First Thursday September highlights

September marked the beginning of the official slam poetry season, with the first qualifying round of the First Thursday poetry slam taking place last night at Fresh Cafe.

Every month, the top two finishers of the monthly slam competition qualify for the Grand Slam Finals, which will be held the first Thursday of April 2012. There, the qualifying poets will compete for a spot on the team that will represent Hawaii at the national slam.

Last night, several poets debuted new original works. The first to qualify were Tui-Z Scanlan and Hong Guang Pyo, but there were other great performances by Chappy, Sterling Higa, Sampson Tafolo and Cody Pierce. Even Kealoha took time to perform a piece he debuted at Gov. Abercrombie’s inauguration, while Stephen Meads, originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, brought his whimsical style to the stage as the featured poet to round out a great night of poetry.

Featured Poet: Stephen Meads

First Place Poet: Tui-Z

Second Place Poet: Hong Guang Pyo

Third Place Poet: Andrew Dames