Bernard Schober, The Klute, serves as slam master.


The third annual All-Maricopa Poetry Slam is planned for Oct. 6. The Maricopa Arts Council event featuring Maricopa poets of high-school age and older is an artistic competition for performance of original poetry where poets perform their own work before an audience.

A poetry slam is like a series of high-energy, tiny one-person plays, and all types of poetry are welcome onstage, from street-wise hip-hop and narrative performance poems, to political rants and introspective confessionals. Slams can be an intense theatrical experience, and because these are adult slams they are free speech events.

To compete, poets will need three original poems, each lasting no longer than three minutes. No props, costumes nor musical accompaniment are permitted.

Only the first 14 poets who show up at 5:45 p.m. to register will have the chance to perform, and performances will be carved down in each round, from 14 to nine to the final five. The top two poets will be awarded the prize of a spot to perform at the larger All-Arizona Poetry Slam Championship, also held in Maricopa, Feb. 2.

Plus, the two finalists will earn the opportunity to present at the All-Arizona championship slam as sorbet poets, performing a single poem in intermission between the official competition rounds.

The slam master for all MAC performance poetry events is poet Bernard Schober, who writes and performs as The Klute. A veteran of the annual National Slam, author of a dozen poetry collections and recognized worldwide as a shark conservationist, he is well-known throughout the Southwest for fiery, gripping performances of his own poetry.

The All-Maricopa Poetry Slam will return to its roots at Honeycutt Coffee, 44400 W. Honeycutt Road, Suite 109. The event begins at 5:45 p.m., when participants register and audience members can purchase refreshments and mingle. The competition proper will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. During the preliminary period, audience members can enjoy a “slam prelude” – on-the-spot art created by Maricopa visual artists. There is a $5 event entrance fee.;, search Maricopa Arts Council

This story appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.


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