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Sedona Poetry Slam, cohosted by Northern Arizona Book Festival, returns April 1

Winner of the slam will represent the Arizona State Poetry Society at the BlackBerry Peach National Slam Poetry Competition in June

Raas Syed of Phoenix (Courtesy/ Sedona Poetry Slam)

Raas Syed of Phoenix (Courtesy/ Sedona Poetry Slam)

Originally Published: March 29, 2023 3:29 p.m.

The Sedona Poetry Slam returns for its penultimate slam of the season Saturday, April 1, as an event co-hosted by the annual Northern Arizona Book Festival.

Performance poets will bring high-energy, competitive spoken word to Sedona's Mary D. Fisher Theatre starting at 7:30 p.m.

The winner of the April 1 slam also wins Arizona State Poetry Society's slot for the 2023 BlackBerryPeach National Slam Poetry Competition, hosted in Des Moines, Iowa, from June 21 through June 26.

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. 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 928-282-1177 or visit SedonaFilmFestival.org

The final poetry slam of the season will be held Saturday, 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.