Thoughts on My First National Poetry Slam

I can honestly say that for my first year as a touring poet going to regional and national stages, I am learning fully well that the poetry slam community puts the fun in dysfunctional family.

I have had the opportunity yesterday to become a judge for the first time during one of the group piece semifinals being held at the University of Chicago. I will admit that the more that I am exploring slam with a very diverse group of poets have opened my eyes to more real life stories. And as a Christian, it is challenging me to listen to those who are different from me without judgement. I am in no way ashamed of my faith at all. But I sometimes wonder if as a Christian if I am too quick to judge and too slow to understand where people are coming from.

One of my highlights from yesterday was attending the (dis)abled mic on the south side of Chicago. I performed two pieces that went very well. One of them was a piece about faith healing and how I left the charismatic/Pentecostal movement. The other was a poem that will be featured in my upcoming book, Sojourn: A Discovery of Love. I always get positive feedback from that poem. However, one person told me outside of one of the finals last night that their daughter was at the mic and she hold her mom, “I hope one day he finds live.” Not sure what to think about that, but thank you!:)

Speaking of Sojourn, I am close to finishing my first draft. If all goes well, I hope to get it out soon. This chapbook has been two years of my life as I’m learning what it means to love and be in a relationship. I hope to elaborate further as I enter the first edit stages.

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