Everyone – or nearly everyone – has read a poem or two in their lives. Some of us may have even written one. Picture your angsty teenage reflection toiling over a line about the hunky high school football star or the unfairness of an allowance reduction by the despotic leaders of your family circle.
Poetry is cathartic. It releases the primal feelings of love and hatred, loneliness, poverty, desperation – all the feelings that come very naturally with being human and all the situations that we sometimes fail so gloriously to articulate. Spoken words have even greater power; thrusting-out the emotions that lie two dimensionally on a page.
Pittsburgh is home to some amazing poetry slammers. These are men and women who serenade us with the same passion, the same intensity that forced their pens to move. Slam poetry is performance poetry, and some refer to it as three-dimensional poetry. The participants get to experience the feelings in the moment by hearing the words spoken with the same unadulterated passion the poet felt at the moment they were drawn write.
Coraopolis is the newest home to one of these poetry slams. Financially sponsored and organized by Christopher and Tiffany Myler, who are the owners of a local holistic healing business, Raion Zou Holistic Healing, the Coraopolis Poetry Slam came to life on January 13th. Some people may ask how you make the connection between the business and the poetry slam. To Christopher Myler, who spent his formidable years slamming around Pittsburgh, the connection is simple – anything that allows us to express ourselves, who we are, and how we feel in the present moment is healing.
The rules are simple: all poets must bring three original poems. Being a competition, it is a three round elimination. Judges are selected randomly from the audience, and poets are scored on a 0 – 30 basis founded in how the poem moves each judge. The mean of each score is used to determine who advances to the next round. In the final elimination round, the poet with the highest score wins a cash prize.
The Coraopolis Poetry Slam has attracted the attention of slammers from all over the Pittsburgh area, and as far as Uniontown, PA. It is hosted by Andy Theobald, owner of Anchor Anvil Coffee Bar in Coraopolis. Anchor Anvil was proud to be the host site for the poetry slams. The Coraopolis Poetry Slam occurs on a bi-monthly basis, and it is free and open to the public.
The next slam is June 23rd beginning at noon, and sign-ups are open. If you wish to participate or observe, for more information, click here.