Poetry doesn't come alive until it's read aloud and performed? Emily Dickinson wished her secret collection burned before it was ever spoken. Was this any less alive than a want-to-be MC who can't stay on beat, so calls herself a "poet"?
Slam poetry is the ultimate capitalist commodification. It's formatted for short attention spans, unambiguous, homogenized, competitive and generally single-tracked on a lone emotion, usually anger — the easiest to feign. It is a medium with no ambition to push or live up to its potential.
Ms. Q is not a spokesperson for the tradition, and I find her use of absolutes pretentious and dangerous to the students subjected to her shallowness.
A better article can be written to shine on Suzi without weaving a mythology that disses Slam Nuba. I mean, c'mon — "national haiku champion"? Really? Is there also a national limerick champ? As good as Suzi is (and she is good), she hasn't been able to crack the Slam Nuba lineup in the past few years, so the article's portrayal of her affiliation with Slam Nuba is pretty exaggerated — albeit a good coattail strategy on her part.
I loved the story about Suzi Q. Smith! It was great to see a story about a strong, talented woman of color on the cover of Westword. And I'm excited that the Women of the World Poetry Slam is coming to Denver!
Editor's note:For more news of the Women of the World Poetry Slam, which will fill three venues starting March 7 and culminate with the championships at the Denver Art Museum on March 10, stay tuned to our Show and Tell blog.