Tonawanda News — When the series was discontinued, many of the poets from the city scattered off and lost touch, except for a few, according to Panzarella, who has been writing original poetry since the 1990s.
“There was no league or official poetry scene at all, so a lot of poets stopped performing or they performed at smaller places, and it wasn’t even competition anymore,” Panzarella said.
Those remaining active in the slam community such as Burton and Panzarella were coaxed into performing at the first Pure Ink Poetry Slam in January of 2012 by an enthusiastic Williams. He hoped to revive the scene through the upkeep of a monthly slam.
“(The Pure Ink Poetry Slam) is something that we’re definitely going to need in Buffalo. It’s something that’s going to really build the slam community because one of the biggest issues we have with Buffalo slam poetry events is consistency,” Williamson said.
A taciturn young man offstage, but a loquacious wordsmith on, Darwin Aiken Jr., 20, East Buffalo, received a respectable third place at the competition. It was his first time competing at the Pure Ink Poetry Slam, though he is no new comer to the slam scene. His eye, he said, is still on the prize, and so he plans to come back to compete Wednesday.
“It felt like a huge weight off of my chest,” Aiken said of his performance. “It felt so great to let the words come out and speak my soul.”
Jessica Brant is a
freelance reporter for the Tonawanda News.IF YOU GO • WHAT: The Pure Ink Poetry Slam • WHERE: Merge Restaurant, 439 Delaware Ave., Buffalo • WHEN: Held 9:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of every month; next slam is March 13, poets sign up at 9:15 p.m. • COST: $5 • MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.pureinkpoetry.com.