Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Grand Slam and more!

This went over very well, with a group of poets who have supported the night with regularity coming together and sharing some of their work with the crowd.
My thanks to all those who did what they had to do to be a part of this event.


DJ KRATE DIGGA...I don't know what to say about the cat. He just rocks. One of the few people who really did not get a chance to ever truly stop, Krate kept the music up and seemed to know just what to play at every turn. A true professional and I am lucky to have him on board with Black Pearl and as a friend. If you did not buy one of his awesome cd's, shame on you. Make sure you get one this coming Tuesday.


2005 LEAF Slam Champion, 2004 Individual National Poetry Slam Champion
SONYA RENEE ( came in and really rocked the house. Very sweet, kind, professional and just a good friend, Sonya walked in, said her hellos and proceded to really bring the house down with her poetry. A GREAT way to start off what would be a long and very tense night of slamming. If you did not get her cd, hit her webstie and get it there. Also send her big hugs from Columbus. This evening was her first and only time perofrming here, and it was great for that momentous occasion to happen at Black Pearl Poetry.


If you weren't there and would like a blow by blow description of everything that went down...don't expect that here. You had to (and should have) been there to experience it firsthand and nothing I will post here will make up for that. But I will give you the basics.

First off, let me say that a alam like this has never went down here before so it was a huge test of sorts for everyone involved, both audience and poets. The night started a little behind as far as teh poetry was concerned since there were 8 different positions that night filled by volunteers so that I would have no true hands on effect on the night. (though for the record the night was advertised as having a DJ start the night and we plugged opening the doors up early so that folks who came on time were rewarded with good seats, not poetry the moment they walked in the door.)

I am very glad to say the night ended on time (poetry wise) and the DJ did his thing for a while after that.

Now as for the slam, it was five round total, 7 poets competing. Two other poets had qualified to compete but one did not show up and the other, unfortunately, did not arrive before the draw.

The slam was started off by the sacrificial poet- Rose Smith, who did a great job. It was nice to have her back after recent surgeries. She had been in the house a few times prior but had just kind of chilled out in the back. Thanks, Rose.

With the layout of the slam, each score and round counted for alot and slip ups were costly. We added a random draw after every other round in a double blind fashion so things were as fair as a slam can get.

The order was as follows-

Round 1

Tiffani, Ursula, Rare, JG, Wali, Will, Edward

Round 2

Edward, Will, Wali, JG, Rare, Ursula, Tiffani

Scores were added together from both rounds and one poet was dropped. Order was drawn at random.

Round 3

Wali, Will, Edward, JG, Rare, Tiffani

Round 4

Tiffani, Rare, JG, Edward, Will, Wali

Scores were added together from both rounds and one poet was dropped. Order was drawn at random. (note- these two rounds were tight with .3 separating 3 of the poets in one round and .5 in another!)

Final round

Sudden death. top four scoring poets become the team.

Rare, Edward, JG, Tiffani, Will

And your 2006 Black Pearl Poetry National Slam Team is:


Make sure to congratulate them next time you see them. If you want to make next years team, you should start working now.

As in any and every slam, some crazy stuff happened. Judges flake out, people speak up, poets slip up, on and on. What speaks of the audiences character and poise as well as the poets and all staff that night is how everyone stepped up their game and involvement and really made it a special night. It was a very rich night, full of tension and surprise. I am glad to have been a part of it.

No, this is NOT about the VIP area, though that was alot of fun to watch and see people enjoy themselves, so yes we will have that section again.

This is for the VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE who made the night possible-
I thank you and love you all for your help. You stepped up and made the night possible and without you it would have not been possible.
Gifts and rewards are forthcoming.
and of course the best bartender- PHAEDRA

Last Chance Slam Recap

What a fun night. The open mic filled up quick and the poets were eager to share some very nice work. In fact, some folks didn't get there in time to get on the list, so make sure to come out on time from now on so your words can be heard.

The last chance slam ended up going to a sudden death round for all the chips.
The crowd was great and hanging on every word.
Earlier in the night I had made a comment about the importance of judges and scores, etc. and then, in the last sudden death round, the difference between the top two poets was .1!!!
That's right- ONE TENTH OF ONE POINT was the difference between the poet who got to go to this Tuesday's Grand Slam and not.
All in all it was a nice night and has only helped to add suspense and tension to the events which will unfold this week.

That said, congrats to JG for a fantastic job and earning a slot in the Grand Slam!

April 4- RECAP

Quite a night.
To those several people who came out early, thank you for your support and I hope it was all worth the wait.
For those who were a bit 'warm', the heat was off but set in the mid 70's, hence the nice tropical feel. But it wasn't stifling and is far better than the air being stuck on in December, trust me.

On to the show-
The open mic list was once again full of great people eager to share their work and it showed in the poems they delivered to the audience. A very nice night full of quality people reading quality poems. Just lovely.
A big shout out to the wonderful poets who came in from Cincy just for the show and drove back that same night! That's two weeks in a row that a different Cincy venue has packed up their poets and rolled into town just to share with us. The favor will be returned very soon guys and gals.
A big hello to all the ladies who came out and showed their love for their sorority! There was no bickering, hating, just love from one sorority to another. They even gave a quick class on the subtle variances between their "roll call" sound off. Can't wait for next weeks lesson.

The added drink specials were a blast and Phaedra was really moving. Upside to drink specials- people order more and feel love (in a 'oh i can get a redueced priced drink kind of way).
Downside- you got to work twice as hard for the same amount of cash, so a big shout out to Phaedra for moving like she was on rollerskates back there. If you are reading this and come out to the night, make sure to tip her well. She sure as hell deserves it.

The main event- Marc Bamuthi Joseph was alot of things last night; cool, quiet, professional, highly attentive, caring, supportive. Most of all though, he was just flat out amazing.
Alot of seasoned poets I know could learn alot from the way he carries himself, both while perofrming and while waiting his turn. He genuinely wanted to hear each poem from every poet and give them his undivided attention. Keep in mind the cat flew in from SanFrancisco and arrived in Columbus around 8pm last night, came straight to the spot, grabbed some water and a seat and then once it was his turn, morphed into this larger than life figure which spoke words that flew through the air, only to be matched by his own bodies movement through time and space.

He sold cd's and the staff of the King Arts Complex was on hand to sell discounted tickets for his one man show "When Words Become Flesh" which is being held this Saturday, April 8 at The King Arts Complex. There will be a special guest host and some other neat events going on as well. I strongly encourage you to check out his show.

For more on Marc check him at

Much love to everyone who came thru and made the night so nice. The mix of old and new patrons was great to see. Alot more on the horizon, believe me.


Black Pearl Poetry is proud to announce that we will be bringing you some of the best poets in the country bar none during this spring and summer season.
Here is just a sample of what is to come-
Sonya Renee- 2004 Individual National Poetry Slam Champion, 2005 LEAF Slam Champion.
Mike McGee- 2003 Individual National Poetry Slam Champion, 2006 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion
Thee Future- 2005 Way With Words Slam Finalist, 2005 Big Bang Poetry Slam Champion
Andrea Gibson, Rives, Roger Bonair Agard, Patricia Smith, and many many more are all coming to you via Black Pearl Poetry!

Open Mic, Slam-March 28

A very nice night. The open mic list filled up quick and everyone was eager to share their work.
The rain had folks coming in a bit late but better late than never.
Now that the true 'slam season' has wrapped up for Black Pearl Poetry, it's time to look back at how it all went down and go thru everything with a fine toothed comb to figure out what stays and what goes for next season.

All that is left now is the last chance slam, and of course the Team Grand Slam, which promises to be a blast.

The folks whom frequent Black Pearl Poetry night have been kind, sweet, and very diligent in their efforts to do what they can to make night a rich and rewarding experience. I look forward to this growth as we push forward into the warm months and do our best to offer a safe haven for all those who are willing to put other things aside for one night a week and come chill out and enjoy some good poetry.