The Klute will again be slammaster for the championship.

What: All-Maricopa Poetry Slam
When: Nov. 9, 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 5:15 p.m.); poets register by 5:30 p.m.
Where: Honeycutt Coffee, 44400 W. Honeycutt Road, Suite 109
How much: $5 admission

Maricopa Arts Council is adding to its spoken-word performance events by offering cash prizes to the three winners of its 2019 All-Maricopa Poetry Slam Championship.

City championship takes place Nov. 9 at Honeycutt Coffee. The evening will be a three-round elimination contest for poets of high-school age and up.

Poetry Slams are competitions of original poetry where poets perform their own work before an audience without costumes, music or scenery. All poets get three minutes per round.

All types of poetry are welcome, from street-wise rap and narrative performance poems to political rants and introspective confessionals. Because these are adult slams, they are free-speech events, meaning language and topics can get salty.

Slams are judged over three elimination rounds. Five judges are selected from among the audience, with each judge awarding a score to each poet. Highest and lowest scores are discarded, and the average of the remaining marks becomes the official score. The judges’ joint decision will be final.

The slam master, who runs the show, is nationally recognized poet Bernard Schober, who writes and performs as The Klute. He is a veteran of the National Slam and author of 12 books.

Doors open at 5:15 p.m., when participants and audience members can purchase refreshments and mingle. Only the first 14 poets who show up before 5:30 p.m. to register will have a chance to perform and should have three pieces prepared. The competition begins at 6:30 p.m.

Top prize is $150. Second place wins $75 and third $50. The top two qualify to perform at MAC’s All-Arizona Poetry Slam Championship on Jan. 25. The third-place poet will also perform at the all-state event as a “calibration poet” between the official rounds.

The All-Maricopa Slam Championship includes “Art On-the-Spot,” artworks created from 5 to 6 p.m. by a specially selected Maricopa artist.

This story appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.



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