This Ain’t Your Momma’s Poetry Reading

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BY BIANCA SPRIGGS

Or maybe it is. I’ve had plenty of Moms take part on the mic and in the audience for the past few years. That’s right, folks. The Fourth Annual Gypsy Poetry Slam is standing on your doorstep, and guess what? She’s wearing spurs.

For anyone who had a chance to sit in on at the Wild Women of Poetry event a couple of weeks ago at the Green Lantern, you’re in for more of the same in spades. For those of you who couldn’t make it, I’ve got three words for you: No. Holds. Barred.  Expect frank discourse on sex, the body, gender, relationships, and politics. Here’s a general disclaimer: The content and language poetry is NOT for children. So anyone you wouldn’t take to see a PG-13 to R rated movie, probably shouldn’t come here.

Cause I’m talking some of the most rollicking, rockinest women poets this region has to offer.  I’m talking a cornucopia of local women writers presenting pieces penned during the workshop “Reclaiming Woman” led by author, actress, and bourbonista, Donna Ison.  And I’m talking a feature, Rachel McKibbens, who’s heard tell of the kinda party we like to throw down here in the fine Bluegrass Region every year and saddled up to come add a little Yankee flair to our Victorian Square.  (No poet and don’t know it jokes, please). For a sample of Rachel’s work on HBO’s series, Def Poetry Jam, here’s a Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li09QpPF8Oo

Now. For those of you expecting a WWE style match between femme poets involving mud and quills, it’s not that kinda party. A poetry slam is competitive poetry. This is a blender event crammed to the hilt with spoken word artists competing for your favor, volunteer judges from the crowd, a jackpot prize, famous poet cameos, and me, your wild-haired hostess.  Oh, it’s just too scintillating.  All right there in historic downtown Lexington. For free. It comes once a year, folks. Come help us kick off the 30th Anniversary of the Women Writers Conference, right.

Here’s the scoop:
Sponsor: Kentucky Women Writers Conference (go here for a full list of presenters, free events, and schedule) http://www.uky.edu/WWK/
Date: Thursday, September 10, 2009
Where: Victorian Square Atrium
When: 6:30-9:00 PM
Open Mic starts at 6:30 (first come, first serve. please keep poems to under 3 minutes. men are welcome to read the open mic)
Feature: 7:15
Slam Round I: 7:30
Feature Reprise: 8:15
Slam Round II: 8:30
Make sure you bring a little cash to purchase your very own memento of the Gypsy Poetry Slam, a $12 t-shirt (the image is featured here). And also a little extra should you want to purchase any merch (books, CDs, paraphernalia) from our competing poets.

And just to get you in the mood, allow me to present you with a Praise Song:

PRAISE SONG
by Bianca Spriggs

“I’m striving to be one of the best, period.  Not just one of the best with breasts and a period” – Invincible

Praise to the ecstasy of a circle
that will provide a woman
with shoulders and backs and applause.   

Praise to a sistergirl phone call,
a friendly letter, a night out,
each one a goddess delivering
its own aloe of praise to a woman’s
injured id and bruised knees. 

Praise to a woman when she
is her own promised land.

Praise to her body.
To the pearlescent fluids
and dark matter of her. 
Praise to her dome and vale. 

Praise to a woman’s tongue
when it begs of the universe
neither leniency when she falters
nor recognition when she triumphs.

Praise to a woman when she exists
beyond the framework of her
mammary glands and genitals.
To the space where she transcends her sex. 

Praise to the ecstasy of a woman
whose own shoulders are enough,
whose own back is enough,
who will clap her hands at her own truth.

Praise to the woman
who seeks only to best herself.



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