Fringe Festival Poetry Slam night — Review

A 10/10 rating

A night packed with rhymes and mic drops so intense it made Eminem jealous. Everything about this night was amazing and so much fun, I cannot fault it. If you haven’t been to a ‘Poetry in Motion’ event before, you need to get your butt down there and here’s why:

The venue choice was excellent. I wasn’t sure what to think at first because every other time I have been to San Fran, it was full of sweaty metal heads and screamo music. So when I walked through the entrance to find old wooden tables with cute and elegant little candles on them, with slightly uncomfortable but cool looking chairs lined up in the bar, I was pleasantly surprised.

When we arrived we were greeted at the door by a lovely gentleman named Travis Cottreau. When I told him I had never been to a poetry slam before so I wasn’t sure what to expect, he kindly ran through the basics with me. It turned out he was actually the host of the evening and the founder of Wellington’s Poetry in Motion. This man’s stage presence was AMAZING! He was funny, quick and witty and he knew how to keep the crowd entertained.

I learned that a poetry slam is an event where multiple poets will recite poetry on stage in front of an audience. The host selects five random patrons to be judges and will rate the poems on the scale between 1 and 10, the highest and lowest scores are taken away, with the remaining added up. This particular event saw six poets, and they each ‘competed’ three times. Although it was indeed a competition, it did not feel like a competition. All contestants were respectful toward each other. They were also well-spoken, witty, intelligent and talented in their own ways. At the end of the night, the poet with the highest score wins.

The poets for the evening were Kate Spencer, Olivia Hall, Emma Gatsby, Russell Self, Rex Davies and Michael Howard. There were also a couple of ‘feature poets’ who were main acts for the evening, they were Tarikirangi and Jubilee. Tarikirangi was ‘the sacrificial’ — according to Travis being the first poet up is considered bad luck. Tarikirangi kicked the night off by dropping a poem that was both beautifully written and delivered. It was a heart-wrenching piece about two boys from the same genetic line but ended up on opposite pathways when they were separated by the state.

It was all smooth-sailing from thereon. For the rest of the evening we heard the poets slam us with all sorts of poems ranging from shitting your pants, sibling rivalry, being a mother, poverty, bread puns, feminism, issues surrounding being overweight and even masturbation, and so much more.

I walked away from the event feeling inspired, empowered and extremely excited for the next poetry slam! These Poetry in Motion events happen every first Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm at Meow. I highly recommend checking this one out as I can guarantee you it is a night you will remember.


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