After the big turnout, Espresso Royale said they plan to reserve a whole extra couch for the next competition.
Following the distribution of several bulletin board flyers and over 50 Facebook invites, the Michigan Slam Poetry Competition being held in the State Street Espresso Royale drew a full crowd of all 10 participants who had pre-registered to read their work.
The unexpectedly large crowd meant additional chairs had to be brought in from neighboring rooms, and store patrons were moved to accommodate the turnout. Said Jennifer Jones, who was working in the coffee shop before the competition began, “I hadn’t heard anything about it and I had to leave to study somewhere quieter, but it looked like it would be quite the show.”
Some competitors were worried their spots on the roster wouldn’t be saved, such as Jim Tremblay, who said, “I showed up not expecting much, but with all of the slam poets in attendance, it was difficult to even find a seat.”
“I exceeded my time limit by five minutes and forgot three of my verses, but the crowd was super positive anyway,” said participant Kaitlyn Montgomery. “I’m just up here, trying to hone my craft, and I loved how much the audience understands that.”
“It really was quite a good event. Everyone stayed after they read to cheer each other on, so no one was deprived of an audience,” said guest judge Sean O’Malley. “Each person took a turn slamming as well as snapping.”
Although the coffee house cleared out once the event began, there were still enough people present to fill the front row of seats. Said Tremblay, “I was pretty nervous to read with all those eyes on me, but I still think I did well.”
Several of the slam poets remained at the coffee shop after the event ended, reportedly trying to figure out the carpool situation for going “on tour” to a slam in Royal Oak later this month.