The Providence Grand Slam was on fire at AS220 Thursday night. The top 12 poets from two semifinal bouts competed in three rounds, making for one insane (but loooong) night of poetry. Poets from WORD! (Brown’s spoken word group) repped hard, taking four of the five spots to get on the nationals team.
I’m incredibly proud and humbled to be representing Providence at this year’s National Poetry Slam with Laura Brown-Lavoie, Megan Thoma, Jamila Woods, and Phil Kaye. Can’t wait for rehearsals all summer and for Nationals in Boston.
The Brown University Slam Team (Fatimah Asghar, Zach Ballard, Ramsey Jeremie, and Manvir Singh) got back last week from CUPSI (the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We were coached by the wonderful and undeniably good-lookin’ Phil Kaye, who graduated from Brown last year. We had an amazing time and won the award for Pushing the Art Forward (which was created after coaches were wowed by last year’s Brown Team). Fati and I were also selected by the coaches to perform our group piece in a Best of the Rest showcase before the finals show.
I was proud to represent Providence at the 2011 Women of the World Poetry Slam in Columbus, Ohio. It was my first national competition ever, and I had a blast. So many amazing women poets, everyone from incredible up-and-coming writers to slam legends.
Out of the 72 poets who came from all over the country (plus a few internationals!), I made it into the top twelve and got to compete on Finals Stage at Columbus’s Lincoln Theater. It was exciting to see another badass APIA poet (Jerrica Escoto) there, and to see a fellow Atlantan (Theresa Davis) win the whole thing.
Very belated, but I wanted to put up a few photos from my play, Mask Dances, which was produced at Rites and Reason Theater in Providence, RI in February 2011. The play is about the Kwangju Democratization Movement, a brutal suppression of student demonstrations that occurred in South Korea in 1980. Mask Dances was directed by Connie Crawford and Tiffany Greene.
Last weekend, Brown’s CUPSI Team (Fatimah Asghar, Zach Ballard, Ramsey Jeremie, Manvir Singh, and I) traveled to upstate New York to compete in the second annual Wade-Lewis Poetry Slam Invitational at SUNY New Paltz. It was the first team slam for most of us, and only the second time slamming for Zach and Manvir (the first being the slam that got them on the team). Add this to the fact that we didn’t have our coach (the amazing Phil Kaye) and had only really had one or two rehearsals together makes it pretty awesome, I think, that we made it to finals! Out of the twelve college slam teams that competed, we made it into the top four.
I was so proud of all of our performances, and I felt very honored to receive awards for Most Innovative and Best Female Poet. What an awesome way to start CUPSI season.
Last week, I was invited to participate in Providence’s Women of the World qualifying slam at AS220. It was an amazing night, with an awesome all-women showcase and a feature by the incomparable and hilarious Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz (who also emceed the night).
I was honored and humbled to take first in the slam, as I’m a huge fan of every woman who competed. This means I’ll be representing Providence at the national Women of the World Poetry Slam this March in Columbus, Ohio. Needless to say, I’m beyond stoked. More updates as they come!