Author: Ann Marie Trietley
Words are pretty under-appreciated these days. Love poems have been replaced by heart emoticons and sexts. Nothing wrong with that. But word up to all my homeboys and homegirls still twisting those clever turns of phrase known as poems.
Poets are misunderstood sometimes, but to set the record straight, poets aren’t depressed, suicidal, or any other cliché. Poets have the ability to break down racial, gender, and economic barriers with social commentary. Politics and war inspire works of genius which can transcend generations. Emotions are what morphs words into artistic creations.
Soul Lingo: A Night of Music and Spoken Word will take over Stamps (the bar) on June 5. It’s a spinoff from The Gypsy Parlor’s Sunday night Pure Ink Poetry series. Hosted by local poet and blogger Jessica Brant and Bianca McGraw, Soul Lingo will surely develop into an inspiring and zany evening.
The night’s lineup includes Lazyrus, Nick Givechi, Cire Luey Freeman and Lissa Roads. Plus, there will be special appearances by Buffalo poets Justin Karcher and Liz Schichtel, with live art from Kailee Brohman. Music will be brought to you by Shuteyes, and an open mic showcase will follow the scheduled performances.
“I have always loved poetry,” says Brant. “ It’s the whole ‘I don’t write poetry, poetry writes me’ sort of relationship I have had with the genre. Hanging out with these guys has brought it out of me. They have inspired me to become more of the internal writer that I am.”
The event’s $5 cover charge will be donated to Pure Ink Poetry, to fund the poets’ excursion to California to compete in Nationals. Aspiring slammers can bring written work, and might be featured on Brant’s blog, LoProfiles. Whether you’ve got a taboo haiku or free-form jazz-inspired ode to your cactus plant, bring it on by. I mean, why not?
“I have realized that everyone has a little bit of an internal writer in them, we just choose to write our pages in different ways,” Brant says. “Some turn to actual writing, some turn to volunteering in their communities, other pick up hobbies that are telling of their character, and some people just like to support the artists.”
There will be an art raffle, and everybody knows Stamps slings the cheapest wine in town. So if you’re looking for high-brow culture at a dive bar price, Soul Lingo’s a night you won’t want to miss.
“The audience should expect a non-competitive environment focused on showcasing up and coming poets alongside some of the national qualifiers.,” says poet Ben Brindise. “The night will be focused on a celebration of poetry, of the growing scene and the fact we qualified for the National Poetry Slam.”
Just don’t call Soul Lingo a “slam.” Brant’s event is a showcase, allowing for collaboration and friendship, as opposed to the competitive nature of a slam. If you need a serving of poetic inspiration, you just might pick up some food for the soul.
-all photos by Jessica Brant.