a series of small and focused windows on her life in the city, in her body, and behind her keyboard. The audience responded graciously to her perfect balance of power, gentleness, and humor, and we hope her chapbook-carrying backpack is oh-so-light on the way back to New York City.
After the feature, of course, we slam! A fifty-fifty split of determined regulars and polished out-of-towners hit the stage for a high-energy battle in the open slam. After a wild two rounds, the poets left standing were two first-time visitors to the venue, Zulynette and Sky Raven. In a highly performative finish, Sky Raven took the win over Zulynette; there were hugs all around, and we look forward to more visits from these southern northerners.
Next week: that thunder you hear rumbling in the distance is our second NorthBEAST Regional team slam, a four-team extravaganza designed to get our local teams warmed up (and fired up) for the National Poetry Slam. Our home team will take on poets from Mill City Slam in Lowell, Seven Hills Slam in Worcester, and, on a return bid after their win on June 22, the House Slam from just across the river in Boston. $5 cover for a bout that (let’s face it) will be better than most of what you’d be lucky to see at NPS. Yeah, we said it: NorthBEAST! Come on out!