HAL at the Chengdu Literary Festival

HAL was kindly invited by The Chengdu Bookworm to bring our arrogant big city SH poetry to the land of the pandas, and as you will see from the pictures the result was just as rock’n roll as anyone would imagine.

So. HAL rolled down into Chengdu for a slam with the writers from MALA, the literary group of the Chengdu Bookworm, putting them toe to toe with 4 of the toughest Shanghai poets alive. The audience was treated to three rounds of slamming under the watchful eye of MC Jason Lasky. Poets told tales of lewd taxi drivers, got lyrical on the lack of jobs for Chinese college students—seriously—and the final three poets threw down on which city actually rocks, the ‘Du or the ‘Hai.

In the last round, HAL writer Renee Reynolds, HAL newcomer Sascha, and MALA poet Obi faced off with Obi taking the trophy: a hongbao full of Mao’s handsome pink mug, and a bottle of top shelf liquor. Lovely audience member Diane threw her hat in the ring and took away a copy of Party like it’s 1984, the latest issue of MALA, and a healthy bottle of liquor, awarded by Björn and Pete.

A big night all in all, happy happy:) And I want to add that this is the first of many more collaborations between HAL and Bookworm yet to come! We would like to sincerely thank all the brilliant poets and new friends from the MALA, and of course Pete at the Bookworm for making this evening happen. Big love also to our own girl K. for babysitting all of us for this weekend, and to Mr Lasky for the spot-on MCing. We’ll see you MALA people for the rematch in Shanghai in June!



Photos by Jack Zhang of InsideGFW.com & Miller Wey.

Miller invokes the muses (beer, whiskey, and green tea) for his poem.

Darcy floats like a butterfly, slams like a bee.

Bridget makes a funny. A poetic funny.

Dr. John gets intense.

Chengdu-ers Sofia and Obi.

Jason rules the stage as the host with the most.

Our lovely audience. Much love to ya.

Sascha slams a mean bilingual rhyme.

Obi rocks/raps the mic.

Renee enchants the audience.

Having a great night.

Jason brings in the magic pen for judging Renee, Bridgette, and Dr. John.

Björn “Steve Jobs” up the place.

Audience poet Diane doesn’t disappoint with her hot rhymes.

Jason presents the prize to Obi.