Now that this year's Minneapolis slam poetry national team has been decided, there remains a score yet to be settled. Who will represent Minneapolis at the Individual World Poetry Slam championships this October? Veteran slammer 6 is 9 (who placed third at IWPS last year) brings considerable acting chops and an impressive talent for soulful melancholy, especially in his impeccable signature piece, "Heaven," a story-poem told in the character of an Alzheimer's patient. Yet at times his performance seems trite, and cynically designed to strum the heartstrings of the judges. His underdog opponent, Sierra DeMulder, often brings a more subdued performance than those of the bombastic Minneapolis slam crowd. But her voice carries an intensity that weaves beautifully into her writing, most prominently in a poem that retells the story of Jeffrey Dahmer through the eyes of his mother. DeMulder's poems often prove less immediately accessible, and with judges pulled randomly from the audience, there's a chance that will hurt her scores.
Tue., June 30, 8 p.m., 2009