Last night at Acentos was like an uninterrupted 24-hour stint in the recharger and I'm feeling good about poetry again and hopeful about the scene in general. I've always said being nervous before a performance is a good sign that you still care about what you're doing. Jessica, Nina and Maria obviously care about poetry, specifically the meticulous crafting and unadorned presentation of it. They let the poems speak for themselves and did they ever! Jessica, in particular, took an impressive leap forward with a commanding - almost, dare I say it...cocky? - stage presence and even kicked a memorized piece that set her body in motion and really opened the poem up. Nina and Maria shone as well, offering self-confident performances of tightly-written work. All in all, it was the kind of night I needed.
In related news, a couple of little birdies told me that an UPPERCASE was finally hitting the louderMonday schedule at 13 with Siegel, Jessica and Maria being chosen for the illustrious honor after an exhaustive six-month talent search and background check. [snark!] MAYÚSCULA might be more appropriate as those three are as much products of Acentos as 13, if not moreso. But hey, that's in the Bronx and we all know you're nobody until you've established yourself in Manhattan. Besides, there's a whole THREE relative newbies in their slam finals so that developing new voices thing is still alive. Right? Oh wait, I just noticed the mission is actually about "developing challenging SPACES." It's got nothing to do with new voices, or audiences for that matter. Duh! I completely missed that subtle change when I came back from Virginia. It all makes sense now!
Anyway, I'm finally starting to focus on the next louder than words show - Bowery Poetry Club: Friday, May 21st @ 8pm SHARP! - and am starting to get excited again. RAC and Keith Roach are a great combination of outspoken and opinionated poets and Cristin will bring her own unique electricity to the mix. Eric and I have come up with some interesting tweaks to the show and I'm even rethinking the showcase portion. Get in on the discussion now on the louder than words blog where I've posted some possible topics for the show.