Friday, September 11, 2009

The Gyspy Poetry Slam

Just got home from Gypsy Poetry Slam in Victorian Square (Lexington, KY), which is an event within the Kentucky Women's Writer's Conference, now in its 30th year. It was organized and emceed by fellow Appalachian Poet and good friend of mine, Bianca Spriggs (And now I will see if mentioning her name will draw her to my blog via Google Alerts. Haha).

It was awesome. Really, any female poet living in or around Kentucky has absolutely no excuse not to attend at least one of these events. I mean, I was able to make it, and I'm a guy. One of like 10 guys in the giant crowd, actually. And I'd tell you just how many people were there, but I am an astoundingly miserable estimator. Somewhere between 100 and a million people were there. Give or take.

I was there to support Lisa Cabaret, a friend I invited to compete, and she did great. She didn't win, but she beat me (and won!) at the Covington City Lights poetry slam a while back, so she's got that under her belt. Now she just needs a website. Or a blog.

One of my favorite things about this event, besides the talent itself, was the range of topics. From time to time I go to a local poetry event in Cincinnati which sometimes ends up being made up predominantly of women in their mid-twenties, and it becomes a man-bash. I can deal with that. But tonight, it was nice to see poetry that seemed simultaneously to embrace and 'transcend' its gender. Women writers have enough obstacles to deal with than to feel forced to write about their sexuality or motherhood, even if they ultimately choose to write about those things.

Afterwards, I ate dinner (hamburger, fries, and fried banana peppers!!) with some of the poets, including the feature performer, and Def Poet Rachel McKibbens, who was absolutely hilarious. I think she won the "things I did when I was poor" contest. Not with the "ate ramen noodles out of an upside down Frisbee," but I think I will forever consider Frisbees as bowls from now on.

1 comment:

  1. Fun! Cool that you went and you're a guy! Also, Rachel McKibbens' website is pretty cool. Thanks for linking to it.