Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz has been a friend of mine since I was 17. At the time, I was one of only 10 teenage fiction writers selected from all of Pennsylvania to attend the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts. Sure, this in itself was a huge deal, but little did I know that when I spent most of my summer focusing on crafting short stories, I would also fall in love with what seemed to be the mysterious world of slam poetry.
Ever since then, Cristin has been this kickass, super-cool older sister but WAY better than that figure in my life. And her writing still makes me think, and of course, makes me laugh. I'm not talking giggles here. I am talking make-your-face-hurt laughter. I only laugh equally hard when I'm watching the Muppets. And yes, that is true too.
Cristin has had the fortune this year to get a fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, so now instead of living up in New York, she's practically around the corner in downtown Philadelphia. I will be having dinner with her and various other poet friends of mine tonight before the slam! I am so, so excited.
So this is almost 7 minutes long. But hey, she's an amazing performer, and she's one of my influences. With that, I give you a YouTube clip: