Hit Urbana last night after the pleasantly unexpected distraction of 50%-off sushi. FRESH sushi! Yum.

Got there in time for the slam which, to my surprise, I kind of enjoyed. Over the years, Cristin has become my favorite host on the scene, hands down. She knows her audience, has impeccable comedic skills and timing, and is cute as hell. Makes a night where someone like RAC loses to some Steve Colman-lite guy bearable.

Speaking of RAC, I think she’s officially become one of my favorite poets on the scene. Watching her last night was a breath of fresh air. Her writing is crystal clear and full of stark metaphors that tingle your spine, and she packs an honest emotional punch like few others I’ve ever seen/heard/read. Anytime I’ve seen her perform more than two poems, she’s brought me near to tears. Offstage, she’s an outspoken, no-holds-barred kind of person. Like Helen Yum, she’s another one I’d never want to get on their bad side!

Her journal is also one of the more interesting ones I read, and her most recent post was…well, it was posted as a private entry so if you’re not on her friends list you can’t read it. There’s plenty of public entries there that give you a sense of the person behind the poetry, though; interestingly enough, two very similar people as she’s about as real as you’ll ever come across.

I talked to her last night about doing the next louder than words, on May 21st, and she was interested. Need to find someone interesting to pair her up with, though. Since it’s a Friday, Diane is unavailable – and Helen will have already relocated to Hawaii – so I asked Cristin if she’d be interested in subbing as the third host and she was down. I’m also thinking about bringing Taylor back at some point and pairing him up with Keith Roach, as potentially volatile a mix as you could imagine.

I missed Patricia’s feature last night but got to talk to her after the slam and she is amped for tomorrow! It’s going to be a good one. See you there?

PS: There’s an interesting debate brewing over on the louder than words blog. Check it out and get in on the discussion.

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