By Makoroba Sow:
Poetry is the gift that keeps on giving. This fact held true for the Buffalo Niagara International Poetry Slam this past Saturday at the Tralf Music Hall just off of the Theater Station on Main Street Buffalo. A portion of its proceeds goes to Vive, Inc., an organization based in Buffalo dedicated to supporting refugees from around the world.
A poetry slam is a showcase of performance poetry. The Pure Ink Poetry Slam
occurs monthly, this being the first time that it has paired with Vive as a fundraising event.
The 2nd Buffalo and Niagara International Poetry Slam consisted of twenty performance poets in three rounds, the second round narrowing contestants to 10 and the third round to two. Judges were chosen informally, with five members of the audience volunteering. However, the scoring was not all-important as the poetry took precedence over the competition.
The night was overall a great success. The crowd was intimate but energetic. The performances were exciting with few exceptions and often thought-provoking. Themes of the performance pieces ranged widely, from tales of personal battles, self-image and social pressures, to issues of cultural, sexual, and even spiritual identity. The brave performers were at times intensely revealing, gesticulating with raw feeling. It was like a collective sigh of release and of course the occasional touch of comedy. Such is poetry presented as it was meant to be - out loud.
So what could be more fitting than performance poetry giving back to an organization such as Vive, Inc.? Performance poetry is so much about letting what's inside out, freeing the poet from a whirlwind of emotion. This spirit of freedom is what connects it so fittingly to Vive. Vive gives people from across the globe a chance to live -as it believes all people should live - freely.
The next Pure Ink Slam takes place at Merge on July 11, 2012 - sign up at 8:30pm and slam begins at 9pm... get into the local spoken word scene Buffalo...