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Poetry Slam takes over Fisher Theatre

(Courtesy/Sedona Poetry Slam)

Valence (Courtesy/Sedona Poetry Slam)

Originally Published: November 9, 2022 12:45 a.m.

After two slams this year, the Sedona Poetry Slam returns to the stage on Saturday, Nov. 12, starting at 7:30 p.m. 

Performance poets will bring high-energy, competitive spoken word to the Mary D. Fisher Theatre. 

A poetry slam is like a series of high-energy, three-minute one-person plays, judged by the audience. Anyone can sign up to compete in the slam for the $75 grand prize and $25 second-place prize. British-born Village of Oak Creek poet Roger Blakiston, a first-time slammer, out-scored some of the best slam poets in the state to win the top prize in September.

In October, Phoenix poets Joshua Wiss bested Stacy Eden by 0.1 points, 77.9 to 77.8, with Tyler “Valence” Sirvinskas a close third at 77.3.

To compete in the slam, poets will need three original poems, each lasting no longer than three minutes. No props, costumes nor musical accompaniment are permitted. The poets are judged Olympics-style by five members of the audience selected at random at the beginning of the slam.

Slam poetry is an art form that allows written page poets to share their work alongside theatrical performers, hip-hop artists and lyricists. Poets come from as far away as Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, competing against adult poets from Sedona and Cottonwood, college poets from Northern Arizona University and youth poets from Sedona Red Rock High School.

All types of poetry are welcome on the stage, from street-wise hip-hop and narrative performance poems, to political rants and introspective confessionals. Any poem is a “slam” poem if performed in a competition. All poets get three minutes per round to entertain and inspire the audience with their creativity.

Mary D. Fisher Theatre is located at 2030 W. SR 89A, Suite A-3, in West Sedona. Tickets are $12. For tickets, call 282-1177 or visit SedonaFilmFestival.org

The upcoming poetry slams of the season will be held Saturdays, Dec. 10, Jan. 28, April 1 and May 13.

The prize money is funded in part by a donation from Verde Valley poetry supporters Jeanne and Jim Freeland.

Email foxthepoet@yahoo.com to sign up early to compete or by the Friday before the slam or at the door the day of the slam. Poets who want to compete should purchase a ticket in case the roster is filled before they arrive. 

For more information, visit sedonafilmfestival.com or foxthepoet.blogspot.com