#CSPSlam Ch.5 One on One winner – Kyle Louw


One of Kyle Louw’s online profile* says that …he cares about sharing that feeling you get when you hear something that resonates with you…

There are a few words that I can use to describe my relationship with poetry, but what I know is that, when it’s good, it’s good. I’m of the belief that poetry should evoke feeling. To either confirm what I’ve been feeling or to make me feel something new. Things like standing ovations, finger snaps should happen voluntarily. Like Lil’ Hussil says “The thing about MALANGABS…”

In most cases I selfishly enter the auditorium expecting my soul, my spirit, my whole being to be touched by poetry. And when I find a poet whose intentions are for me to feel like “I understand where he is coming from because I feel the same emotion he does on a daily basis”. I have to take some time to ask him a few questions.

Here is what Kyle had to say.

  1. What is the thing you fear you’ll never achieve as a poet?

I have to admit that I have never thought about this, I usually take each new experience/achievement as it comes. I have dreams of flying the South African flag high on an international level so I suppose not representing South Africa effectively would count as a fear.

  1. If you had to convince someone to attend a slam, what would you say to them?

Come witness the human spirit in all its glory. Untouched by societal expectations, without masks or preconceptions, without judgement or concern for what is considered right and wrong – Well the pure slams anyway. If that doesn’t work hit them with the “I thought we were friends.” 😛

  1. What are the intentions with which you enter the slam?

It used to be to win, these days my intentions are to enjoy myself and remain authentic; not comprise my style for audience applause or judges scores.

  1. Thuli Zuma says, poetry shortens the distance between two people. What do you think poetry does?

Quite simply, it heals.

  1. Many slams later, what is typical of a slam?

In my personal experience, a warm and accepting crowd, the toughest job for judges and a list of poets who all in their own capacity deserve to lift the belt.

  1. What is the feeling that stands between winning and losing a slam?

Confidence, but more importantly trust in yourself and an unwavering game plan; once I have decided on my poems under no circumstances do I change them.

  1. Who do you measure yourself against? Yourself or your peers?

A bit of both, in a slam setting you have a tangible opponent and the judges scores give you an indication of the level you need to reach. Yes, you need to bring fire to every performance but strategy plays a big role; you need to increase with each round so measuring and pacing yourself is just as important.

  1. In one word, what is the thing you love about poetry and what are the challenges in poetry?



                                                                                                                                       -Baeletsi Tsatsi


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