On Feb. 24, the Crossroads Theater held the Confidence Omenai Send Off Show.
This event was part of a series of slam poetry events put on by the local Slam Nuba. “WE CUT HEADS!” This is the epitaph the audience echos at every mention of the poetry team.
Slam Nuba is a very competitive group who have won many national titles. Many poets try to become part of their ranks.
This series of slam events functions as a vetting process to select the team members for the 2017 team. The night started out with an open mic featuring invited local poets. This part of the evening was relaxed, and the poets presented both well rehearsed work and newer pieces.
Some of the participants were, or are currently members of Slam Nuba while others were not Slam specialists.
After the open mic, the featured poet came to the stage. Confidence is a middle aged woman who hails from Oklahoma City but recently moved to Denver.
Confidence is the Slam Nuba representative for the Women of the World Poetry Slam. These are national competitions where representatives from major cities come together to compete for a prestigious title.
Each one of her twelve pieces was well thought out and eloquent. Even the brief interludes between poems were poetic. She made beautiful commentary on how damaging relationships can force growth. Confidence’s ability to articulate her position is unparalleled in my experience. She mentioned her four children throughout the performance.
Then came the slam! Eight poets went head to head in competition for two spots in the Slam Nuba’s team invitational competition.
A poet has to perform well at a local competition to be invited to compete to make the team. The quality of the poetry was impressive. Each poet had distinct and powerful thoughts on race, sexuality, politics, gender, assault, police, and other heart wrenching themes.
Slam is different from other spoken poetry in that it focused mainly on being culturally relevant and accessible. Also, being a performer plays a large role in the art form. When one poet spoke about his OCD he twitched. When another went on a soliloquy about hip-hop he “flowed”.
Although the competition was tight, Meta and Lucifury came out on top. Lucifury won with a call to men to take on their role as community members and support their family.
The night came to a beautiful close when the MC spoke about fundraising efforts to save Crossroads theater which has served as a community center for years but currently struggles financially.
The space is well kept and has been a useful platform for supporting local artists. Be sure to go and support Slam Nuba and the Crossroads Theater at their next event!