Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz in her new history of the New York slam scene, Words in Your Face, quotes Guy LeCharles Gonzalez:
“I’ve got a marketing background, so I know: whatever you do, it’s the best. From the beginning, [the fliers I made for louderARTS] said, ‘The Best Open Mic in New York City.’ Suddenly, this is an issue [for people] … The fliers I made for the Open Room also said, ‘Best Open Mic in New York City.’”
There are some who find upsetting the anthologies that claim to be collecting The Best. Is it unfair, even unethical, to represent yourself as The Best?
Does declaring your poetry The Best imply that other poems are inferior? If you have a venue (a stage & a mic, a press) and you say you only choose The Best, what does that say about you? That yours are the unimpeachable Besting criteria?
Anyone who says he publishes only The Best is lying. Anyone who believes he is the best judge of The Best is deluding himself.
At this point I have a certain affection for the outlandish claim. There is no Best Cup of Coffee in the World because there is no single Best. There are bitters and bigs and darks and jolts, grinds and ages. The Best Sonnet ever written! The Greatest Villanelle Ever Held!
You’ll never read a better haiku than my ‘ku!