After a lovely few days in Varese, the garden city of greenery (which I will speak about in another post), I'm in Torino and have just come back from a splendid walk through the old city to the river Po with my host Giacomo; traveling from public square to public square under the portal walkways. Exactly what Marc loves, walking and beholding the beauty of passing faces and old art & architecture. We rested from our walk at a cafe along the river and I was in paradise listening to murmur of the Italian language spoken around me, the birds chirping, and the strokes of oars lapping the water as boatmen propel themselves upstream.
Great fun and conversation in the evenings. Slam in Italy suffers from the same controversial issues and characters afflicting slam elsewhere in the world. It also celebrates the same joys, the major of which being the friendships (and romances) that grow out of like minded people brought together through the intimacy of poetry and performance.
Say whatever you want (good and bad) about the slam. One point cannot be denied. It has bonded people into a community (family) that would never have developed had slam not surfaced in their lives.
The Italian slam is alive and growing thanks to the good people who are pouring their unselfish their heart into it.
I'm eating a late dinner at Hotel Karol restaurant in Monza after experiencing and performing at the rebirth of the Italian National Slam. It was a great success. Marvelous audience (old and young -- rich of heart and mind). A mix of many styles. Great fun generate by the emcees. And the old man kicked ass.
The Italian slammers are struggling with the same questions slammers in other parts of the world have struggled with. It breaks to one overriding issue: should organizers make production choices that favor the poets sensibilities or choices that make the show more enjoyable for the audience. All who know me know where I stand. Poetry Slam was created for the audience. As performing poets we are servants to them. I hope the Italian slam community chooses the later. If they do their shows will grow and grow. If not they will end up like the old faulty models of poets reading to poets sans any real audience.
That's the word tonight. Now I'm going to eat my pasta and go to sleep.