My first National Poetry Slam (Decatur, GA) #TeamNorthamptonPoetry #NPS

My first NPS (Nation Poetry Slam) WOW! What can I say.
From my travels via bus through NYC, DC through NC and SC and finally to ATL.
I got to meet up with some cousins of mine, old friends and new acquaintances.

My team had a game plan and we gathered on Monday to figure out how everything was going to go.
Come Tuesday we were given the short end of the stick on judges. Everyone that night scored low including other teams, it was so bad that the host and Emcee had made a statement to tell us these things happen and we all performed beautifully (we truly did). After that bout my team mate Jasmin Roberts proposed we take the (in her opinion) the strongest piece from the team and make it a group piece, which was my poem titled, "I'll Wait". Initially I was scared, uncertain and uncomfortable with crafting a piece i practiced hard on and basically reformatting and practicing it in the next coming days. But with a support of the team and some trials we got familiar with each others energies and prepared to perform it for Thursday...we had two days.

When the time came 9pm sharp we headed to the Java Monkey which is a local cafe we frequented to watch other poets compete and now it was our time to shine. I was super nervous and I hope we weren't going to have another Tuesday on our hands. The judges were great though , and when we performed we did amazing. Truth be told that was our only group piece and one of the highest scoring pieces of the night.
Unfortunately we took second place instead of first by 0.8 points (so cloooose!!) which didn't qualify for semi-finals. With our head still high we had fun and did the damn thing. We enjoyed every scene, poet, poetry and late night shenanigans. Throughout the week we had poets v hip-hop, random mini slams on the street with other poets from around the country, the hotel conference room was 24 hours so we got to hear poetry from others all day. When it was down time we chilled at the house of waffles (usually from 4 to 6am), bowls packed and lighters ready, drinks in hand. We thought it was just experience the rest of the week.

Friday morning came and our team captain is screaming from the bed room "We made it!, We made finals!"
groggy and hung over I half listened to her explain to us. "That one group piece we did scored so high it qualified us for group piece finals slam tonight at midnight!", our work was not done. We only had one group piece and we needed four if we even wanted to compete otherwise we would have to drop the the competition (F*CK THAT). We all came together with only 4-6 hours of sleep and less than 11 hours to craft and perfect 3 group pieces.

The time came, our palms were sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.
so much talent in one arena I thought...could we really do it?
we drew our ballots for who would be going first and last. it was great, we slammed our asses off. 3 rounds and we made it all the way to the finals of the group piece finals, can we really do this?
me and Jasmin looked each other in the eye and said hell yes. We came, we saw, we slammed...placing fourth and still got a trophy! on top of that are video was recorded for all to see. we celebrated and danced our asses of at the after party. I had an amazing time. Finals for NPS came and it was amazing, it fired me up even more for next year (Denver I'm coming!)
so much happened it was all truly overwhelming in a good way. with hat being said here is the piece that made it all happen and special thanks to Jasmin for believing in us and the team, as well as the team for having our back. We literally reinvented ourselves during that week of poetry and I wouldn't have it any other way...

Check out the video below!
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