Thursday, August 16, 2007

SlamCharlotte No. 1 in the country

I’m in Dallas stuck on yet another hot American airplane waiting for a mechanic to check out a fuel problem. I’m heading back to Charlotte from Las Vegas. This is the third time in two trips that I’ve been on an American plane that’s had mechanical issues.

Evil is an understatement.
Plus, the two women next to me won’t stop talking. But before I completely tune them out, I hear one say she attended the National Poetry Slam competition in Austin. She says our city's representative, SlamCharlotte, kicked booty.

Winning the championship has been four years in the making for a team that started with Terry Creech’s vision and blossomed under Slam master Bluz. Each year, they’ve placed in the Top 10. (Since Creech launched the slam team, locals like Bluz and JC the Poet have developed a strong scene with poetry at Wine Up, Spirit Square and at one point the Jazz Cafe.)

This year, Charlotte sent SlamCharlotte and Respect the Mike, which included Maze, Q and Filmore. SlamCharlotte’s winning team consisted of Charlotte’s Bluz, Carlos Robeson and Mike Simms, along with Beth Sheba from Atlanta and Paul D of Albany, Ga. (who replaced an ill Da’ Minister of Columbia, S.C.).

“After going through so many years of being so close, (it's sweet) to finally actually get it, and know that you really fought hard and really earned it,” Bluz said.

Now that Charlotte has a championship, Bluz said the team’s next goal is to win again - of course - and introduce more people to slam poetry. You can hear them on Power 98 at 8:50 a.m. on Friday, or see them perform at Wine Up on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (The Wine Up crowd is late, so don’t arrive before 9 p.m.; you might even be safe getting there after 11). The next SlamCharlotte event is at 7 p.m. on Aug. 24 at McGlohon Theatre in Spirit Square.