Arts magazine Wrist hosts poetry slam

On Feb. 15, 6th Ave. café Bluebeard Coffee welcomed droves of Tacoma artists and art appreciators to join performers in their spacious seating area for a poetry slam—though, frankly, no one seemed very interested in sitting down the whole evening.

The slam’s roster largely consisted of current or former contributors to Wrist Magazine, but there were also some Puget Sound students and even a few pleasantly unexpected drop-ins near the end.

A couple of the performing Puget Sound students were Sean Tyree (’14), a spoken-word poet also known for heading the Spoken Word and Poetry club on campus, and Lee Pennebaker (’14), another spoken-word poet.

Unfortunately, I arrived late and thus managed to catch only the last part of Tyree’s performance, but what I did hear concerned his sister, which made for a raw and highly potent sampling of Tyree’s inner anxieties.

I also did not see Pennebaker perform that night, but having watched him deliver some of his most gripping and intimate poems before, I can only surmise that his performance was one to be remembered for all those who witnessed it—especially for the first time.

“The poets all seemed very into it, the Wrist staff was very inviting and the place was packed,” Pennebaker reflected following the event.

Tyree had a similar reaction. “I thought the event itself was relatively low key and inviting,” he said.

As the vibe itself seemed welcoming upon walking in, Tyree’s sentiment rings true, speaking to the magazine’s propensity for hosting thoroughly satisfying poetry slams.

“[Bluebeard] had an open feel, not as stage-like as other places, which probably helped it feel slightly informal,” Tyree added.

For those of you who still hear the word “wrist” and are reminded only of the joint in your arm, Wrist is a literary magazine but, furthermore, a literary phenomenon that is starting to take Tacoma by storm with its refreshing spirit of artistic community and local pride.

Specializing in unpublished poems, short stories and essays, Wrist contains a compelling blend of Tacoma culture that is further complemented by simple yet effective graphic art and literary themes that the magazine encourages for writers’ next submissions.

Wrist is published once a month, reaching many locations throughout Tacoma, especially Metronome Coffee, where another recent poetry slam occurred and, coincidentally, where I also first stumbled on the magazine.

Although the magazine has demonstrated some inconsistency as to how often its poetry slams will occur, Wrist now aims to host one every month at various cafés around Tacoma.

As a monthly contributor and two-time performer, I see a lot to admire in Wrist as the potential catalyst for Tacoma to reach a new creative identity.

Miraculously, it seems that Wrist has managed to excite even the most classically unexcitable demographic of society—writers.

“I’d definitely see if more people would be interested in performing—these events have potential,” Tyree exclaimed.

Poetry, short story or essay submissions to Wrist can be emailed to wristmag@gmail.com for review.