Poetry Slam: Sierra Nevada College and Sierra College celebrate art of the spoken word | SierraSun.com
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Poetry Slam: Sierra Nevada College and Sierra College celebrate art of the spoken word

Special to the Sun

INCLINE VILLAGE/TRUCKEE and#8212; A Poetry Slam will be presented Thursday, April 28, from 5-6 p.m. in the Sierra college campus main lobby, 11001 College Trail, Truckee. Following the performance, Truckee native Matt Blesse will conduct a poetry writing workshop 6:15-7:30 p.m.

Poets will be also aiming for a slam-dunk with a cheering and jeering audience at Sierra Nevada Collegeand#8217;s Fifth Annual Poetry Slam, Friday, April 29, 7 p.m., Patterson Hall, 999 Tahoe Blvd., Incline Village, Nev.

Both contests of performance poetry casts aside the drawing room image of poetry readings, and opens the door to a raucous, fun-loving celebration of the art of the spoken word. Both events are free and open to the public.

Poets who would like to participate in Sierra Nevada Collegeand#8217;s Slam should arrive at least 20 minutes before the event; the first 12 to sign up will be entered to compete for a shot at the title of Tahoe Slam Poet of the year and for cash prizes.

The chosen poets will perform their original work at the slam for a panel of judges chosen at random from audience members. The audience is welcome to make its opinions known by hollering and hissing, cheering and applauding the judgesand#8217; scores and#8212; all in good nature.

Poetry slam events have ignited throughout the country, generating a renaissance of spoke word poetry. From its beginnings in Chicago where a construction worker wanted to breathe life into the open mic format, the poetry slam now has an annual championship tournament staged in a different city each year. It will be held in the Boston area this year, with several of its events at nearby Cambridge, Mass.

The poetry slams will feature co-host Matt Blesse, a Truckee native and UC Berkeley graduate. He was the Grand Slam Champion of San Francisco in 2008 and placed third in the nation with Team SF in the National Poetry Slam.

Denise Jolly, who was the 2009 Grand Slam Champion in San Francisco and a member of the third-place national team, will also be a co-host. She is a writer, performer, educator and community builder, a member of Salt Lines Spoken Word Collective, and has served as executive director of Seattle Youth Speaks.

For more information, contact Sierra Nevada Collegeand#8217;s English Department Chair June Saraceno at 775-831-1314.

and#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com

Total stage time is limited to three minutes to perform your poem and#8212; no preambles please. No props, music, costumes. Just the poem and nothing but the poem.

Of the five scores the highest and lowest are dropped and the middle three added together to give a total range of 0-30 for each performance.

Heckling the judges is OK and#8212; heckling the poets is not. Give each poet support with shout outs, applause, whistles, etc. and#8212; save the boos for judges with whose scores you disagree.


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