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Day 27: Prose writer, meet poetry writers.

Posted by Adam Sell  July 27, 2008 11:06 PM

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boston60_logo.jpgI'm Adam Sell and I have two months left before I leave Boston. My challenge? Do something in the city every day. Have ideas for my adventure? Send me an email.

There was a time not so long ago when I would have considered myself a capable poet. Not brilliant by any stretch of the imagination, but competent enough to pull decent grades in my English classes.

But after sitting in the audience at the Lizard Lounge for Poetry Jam Night, I realized just how inadequate my verse skills are. (I plan on sticking to prose for the foreseeable future.) The slam featured the Lizard Lounge Slam Poetry Team, which is on its way to a national slam poetry contest.

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Each poem topped the one before it as the team members rotated at the microphone and laid down their best words. And these weren't just recited or read from a paper, they were performed. The slam poets brought their tempo and energy up to match the emotion conveyed in their verses, to stunning effect. Though the topics ranged from mixed-race heritage to dissatisfaction with the government to the trials of raising a child on your own, the passion and the friendly competitive spirit remained constant throughout the night.

Following the work of the team, the floor was opened to any and all comers to recite their own material under the dim red lights, with the backing of the Jeff Robinson Trio. I wasn't sure how folks would cope with having a jazz group grabbing onto a spoken cadence and improvising, but nobody seemed particularly stressed by it.

I walked away from the evening thinking "I could do that," but no. My poetry slams aren't pretty. So with prose, I shall stay.

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Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.

Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.

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