« on: August 03, 2005, 10:00:31 AM »
Rives reminded me that I should update you guys about my first National-level event here in Buffalo, NY. So, adapted from my livejournal:
The first Nickel City Poetry Slam was a raging success, if I do say so. Held at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, a national-level modern gallery (sadly the poets never got to see the main gallery.. ), in conjunction with non-profit Just Buffalo Literary Center, we were able to pay all the artists a base stipend, and then have them slam off for prizes of $500, $250, and $150. (As the checks were issued later, I provided used bowling trophies, with beer cans glued to their other hands, as this is how we roll in Buffalo; and huge gaudy medals with matching ribbons, inscribed "1st Nickel City Poetry Slam, 2005"). As this was the first time anyone had brought national-level work to our audience, the show was an invitational, and the poets were ALL outstanding, unique, and original in their material.
Granma Dave Schein
.. And the lovely April Ardito came along and kept me on point with score & timekeeping (thank god).
Ansel, Corinna, and Sou got jacked by early draws and scorecreep, and it finally came down to Rives taking first, Chris August taking second (watch out, y'all!) and Ed Mabrey taking 3rd by a half-point. Chris hasn't taken off his medal yet, as far as I know.. Very Cowardly Lion, so cute..
The poets brought all the heart, soul, intelligence, playfulness, and poignancy I could have asked for. To watch the audiences' faces as they literally saw something they had never seen before was awe-inspiring. The reaction was thunderous.
It was the highest-attending summer event the gallery had thrown, they were thrilled, want to do it again soon. The non-profit, Just Buffalo Literary Center, immediately began asking to run a regular event. And the backer I talked to previously for another large fall invitational was a judge, with another of this friends, was blown away, bought one of EVERYONE's merch, and couldn't stop singing the praises. Wanted to meet with me the next day to start. The poets had fun, I hope -- we'll tell you more about Alex's underwear later. It was quite the pajama party!
We had a second event the next day at one of my favorite dives, Nietzsches'. still nicely attended, and we got enough $ to buy everyone a beer. Some folks went to Niagara Falls, Rives borrowed my bike & went to the Pierce Arrow museum, and mainly we all sat on the porch and talked until dawn as poets do, with a barbeque with my neighbors on Saturday afternoon..
Oddly, I still (to my chagrin) have a case and a half of beer and a few bottles of hot sauce (from the schwag bags) left. I can't thank everyone enough -- Dave for his constant love, tech support (We'll get that cord back, I promise), and superior driving skills, Chris for being Chris and shopping with me, April for being a rock during the show and a peach all around; Rives, ever, for his generosity with words, spirit, and watching part of the Maltese Falcon with me in the middle of the night; Sou (too briefly) for her sweetness, poet wrangling, and for (I believe) a pair of purple panties for the collection, Ansel for wearing a bflo baseball hat more correctly than anyone ever, and keeping an eye on the Falls trip for me, Alex for being voted "most crushworthy"; Corinna for providing a punk rock presence at all times, Ed Mabrey (again too briefly) for bringing tears to my friend's eyes, and Cynthia for being a total role model of a slammistress to a (POSSIBLY) new member of the group, as well as a steady constant friend.
my thank you to the artists...
I can't thank you enough for travelling to show my city what the spirit of this form is all about. You were gracious, graceful, and incredible artists, taking the form past every hackneyed cliche to what it's really all about -- poetry, friendship, and sharing on every level. I'm so glad! We'll see you SOON, I'm sure.
So, look for more events in the Fall, and if I ever call you for an invitational, please consider it! We treat our guests RIGHT! And I didn't even tell you about my best pals Molly and David taking three of them to the "Canadian Ballet"....