For over a decade the Page Meets Stage has capitalized off of this "separation" by hosting monthly events that pair a typical "stage poet" with a typical "page poet" for back to back performances followed by a Q&A. Often, however, the pairings make it difficult to determine who is who. The page poet has probably performed and competed in poetry slams plenty of times, and the stage poet has probably been published various places. At the end of the day they are always both phenomenal poets and the events are always great time.
|New York based poet, April Ranger. The host for the evening|
The entire evening was moving, entertaining, thought-provoking, and just enjoyable. You cannot help but feel proud of two established Black Men, still learning, still growing and being damn good with words while they're at it. In Page Meets Stage fashion the poets went back in forth with poems that spoke to one another, so great it almost became competitive. A line in one of Steven's poems would be an image in one of Hanif's and so on and so forth. With personal accounts of being Black in America, Masculinity, heartache, growing pains, and humor there could not have been a better pairing than what Sunday night brought. In the historical Bowery Poetry Club, a staple in New York City's art movement on the Lower East Side, PMS proves that that art is still thriving. Though both Abdurraquib and Willis are both Mid-Westerners they certainly made home out New York City on that stage.
|Hanif Willis-Abdurraquib and Steven Willis|
Following the poems was the Q&A, which is often my favorite part of any event. Both poet answer questions pertaining to their work but also how their personal lives influence who they are as artists, especially considering the social climate. Find out more about these poets and their work: Hanif Abdurraquib, Steven Willis. For more information about Page Meets Stage and how you can attend click HERE.