Something happens when you go from reading words quietly off the page to speaking words aloud on a stage. (Forgive the rhyming. I’m obviously not the poet here.) The experience transforms both the author and the audience.
Theresa Davis is one of the best-known performance poets in Atlanta. She has competed in poetry slams and spoken word venues across the country, even ranking 8th among women poets at the 2009 World Poetry Slam. Theresa says she has been able to connect to the truest version of herself through poetry—not just poems that she’s written for the page, but spoken word poetry. And it all started with a conversation she had with her father just before he passed away.
Theresa absolutely devastated me when she closed out the ceremony for the “2017 Books All Georgians Should Read” with a performance of her poem “Copse.” It’s one of the poems found in her book that all Georgians should read, Drowned: A Mermaid’s Manifesto. I asked her to read that poem and another work she referenced in our conversation.
Theresa organizes live slam and spoken word events in Atlanta. If you want to catch one of these events, the best place to start is the Java Monkey Speaks and Slam Sundays. Java Monkey is a coffeehouse in Decatur, Georgia. We’ll include a link to their Facebook events in the show notes. The slams are competitions. The Speaks events usually showcase the work of different poets. These spoken word events happen every Sunday at 8 p.m. at Java Monkey. They are free and open to the public, but as a courtesy to the host, and to keep these events free, you should order drinks or food at Java Monkey.
Books Mentioned in This Episode