I'm not sure what it was but I had an amazing time at Last Poet Standing tonight. Today was the week of 12 poets left and they got a whopper of a prompt: Villanelles. I've tried writing several myself, so I know how difficult it can be, and yet tonight nearly every poet nailed all of the rules.

That's really what Villanelles are, lots of rules. They have a certain number of lines, a strict meter and rhyme scheme, and these two lines repeat over and over again in specific slots, so you have to write it so that those two lines make sense. 

The emcees (Jacob is leaving after this week but there was a lot of people who volunteered to take his place) had a great idea, rather than pull names from a hat, they put each of the poet numbers on stage and had people shout out the poet they wanted to go. It was a good way to get the audience way more involved. They also asked some of the poets questions along the way, which actually led to some amusing moments.

Jacob (Emcee): How did you like writing a villanelle?
Gregory Barker: I like form so this was the easiest week for me.
Jacob: That'll be the only time you hear that tonight.

And while votes were counting they had all the poets come on stage and write a new poem one word at a time.

There was also some great poetry tonight. 

Anna May read a moving piece about what it was like to have bipolar disorder. Steven Duncan, clearly feeling the effect of immunity, wrote a poem about how hard it was to write villanelles (but hey it was in perfect form.) Some of the other highlights were Melissa Miner who made an impassioned plea for throwing all of our shoes out, including the squirm inducing line about her heels as tenderized meat. Andrew Horner, who is on his third Last Poet Standing go around gave what I thought was his best poem ever, form clearly suits him. His poem had him arriving in heaven only to be sent back to earth with a hundred bottles of spray paint. And another poet that I think may have a good chance to go all the way is Gregory Barker. Gregory has managed to entertain every week, this week he talked about his pursuit of a date with a girl with a grin that lived in Berlin. 

Of course as always one of the poets has to go. I was worried that it might have been one of my favorites Bobbie Gross. She started her poem explaining that form poetry is not her strength, and the repeating lines did seem to inhibit her usual imagination, but fortunately her terrific delivery, and excellent choice of disorganization as a theme to justify any minor technical problems sent her flying into the next round.  Unfortunately Carly Eggett did not. I was rooting for Carly, I had found her to be among the strongest poets each of the first two weeks, and while her "Big P Poem" wasn't her best work, I'm sure she would have contributed nicely along the way. 

Best wishes to Carly.

On the other end, Jackie Argyle stole the night. Her poem " '90s man" managed to introduce a strong nostalgia that much of the audience responded to. For the rest of the night the emcees were trying to hook Jackie up with one of the many 90's men in the audience. At one point a volunteer stood up in the back of the room, but didn't have the guts to come up. She'll have immunity next week.

Speaking of next week: The prompt is "It's Valentine's Day and I'm at Last Poet Standing." Which is to the best of my memory the only Last Poet prompt to ever refer to Last Poet Standing, we'll see how that goes. Of course next week is Valentine's day but what's more romantic than poetry. 

We hope to see you there.

2/9/2013 02:04:56 am

I definitely think there were 2 or 3 poets who should've been eliminated before Carly. That's too bad.


Leave a Reply.