This week's Last Poet Standing was electric. For the first time in Last Poet Standing history the competition began only with the fifteen semi-finalists. With nearly seventy poets applying, each of the poets that made it had already proved their mettle. The evening started with each of the poets being introduced to the crowd of nearly three hundred. 

Some of the highlights of the evening:

Elise Angerbauer, a returning poet from last season, demonstrated her control over form in her "Sonnet of the Sandwich." Not only did Angerbauer have complete control over what she was doing she managed to get the audience to laugh as well. 

Elena Van Horn meanwhile may have had the most enduring image of the night. In her poem "Eruption" the ash finally settled into what she described as "Hills of Oreo-ice cream.

Gregory Barker delivered one of the most crowd pleasing poems of the night. "Silent" went into great detail about trying to grapple with your roommate snoring. 

Other poets of note:

Denver Nash read an off the wall piece about the Sphinx giving a man named Dan Planters peanut. Nash brought a copy of the poem on stage and showed the audience that he had designed it to look like the Planters peanut man (the peanut in the top hat.)

On the more serious side, Carly Eggett read a moving poem about discovering the mortality of her father, using interesting super hero imagery. She also had an extended meditation on the word white representing her earlier innocence.

Bobbie Gross, another of the other returning poet, also delivered a moving piece about her relationship with her grandfather using traditional Christian imagery in innovative ways.

The winner of tonight was Melissa Miner. Miner's poem seemed to start off very goofy. She got on stage and took a picture of Hugh Jackman and taped it to the top of the mic stand, and began her "Ode to my Cardboard Cutout of Hugh Jackman." As Miner went on, however, this cardboard cutout became a symbol of the one constant in an otherwise unsure and self-doubting life. In one poem she managed to make the audience both laugh and think deeply about themselves.

On the other hand, as Last Poet goes one poet had to leave tonight, and tonight it was Preston Cathcart. Preston who had been initially cut from the program because he was not there, showed up just as the voting was about to wrap up. The event organizers decided to let him read, but unfortunately he was obviously in a rush and didn't give his poem the reading it deserved. And since most people had already voted by the time he arrived, it was little surprise that he was the one who ended up being cut. Best wishes to Preston in the future.

Other poets who participated last night: Steven Duncan, Burkley Rudd, Jackie Argyle, Sydney Adams, Sherilyn Jensen, Andrew Horner (who is participating for the third straight year), and Anna May.

Next week's prompt is Groundhog's day. I'm looking forward to hearing how the poets can turn the theme into something meaningful and artistic.

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