Panel Name: So You Want to Write Nerd Poetry
Topic: Find the courage in you to express your love for fandom in new and exciting ways.
An expressionistic as Hip-Hop culture is, it’s not exactly one open to “nerd” stuff. Historically, comic book blerds have often chastised in the Hip-Hop community as not being cool enough. But this is 2016, and the nerd rules. Hip-Hop artists dress nerdier than us geeks do, and the music is more infused with the fictional realm than ever. Take Panama Soweto for example. You’d never guess by looking at Panama, who is one of the coolest people we know, but he’s as deeply rooted in the Denver Poetry (he helped launch Slam Nuba) and Hip-Hop scenes as he is in the nerdverse.
As somebody who is fervently involved in the community, he’s held more than a few seminars on not judging a book by its cover. None of the gentlemen on stage looked like the stereotypical nerd, but when each of them hit the stage to perform a piece for the crowd, the audience was amazed at how well-versed in nerd culture each were. Panama performed his poem “Gnuck,” a slam poem about the over-ingestion of our pop culture lifestyles. Soul Daddy, who runs a local seminar/podcast called “Motherf*ckerinacape,” got into character as well, giving the crowd some rhymes about Batman, Spider-Man, and Doctor Who – showing some real range. Our absolute favorite performance of the day belonged to 3Two, who got the whole crowd singing along to a DOPE “War Machine” song. 3Two explained that instead of picking a superhero that everybody knows, he felt doing justice to an underserved, and under-represented hero like Rhodey felt more appropriate. After hearing the effect that his song had on audience members of all walks of life, it was clear that nerd culture and Hip-Hop culture belonged together.
After each of the panelists performed pieces, Panama guided the audience to create their own nerd poetry based off their favorite fandoms, combining those characters with simple adjectives, verbs, and locations to create their own words. Soon, everybody in the panel hall became a wordsmith. It was a simple exercise, but it opened up the world of nerd poetry to those who never thought to put the two together. It was the least gnuck thing that happened all weekend.