All-Arizona Poetry Slam to return next week

Frankie Marchi of Maricopa is 2023 All-Arizona Poetry Slam champion. [submitted]

Poets will slant rhyme and vowel chime during Maricopa Arts Council’s 2023 All-Arizona Poetry Slam Championship. 

The three-round elimination contest, billed as a 14-poet word duel, is set for 6 p.m. Nov. 4 at Honeycutt Coffee on Honeycutt Road. The event is free and open to the public. 

Poetry slams typically showcase original rhymes or free verse. Slams harken back to the Beat Generation poets of the late 1950s, such as Allen Ginsburg and William S. Burroughs, who would perform in San Francisco coffee houses, often with jazz backup. 

The slam’s three winners will win prizes up to $1,000. 

The poets include winners of slams in Sedona, Surprise, Flagstaff and Prescott, as well as Ghost Poetry and Downtown Poetry in Phoenix. 

The top two winners of last fall’s All-Maricopa Slam, Frankie Marchi and Joshua Wiss, will return and compete again this year. 

These 14 competitors will be wrangled by MAC’s Slam Master, Thomas Cooper. Cooper is a veteran performer and previous prizewinner. 

The venue offers food and a full bar. 

“Slam poetry offers works by revealing the innermost thoughts and feelings of the poets, through their spoken delivery these words make us laugh, think and at times relate to ourselves very personally,” MAC stated in a news release. 

Each poem must be the poet’s own creation and should be no longer than three minutes.  

“The event is a free-speech event – themes can be historical, political and/or very personal,” the release states. 

Judges are chosen from the audience and rate every performance Olympics-style in each round.  

The three winners of MAC’s 2023 Online Abstract Art Contest will open as a prelude to the slam.