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Author Topic: Your Madison NPS Top Ten?  (Read 14030 times)

simone

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Your Madison NPS Top Ten?
« on: August 13, 2008, 02:59:02 PM »
One of my favorite parts about the post-NPS comedown is hearing everyone's top ten from the week. I love finding out who saw what I saw, who was moved by what I was moved by, what I missed because I went to bed too early / didn't get up early enough, or who I should be inviting to my venue based on performances I didn't get to see.

Who's got a list to share? Here are my favorites from this year, in no particular order...

1. The city of Madison. I mean no disrespect to Austin, ABQ, Seattle, or any of the other fine cities I've attended shows in, but, boy, did I enjoy Madison. The food was cheap, the streets were safe, the beer was flavorful, and the weather was so fine I forgot what it would be like coming back to New England. Damn.

2. Your President's call for Republican poets on Tuesday night. Where, indeed, are your Republican poets at, Scott? Oh god.

3. The Nerd Slam, in particular, Austin's Black Nerds poem. You guys might have seen this in the Tuesday night tiebreaker, where I missed it, but that poem was made for the Nerd Slam. I think it went five minutes because we were all screaming so loud. WOW.

4. Teabagging the baby Jesus. Seventeen syllables of did-that-seriously-just-happen?!

5. Boise's Ass-Smackers on Wednesday night, possibly the rightest wrongest thing I saw all week. "I can't beatbox, but I can do THIS...".

6. Ian's pizzeria. Good pizza, good folks, and a great place to gossip post-bout.

7. The Detroit / Charlotte / Nuyo bout with Eureka on Thursday night. It was hotness on fire. Chances are you missed it, because I didn't see many folks there... It was a remarkable show. Dee's persona piece was otherworldly. Akua, Maze, and Versiz were all incredible. Phenom was robbed. Ocean's piece was robbed. I yelled so hard I lost my voice. Etc.

8. Lincoln Andrew Ek's (that's his name, right?) Fire Marshall poem in semis. After all the times you've seen sign language used in a poem... This was the most simple, moving performance of a poem I saw all week, and it just happened to be performed in two languages at once. Beautiful.

9. Boston making Finals. I am permitting myself one self-referential bullet point here. I was there in 2000, okay? If you know, you know.

10. St. Paul's Khary singing in the bar after Finals. He does a mean Louis Armstrong, no joke. It was a wonder to hear.

That's it for me. What have you guys got?

Simone Beaubien
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Re: Your Madison NPS Top Ten?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2008, 03:56:49 PM »
1.  Shopping with my girls in Madison was a DREAM.  I found so much unique and cheap stuff at some of the most fabulous little places I have ever been to in life.  L O V E D that little button place. 

2.  The variety and quality of food all along State Street (and at the hotel) was right on point. 

3.  The venues were all beautiful and varied.  I adored how different the MMOCA was from the Comedy Club and the Brink from the Overture and all the different semi-final and finals bout venues within the Overture.  MARVELOUS!!

4.  The POETS.

5.  The POETS.

6.  The POETS. (I can't say this enough because you guys are my family and I can't wait to see ya'll EVERY SINGLE YEAR)

7.  Dido on the Nerd Slam.  This would actually have been my first time and I was completely entranced.  Have already pulled Robbie Q aside about bringing this fantabulous sideshow to Women of the World Poetry Slam next March.

8.  The Tattler.  This newsworthy little circular should be dangling from my hotel door along with the local paper.  I was more juicy inside bits along with incriminating photos!!

9.  The after-party at the Nitty Gritty.  At first, I was like "HELL NO!  I can't move, I can't breathe and could it be hotter!?!"  But then someone (I will never know who) pulled me onto the dance floor and breathing became unnecessary.

10.  Emily Rose.  My new girlfriend for life.  My scoring committee partner in crime.  Where in the hell does that woman get all that energy?  I think we could bottle it up and sell it on Ebay. 

I love you guys!!   :-*
Cassie Poe
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jesster

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Re: Your Madison NPS Top Ten?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2008, 04:12:44 PM »
In no particularly order other than numeric:

1. The Security Guard that loved slam
We are ciphering across the street from the hotel and right after someone's poem we hear a very sweet and polite, "Excuse me, but you are all officially trespassing on MC Properties."  Now, being the law abiding folk we are, there is a shuffle for backpacks and such when she stops us.  "No. Don't go.  I think what you guys are doing is awesome.  I just thought you might want to know so you could figure out a different place to be tomorrow because I'm not working then."  That. Just. Happened!

2. The Milwaukee Hip Hop DJ piece
Sometimes, you just shake your head and say, "Goddamit... I wish I wrote that!" Afrika Bambaataa for everyone!

3. $2 drafts at the opening party
This was the greatest and worst thing ever.  I loved getting delicious, full strength beer at such a cheap price.  I hated the hangover all day Tuesday.

4. Bill MacMillan's Pompadour
It had me singing Richard Marx tunes all week.

5. Smiles
I think Liberty from Cleveland and Cole from Boston smiling together would make the sun squint.  Most poets I saw were so friendly that it was hard to not hug everyone.

6. Ian's Pizza
Steak and Fry pizza.  You're serious.  That's crazy... and delicious!  I passed on the burrito pizzas. I am not that adventurous.

7. The Austin Semi Finals tribute to Shannon
I wept like a child.  Judges wept.  My lord, that was beautiful.  I thought I was going to lose it just watching the Louder Arts folks.  And then he started his poem.  I might start crying right now.  What a great tribute to Shannon to make even those who never met her regret it down to their souls.

8. The Sperm Piece + Down down down...
Group piece finals were fun, but my jaw had rug burns from these two pieces.  Unbelievable.  The sperm piece was the best example of a group committed to community that I've ever seen.  USA! USA!

9. Velociraptors
If you weren't in the atrium right before group piece finals, you missed it.  Amy Everheart = wonderment. Clever girl....

10. Everyone in the Atlanta/SLC/Flagstaff/Fayetteville bout
You know how maybe you or your team might find a way to bond with another team in the same bout? Or two?  The mutual love fest that came out of that bout between all our teams was just so fulfilling.  This is what community should feel like.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to share a bit of themselves with me, or just say hi.  I had an amazing time and can't wait to see you again.

-Jesster

Michael Mlekoday

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Re: Your Madison NPS Top Ten?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2008, 01:04:20 PM »

2. The Milwaukee Hip Hop DJ piece
Sometimes, you just shake your head and say, "Goddamit... I wish I wrote that!" Afrika Bambaataa for everyone!


Just so you know, that poet's name is Dan Vaughn.

Michael Mlekoday

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Re: Your Madison NPS Top Ten?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2008, 01:22:07 PM »
1. Jeanann Verlee on the first night of prelims. "Unsolicited Advice..." was one of the best poems I heard all week.

2. My team, St. Paul--we worked hard as underdogs to bring original & honest poems, and made Semis in the process. In particular: 6 is 9--his poem, "Her Name," from prelims, where he gets into character as an old man with memory problems. The entire room was weeping.

3. Ian's pizza. The lasagna pizza was awesome--I never got to try the mac n cheese pizza, though.

4. Finals. Way better than last year--Boston especially wowed me with the quality of their writing.

5. Dr. Sheila winning Spirit of the Slam, and the beautiful performance of her poem with the empty spotlit mic. I cried harder than I have in years.

6. Boise's "Sirens" poem. Hilarious, inspired, and quite original.

7. Downtown Madison--there were tons of awesome restaurants & stores, and campus was very pretty.

8. Josh Healey (of Madison)--his poem before Finals, "Elegy for Peter Norman." Very elegant, moving, honest, and unique.

9. Anis' sacrifice poem on the 2nd night of prelims at the Brink. Beautiful.

10. Blair (of Detroit)--his tabledancing/Journey poem from the final night of prelims (against Charlotte, Eureka, & Nuyorican). So great.

linzm

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Re: Your Madison NPS Top Ten?
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2008, 12:42:51 PM »

7.  Dido on the Nerd Slam.  This would actually have been my first time and I was completely entranced.  Have already pulled Robbie Q aside about bringing this fantabulous sideshow to Women of the World Poetry Slam next March.

Oh my hell yes.  I was reading so fast I almost missed that last sentence, and then it turned out to be THE BEST NEWS I'VE HEARD ALL DAY.  Nerd girls represent!  Can it please be March already?

linzm

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Re: Your Madison NPS Top Ten?
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2008, 01:02:01 PM »
And my top 10...

1.  My team.  This was Tucson's second year at Nationals, and yeah, we didn't advance, but we worked hard and had a really good time.

2.  Hosting the most low-tech Solo Slam ever.  No scorecards, almost no microphone, just a lot of really bad-ass poetry that most people didn't get to see.

3.  The Decathlon Slam.  "My dick is so big, every poem I do is a group piece!"

4.  Honolulu's feminist poem in prelims.  I've heard quite a few dudes try to take on that particular subject (in fact, I heard a few last week), and this was by far the most effective.

5.  Queer Nation.  Loved co-hosting with Wonder Dave, loved the honesty and feeling of community in that room, loved hearing everyone's favorite euphemisms (especially Theresa Davis:  "All the time").  Can I do it again next year, please?

6.  Kay Krown (Mental Graffiti)'s stripper poem in semis.

7.  Kate Saunders (Mesa rookie) doing "Tango for 1" in prelims.  I know not a lot of people saw it, but keep an eye out for her.  She's gonna be kicking your ass sometime soon.

8.  The Nerd Slam.  For future reference, people, it all comes down to TOAST.

9.  The empty mic tribute to Shannon Leigh on finals night.  Cried.  My.  Eyes.  Out.

10.  The Arizona slam family!  Mesa, Phoenix and Flagstaff, I love you all.  I love how we support each other and cheer each other on.  Especially after everything that happened last year, it is so awesome to see the way our scene has pulled together.

Bob Whoopeecat Stephenson

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Re: Your Madison NPS Top Ten?
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2008, 11:35:28 PM »
In no particular order and I could have added a few more........


1. Getting to tag team host the Slam Master Slam with Nick Fox, Stefan Sencerz stepping off a plane from Poland to win the damn thing and of course, "you'll be DEAD, DEAD, DEAD!"

2. affrimations from poets that can still taste the barbeque from Austin. 

3. the low of having to replace a judge in the middle of a prelim bout being erased by the pure high energy of hosting the St Paul, Oakland, Chicago MG, Baltimore, Charlotte bout.  "Can ya' FEEL the NOISE!"

4. Kelsey Miller and JW Baz heckling Roger Bonair Agard and Shappy at the decathlon slam.

5. Bout Managing for Karrie Warala in one of her first NPS MC opportunities.

6. My MFFL Colin Gilbert!  Enough said!

7. The Chicago MG Spern invasion at the group piece championship.  Strong swimmers actually hit us in the upper balcony!

8. The absolute greatness of Madison, WI.  Weather 20 degrees cooler than home, safe streets, nice hotel staff, affordable everything, no need for a car but a scooter would have been way cool (I'm jealous Denver-Nuba).  I wonder if the sidewalks roll up later when school is in session?

9.  The Sunday night Spades/Absinthe party all you cats missed because you went home early! 

10. Seeing the outstanding collection of women poets on the final stage.       
Whoopeecat
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Bob Whoopeecat Stephenson

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Re: Your Madison NPS Top Ten?
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2008, 11:37:46 PM »
In no particular order and I could have added a few more........

7. The Chicago MG Spern invasion at the group piece championship.  Strong swimmers actually hit us in the upper balcony!
     

Correction: Chicago Green Mill not MG
Whoopeecat
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Stefan Sencerz

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Re: Your Madison NPS Top Ten?
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2008, 11:53:09 PM »
Quote
9.  The Sunday night Spades/Absinthe party all you cats missed because you went home early! 
So, it went to good use. Yey! (And sorry  Iwent home early.)

Also, thank you for your company and friendship. And #1... well, that's #1 for me, too.

damien

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Re: Your Madison NPS Top Ten?
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2008, 12:33:25 PM »
1. My teammates They rock! One of my favorite things this year was the practices everyday on the steps of the capital......lemon face....zombie face.....arggghhhhh!
2. Southwest love ....yo we got mad love down here....lets have sw shootout twice a year cuz i can never get enough of all yall...
3. The poetry...I didn't get as much of it this year*sad puppy dog look* but some of the highlights for me were paper girl being whispered into my ear right before we left.....Colin...every time I hear you im am amazed.....God box....what can I say but damn it made me cry......  Semifinals team austin's memorial piece...I didn't know shannon but have faith that wherever she is she is continuing to open hearts and make the universe a brighter place......Slammaster slam..I can't remember the name of the piece but I think his name was Daniel....THats just what stands out right now but there was so much more that inspired me....
4. My extended family team ABQ...what can I say but thank you.. you have all been inspiration, teacher and friend to me...much love fam
5.Madison and it's beautiful people......I think I fell in love a total of 150 times...yes i counted.
6. Early morning strawberry sharing......yup i love strawberries and hallucinating from lack of sleep.
7.The brink lounge ...we were there for two nights and it felt like home...the door guy's a sick beat boxer...
8. Semi Finals...yo first year for us and although it was terrifying it was awesome too....thanks to all of the teams in all of our bouts...it was an honor to share the stage with yall.
9. The Klute and Jeremiah Blue Singing... yall can sing me to sleep any day of the week. 
10. The poets....you are all welcome any time down here in Silver City if you can find it that is....NEW MEXICO
11. and one for good luck..............Knowing that next year is out there...REWIND SELECTA

Mike Simms

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Re: Your Madison NPS Top Ten?
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2008, 03:19:36 PM »
1.
Korim from Austin doing his tribute to Shannon, I don’t think I have ever had to fight back tears harder than I had to listening to that poem.

2.
Is a Somewhat expected highlight, us winning again, the first year was surreal, like I was not really there, this year was just as sweet.

3.
Poets…as my family does not have family reunions, this is about the closest it gets for me. Hanging out with friends that I don’t see too often Is always a highlight.

4.
Group piece showcase, more pointedly, Urbana’s first piece, and Charlotte’s Respect the mic team’s ‘Howl piece’

5.
Green earth…nuff said

6. 
How well received Stolen Identity was, we work hard to mix good writing with concepts that are conceptually different. We knew it was a good poem but the validation with both a 30, and all the comments we heard afterwards made it all the more rewarding.

7.
The hotel/security/staff, as much noise as we were making I expected them to start being a-holes to us, but they were actually very accommodating of our drunken, celebratory good time.

8.
Our trip to McDonalds - we made a 4 o’clock trip to McDonalds that will live in infamy for many years to come “did you say big and tasty” LOL....yea I know its an inside joke…but these are my highlights dammit!

9.
Watching a game that I am guessing is entitled “big booty-big booty”, since people watching is one of my favorite things to do this was absolutely HILARIOUS to watch.

10.
The side conversation’s I was able to have with some people I really admire and love, it’s cool to be able to step away from the craziness of the competition and really connect with people on a real level.

Faylita Hicks

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Re: Your Madison NPS Top Ten?
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2008, 08:31:12 PM »
 I like to countdown till big KABLAM! soooo....

10.  Losing my money in the Chicago airport, directly after we landed... if I hadn't lost the money, I wouldn't have had to be as creative to have fun and eat while I was there!

9. Madison's weather and lovely streets... a little eerily clean at times, I loved it still.

8. The Cipher!  A big crowd of people spilling their hearts out, literally, onto the streets... it was beautiful and loving and wonderful.

7. Sheila winning Spirit of the Slam... that woman deserved it, completely.  Her commitment to keeping alive the spirit of poetry and it's ability to touch others is incredible... especially in these times.

6. The Workshops: I needed those buggers to get inspired again and to learn more about my style of delivery and writing.  They were fun and thorough.

5. The Poets: From all over they came, with all their randomness and words and I loved it.  I met sooo many incredible people who will forever be imprinted in my memories.

4. Semifinals:  Having the privilege of sharing the stage with some of the hottest poets from NYLA, Nuyorican, Berkeley and Silver City was crazy and intoxicating and revitalizing.

3.  Korim's poem for Shannon:  It was one of those moments you hold onto forever.  The time where nothing else matters and all you can focus on is the words and the memory.  Shannon filled that room and her voice echoed in all of our ears that night.  I miss her and am still expecting her to show up at the next open mic.  I realize now, that she shows up for every open mic, and that she continues to speak through all of us.

2. The Final Stage dedication to Shannon:  One mic was all she ever needed to change us forever.

1. My team:  It is a crazy thing to battle all year against various strangers and familiar faces and then be thrust into a rigorous practice and performance schedule with these people.  Yet, somewhere, in all the mess of fun that comes with creating a small family unit, you learn something about yourself and about who you want to be.

Coach Kim "13":  Persevering, encouraging, intelligent, strong willed woman whose keen eye and passion kept us on the right track .

BFran: Big brother, there are only a few men like him left in the world.  A man who lives what he preaches, takes the shirt from off his back and hands it to you, no questions asked, and is always there when you need him.  A still young man, he deserves the respect of a wise elder.

MichelleDesiree:  Queen, Goddess, loving, encouraging, powerful woman, who keeps you on your toes and catches all the light in the room and shines it back on you.  Her words are intoxicating.

Korim:  Young man, poet, creative, abit of prophet, he inspires me with every line and every thought.  His eagerness to find depth in his words from the very moment he utters them... I look forward to his success.  He told us to GO INto that place in which we truly live and speak truthfully.  It some of the best advice I've ever gotten.

This National Poetry Slam is much more than competition... which makes it interesting, but not worthwhile.  What it makes it worth it, is the people you meet who guide you, in their own funny ways down the path of life.  We didn't win, but you wouldn't know by the looks on our faces when we landed back in Austin.  For most of us, our lives were changed this year at Nationals, and I am thankful for the experience. 

Faye

www.FAYLITAHICKS.com

dansully

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Re: Your Madison NPS Top Ten?
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2008, 11:16:29 PM »
In no particular order and I could have added a few more........

7. The Chicago MG Spern invasion at the group piece championship.  Strong swimmers actually hit us in the upper balcony!
     

Correction: Chicago Green Mill not MG

All of Chicago was in on that one though!  Chicago Sperm!  We're like Marc Smith's awkward annoying children!
Dan "Sully" Sullivan
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Re: Your Madison NPS Top Ten?
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2008, 11:40:26 PM »
1)  Doing my poem "Pens" with Tristan, Kay, & Alvin.  That piece has meant a lot to me.  I wrote it in 2003 and don't feel comfortable reading it as a solo poem anymore.  It continues to break my heart that Tim Stafford, JW Baz, and now this year's team care about the piece enough to continual help reinvent it and bring it's message to new audiences.  Honestly I need the help and it means so much to me that my friends and artists I care about want to bring it back to life even when I get frustrated with it. Honorable Mention:  Mental Graffiti Chicago's group piece "On Being Water".  I think the piece was not only important, a good piece of writing, and a performance to be proud of, but also a representation of our team dynamic and ethic this year.

2)  10 second freestyles in the banquet room.  OHHHHHH!!

3)  Shappy telling me he thought the vodka in my flask had a hint of cilantro.  He then dubbed it "Vodsantro".

4)  Molly Meacham.

5)  The Moon Poem.  (Oh moon, oh ship-guiding Galileo Moon)

6)  Team Seattle in general.

7)  The board room grumbling from the back of the room at orientation. When the crowd started talking after a comment or announcement a group of us started saying "grumblegrumblegrumblegrumble".

8)  Eric Daniels.  Always one of the most under appreciated people in slam.  I hear he's retiring.  That SUCKS.  I know if he can put up with a protest ordeal like ours from last year he can put up with almost anything. Jah Bless.

9)  USA! USA! USA! USA!

10) JM from Lincoln leaning over to me during finals opening ceremonies while the dancers with all the bright multi-colored backpacks and hipster tights were on and said, "I like the one who's dressed like an idiot."
Dan "Sully" Sullivan
www.whoisdansully.com