The first time I ever saw Spoken Word Poetry was on HBO in 2000. The center stage was taken by the Punany Poet herself, Jessica Holter. After seeing and performing in a few shows open mics in Miai, I felt myself rather at home as a captive audience member in the local poetry community. After my friend and well known poet Will Bell was murdered, I vanished from all poetic activity. There was no interest or desire to even lurk in a dark corner to remain captivated by a story as it unfolded in a secy atmosphere surrounded by complete strangers. This year seems to be my poetic re-entry time. Between Thou Art Woman and Girl Talk, poetry has surrounded me once again. Let us not forget how I met the delightful Crystal Chanel the MOC at ArtServe. Poetry was presented there as well and now it seems as if there is a limerick waiting for me every week. Familiar faces now appear at my new haunts. Another favorite of mine, Red Writing Hood has become a regular at my family functions. It is wonderful to see different poets and experience different literary flavors. Some words tickle while others strike a chord. I am happy to say that everything has come full circle and it was wonderful to be back where it all started….admiring my favorite poet, Jessica Holter.
It was the night before my cousin was due to fly home to England. She had come to the U.S. to visit my mother, and had spent a good three weeks of fun and merriment. My mother called to ask what time I was stopping by to say good bye. Before we knew it, we had planned a farewell gathering. Since I am always interested in entertainment, I suggested that I hire a spoken word poet. There was a particular word artist that I had in mind. It had been a long time since I had first watched her work in a poetry house. She made a life long fan that evening with her poem about a particular work experience.
After contacting her, she informed me that she was available to perform much to my delight. She entered my family home and made everyone smile. Her poetry told stories of healing and domestic violence. Her faith in Christ was evident as was her incredible stage presence. My mother demanded an encore presentation and she graciously bestowed us with one more piece. The guests had several questions for her regarding her career, and everyone hugged her before she left.
When you make a connection with an artist of any genre, there is a magical spark that takes place. I told her that the first time that I watched her perform, she made me feel as if she was reading the pages of my journal aloud, and that I was the only person in the room. In reality, she was talking about one of her experiences in a very public forum. Imagine how her sharing such a tale made the world a smaller place. Her awesome stage presence commands a stage and brings the audience just a bit closer to her words. I was so very happy to be able to share something so special with my family and friends.