Tonight I went to a poetry reading that was celebrating its 10th year in existence. For poetry venues, that is a long damn time. The folks who run it are friends, but I would say that they’re fairly new to me although we’ve known about each other for a while. I can’t say I was there when this reading started, but I was there for quite a number of them before it. I went to it probably 4 or 5 years ago now to see what it was like. I’d heard great things about it, and I knew that some of the people involved had been at my readings back in the day.
I remember that it was held in a dance studio then, and it was crazy packed at $5 a head. I was blown away that they were able to bring so many people, and so many young, urban, diverse, people to a venue twice a month. And the poetry was exciting. Like slam but not judged. Just dynamic performances about social issues or personal issues or whatever. I was also very aware that very few people in that room knew who I was or that I had anything to do with what they were doing. But Chris Wilson, the ‘leader,’ knew me and we chatted and caught up.
Since then, I’ve tried to go to the reading or to the San Diego Slam to support, to represent the ‘old school,’ sometimes I even get up and read one. A couple years ago, I reconnected with a guy who used to read at the Urban Grind when I co-hosted the slam there. He’s a great poet and nice dude. He’s part of the Elevated! family as well.
Last year, I wrote this piece about the slam team. I went to the Grand Slam this year, but didn’t write anything about them.
It was nice to be there tonight, to get hugs from these men and women who have kept at it for 10 years, encouraging and promoting spoken word from the youth and others of San Diego. I should try to go at least once a month. It’s held the 1st and 3rd Thursdays, and the slam is the 2nd Monday. Maybe I should also try to write something new.