was amazing and inspiring in so many ways. Here’s a few:
- Sonya Renee’s RUCHUS workshop was exactly what I needed at the exact right time. It takes courage to be raw and honest, and even more so to bring that gift to the world. And while I’m on the topic of Sonya Renee, I am blessed to have this amazing woman in my life and as one of my closest friends. I will nuzzle in her busom forever.
- Rachel and Gypsy’s poems during the 2nd night of prelims. Oh. my. god. During Gypsy’s poem, I remembered that I first heard it about 7 years ago at the LEAF Festival in North Carolina. I thought about how long I’ve known her, and how much love I felt for her and so many other people in that room. These two have dedicated themselves to making our community feel safe and nurtured. Sheroes.
- Marty McConnell never ceases to amaze me. Her 2 and 3min poems the second night of prelims blew my brain open.
- Franny Choi is a genius. I still can’t stop talking about her sac poem at Finals. I want a Franny Choi action figure.
- Chris August, Caroline Rothstein, Omar Holmon, Emily Rose, Liz Bowen, Beth Hoffman, Sam LaRoche— I felt your love and support so profoundly even though you weren’t there in person. Thank you.
- Tatyana Brown and Sara Brickman kept me from vomiting before my second night bout. I’m in awe of their poetry and lucky to call them friends that I eat questionable gravy with. That sounds weird and I’m okay with that.
- Listening to Cynthia French run poems in the alleyway outside Leela and then watching her absolutely destroy onstage was so awesome. Her range and charisma makes her unstoppable. BOOK HER NOW.
- Leah Gould is one of my favorite people and poets. She needs to come visit NYC.
- Eboni Hogan is a brilliant writer, performer and also will one day be the host of the only talk show I will ever watch.
- Jeanann Verlee is hummingbird and light. To have someone I admire a lot give me such great feedback and advice means so much.
- Megan Falley is bold and unflinching and rocked out despite having a FEVER for all of wowps. Muffstar.
- If you haven’t heard Angelique Palmer’s 4 minute poem, you need to. This woman has strength radiating from every syllable.
- Natalie Illum is a rockstar and one of my favorite writers.
- God, I love Rachel Wiley’s undeniable master of wordcraft. Magic 4 seahorse tour.
- Amy Everhart’s poems make my chest hurt, in a good way. So much fire and gummy bear.
- Lauren Zuniga. Her poems made me choke on my own heart. I love smart, gorgeous poetry that also takes a stand on issues that matter. I wanted to jump up and say “YES!” during her poems, but I thought that might be distracting.
- I don’t really know why I’m just now meeting Melissa May, but I’m already in love with her writing. You should buy her chapbook, like, now.
- Mindy Nettifee is magic. She anointed me backstage with something that smelled like hippies and summer and tranquility, and it made me feel like a unicorn warrior princess.
- James Merenda is so full of love and support and gives amazing hugs. You should hug him.
- I was so thrilled and honored to share a finals stage with my friend Whitney and see her absolutely kill it on stage.
- Dominique Ashaheed is so deserving. Her passion and talent is intoxicating.
- Kay Krown, Porsha O, Olivia Gatwood, DeAnn Emmet, Krista Mosca, Miss Haze– so honored to share a stage with of these amazing ladies.
- Kait Rokowski is my unicorn. How is she only 21 and so talented and amazing??
- I’m sure I’m forgetting people unintentionally. I’m still sleep deprived and now sick with some respiratory evil, so any omissions are brought to you by Exhaustion, DayQuil and the letter J.
- I came to wowps feeling a bit unsure of my place in the community, or if I have one. Coming here reminded me that I never lost my friendships and connections here, and that I never could. That’s the most amazing thing I ever could have won. Have I told you lately that I’m in love with all of you? Will you go to the prom with me?