The Column Online


Out of the Loop Fringe Festival
WaterTower Theatre, 15650 Addison Road
Addison, TX 75001

WaterTower Theatre

Reviewed Performance: 3/5/2011

Reviewed by Mary L. Clark, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

Alright now, tell the truth. When you think "poetry", your mind starts to go to sleep, doesn't it. I know you have visions of Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Longfellow and memorizing stuff in school that you didn't even understand. Remember?

Well, WAKE UP `cause Dallas Poetry Slam is here and poetry will never be the same to you again. If you have never been to a poetry slam, put aside all those past notions and get ready to be rocked into reality by some of the most talented, most courageous, most mess with your mind and tear your heart out artists of the spoken word you are ever going to see and hear.

These sometimes in your face poets take all the realms of the human condition and, more specifically, their deepest pains, loves, and hates and lay it all out. Some use a more theatrical approach and some simply stand there but there is not a shred of doubt these artist speak from their soul.

A poetry slam is competitive performance based and judged in two rounds. Usually, any poet could come up and do their thing but for the evening at the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival, Slammaster Roderick "Rock Baby" Goudy selected eleven of the better area poets and the five judges came from newbies in the audience. There were lots of first-timers and plenty of fellow poet slammers who made the atmosphere rock with call-outs, funny jabs, and lots of encouragement.

It took so much courage to put yourself on the line to say what needed to be said. This was not a sit back and watch event - we told the judges how we felt, Baby Rock kept the audience hoppin' with shout outs and before you knew it, you were laughing and talking to people all around you and getting totally immersed into the poetry slam experience.

I'm sure typical poetry slams could go on for quite some time but for this evening, the poets were judged in two rounds. Typically there is a cash prize so it was suggested we pass the hat and award the final winner.

Dallas Poetry Slam is home to local/regional, national and international competition World Cup group and individual winners. The list is long of grand champions, first, second and third place winnings. Active in performance poetry for 16 years, Dallas Poetry Slam is competitively the best poetry troupe in the South.

While the slam at OOLFF was a one-nighter, slam competition continues every 1st and 3rd Fridays with special events all the time. Please take my word that, after going to one poetry slam, listening to the words these artists speak, you will forever be changed in what you think poetry really is.