26 September 2007
Last night, I had the opportunity to see Taalam Acey perform. Acey is the hardest working man in the business of spoken word poetry, and last night, a small but dedicated crowd got to witness his craft at Brownstone on Main as part of the Black Pearl poetry series.
Acey averages taking a flight every 3.5 days, and he books as many as three hundred performances per year at small venues like the one I saw him perform in. He has published two books and recorded nine CDs, and his wares are often sold out well before he is done performing. His schedule can be viewed on his MySpace page.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera with me to the performance. Luckily for you, there are many others who thought that recording Acey's artistry was a worthwhile endeavor. You can see evidence of Taalam and his way with words here, here and here.
The performance opened up with Ed Mabrey and Will Evans, both of whom bring an interesting approach to the spoken word game. There also was an open mic, which featured poets of varying skill levels on the mic displaying their craft.
Brownstone's upstairs dining area is very nice, and there is also limited outside seating. The downstairs bar (where the poetry event is held) features a standard pallet of beer and liquor. The drinks are a little more expensive than the typical campus bar. The menu features limited vegetarian selections.
If performance poetry is your bag, the weekly Black Pearl events might be your cup of tea. If not, definitely scour the wire for Taalam Acey appearances, because he is an artist in the true sense of the word.
Acey has an M.B.A., but instead of going the desk route to success, he used his talent with the English language to raise the stakes in the slam scene. He is the creme de la creme of the the genre, and he is a performer who is copied by more than anybody else in the field.
If you missed him this go round, don't repeat the mistake too many times. I have been lucky enough to see the Dylan Thomas of the 21st century perform more times than I can count. He is a gifted performer who must be seen to be believed.