The last round

Metaphorically Speaking’s farewell Battle of the Sexes

(Clockwise from top left) Jay Martinez, Natasha R. Moreland Spears, Tony Nalls, and Frank Pitts, Jr.

By Megan Garrison

Just like cats and dogs or Venus and Mars, men vs. women is a battle as old as time. For Metaphorically Speaking, a collective of local artists and creative minds, this particular battle has waged five times prior to their upcoming show on Feb. 3. Pulling from performers in the Dayton region, the show hopes to answer the age-old question for the final time: who really is better, men or women?

“Tony and Jay chose the poets,” said Natasha R. Moreland Spears. “People who are upbeat, fun and energetic from the region. We wanted people who could provide energy to the audience.”

Aside from the poets who are battling, the core team of Metaphorically Speaking will be hosting the event. Moreland Spears, who joined four years ago and became a full-time partner in 2015, is sure that this final battle will be epic.

“The last two years the women have gone hard, this year women are going in really hard to win those bragging rights,” said Moreland Spears.

The other core members of the team are Jay Martinez, Tony “Ace Metaphor” Nalls, and Frank “Buddy” Pitts, Jr. Each one brings their energy and unique style to the group. The concept originally came to Nalls in a car ride to Columbus which eventually led to workshops and slams at TherapyCafe.

And while each member might not be native Daytonians, they have certainly put down their roots in the center of this city. Partnering in the past with organizations like Dayton Baton, the Boys and Girls Club, the Human Relations Council, and the libraries of Montgomery County, MS has carved a path for future generations when it comes to creative writing skills and public speaking confidence.

“We have a group of people, ten strong, that are our family,” said Moreland Spears. “But the partners of the company are just the four of us.”

And while everyone in the group loves the Battle of Sexes, they are eager to move in a new direction by making this its final run.

“We’ve done it a lot, we want to expand our brand,” said Moreland Spears. “We’re looking to do other things.”

That doesn’t mean that this final round isn’t going to showcase all the “sexy, crazy, gritty” words that Dayton artists have to offer though. The show is sure to bring some shocks and excitement to the convention center.

“For this final Battle of the Sexes show we wanted to bring back the all stars,” said Frank “Buddy” Pitts, Jr. “The battle will be really serious.”

So, what is there to expect at the battle? Well, it’s not like a traditional slam. It has the slam poetry feel and style without the format. There will be judges but no 1-10-point scale.

“The audience has that much more power,” said Pitts, Jr. “They ask the questions. Like a free-for-all.”

The artists performing are a collection of veterans and well-known poets in the community. And each one is paired for what best fits their style. Looking at their strong suits and their weaknesses, they are paired in the hopes of complementing one another while also challenging them to be the better competitor.

The line-up features Kendria “K-Love” Harris vs. Brandon “Real Talk” Alexander, Januarie York vs. Lance Newman, and Gabbie Patterson vs. Ed Mabrey, who is a Dayton native and national poetry champion.

The event is sure to draw a pretty big crowd—including those who don’t know a lot about poetry, or the more specific style of “slam” poetry. Sometimes thought-provoking but always entertaining, the Metaphorically Speaking’s Battle of the Sexes will make the Last Round one that Dayton won’t soon forget.

Metaphorically Speaking Present: Battle of the Sexes at the Dayton Convention Center, 22 East 5th Street, Dayton, OH 45402. Saturday, Feb. 3, from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets available in advance at MSDayton.com.  Prices range from $35-$85.

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Megan Garrison grew up in the small town of Lampasas, Texas, spending her time immersed in Ernest Hemingway novels and dreaming of being a journalist one day. Now she attends the University of Dayton and is hard at work studying to be a war-time correspondent. Though she is very goal oriented and works hard to achieve her dreams she also loves to have a little fun. She DJs her own radio show on Flyer Radio and makes it a point to attend great movies and local concerts. But her greatest love will always be books.

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