Slam Nuba is people, people who have won “National and World Poetry” competitions since 2007, so says the flyer on my desk. They want “to promote the creation and performance of poetry by cultivating literary activities and engaging in community.” Great mission statement. I might copy it, but I’d be a fraud if I tried. Because I am a page poet, my poems are meant to do their work on a page, although I certainly do read them aloud to anyone who cares to hear them.
This, my friends, is one of the major divisions in contemporary poetry. Slam poets hark back to the earliest use of the art form, the spoken word. And they do it with great energy and drama, and without the “script” in hand. They memorize their lines, like actors. And they perform on a stage.
The slogan of Slam Nuba is “We cut heads.” Say what? I have no idea what that means, but after I see them perform tonight (4/23/2014) at the Broomfield Auditorium, I’ll let you know, so by the time this post appears on Saturday morning, I will have crossed that great poetic continental divide, at least for a few hours.
Slam Nuba goes on my list of great things to see/hear/experience. Four poets, one hour, “not your grandma’s poetry,” rhythmic, confessional, topical, tender and angry by turns, what Jovan Mays calls a cross between AC/DC and Baptist revival. I would call it a vehicle that’s half heavy-duty dually pickup and half drag racer. It has power and moves very fast. It hauls racial issues, neglected children, working-folk blues and educational malaise. It’s all good. See more about them at http://www.slamnuba.net.