Friday, December 21 2013 was thought to be day the world would come to an end. It was D-day. Armageddon. The Apocalypse. And then…December 22nd came. No end of the world. No D-day. No Armageddon. There was, however, an apocalypse….or should I say Apocolipz.
December 21st was the day that saw one of the most incredible spoken word slam poetry competitions in NJ. Produced by The Establishment R.E.M. - a collective consisting of engaged community activists and poets – the competition was housed at the dance school and studio of world-famous tap dancer and Newark native, Savion Glover. This was no coffee shop reading. The bouts matched up talent from every stretch of the spectrum, youth poets, seasoned veterans, men, and women going one-on-one. Poets competed against each other for bragging rights and cash prizes. Special guest Starski, the reigning champion of the previous competition in September, judged the evenings matches along with four other judges selected at random.
At the end of the night, the scores were tallied and the winners were called to the stage. But just when you thought it was safe, there were two (count ‘em, 2) tie bouts! After sudden death matches, here’s how it all came to a head:
Youth Poet of The Year: Samuel ‘Shaq’ Henry
Heroine Poet: Janelle ‘Royal’ Bess
Grudge Bout Champion: Timothy DuWhite
Female Champion: Jessica ‘Souletic’ Harris
Old Skool vs New Skool Bout Winner: D the Schizophrenic (Old Skool reigns supreme)
Title Fights 2 Champion: Brian ‘Omni’ Dillon
To find out more about spoken word poetry going on in and around Newark, follow Starski on Twitter.