Do you remember when Pulitzer Prize winner Maya Angelou called out Poet Laureate Billy Collins on the Oprah Winfrey show? She was all, “Yo punk, my squad is the future of this poetry game! Da Caged Birdz represent!” She and Oprah put their title belts on the line, then all of these pyrotechnics started going off, and Billy Collins appeared in a doorway with his sexy manager Kristina. Billy then ran into the ring and hit Maya Angelou in the side of the face with a folding chair. That’s sort of how the Below the Belt poetry battle went down. 11 artistic disciplines (MC, DJ, GRAFFITI, BEATBOX, POETRY ON THE PAGE, SLAM POETRY, BANDS, SPOKEN WORD, FILM/VIDEO, POPPING), $1500 in cash money prizes, plus “The Best Looking Man in Comedy,” Fancy Ray.
Below the Belt was presented in conjunction with the exhibition The Squared Circle: Boxing in Contemporary Art.