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WVC Poetry Slam set for Thursday, Dec. 3

The 27th Wenatchee Valley College Poetry Slam and Jazz Evening is set for Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009, at 6:30 p.m. in the Robert Graves Gallery in Sexton Hall on the WVC Wenatchee campus. The music will start at 6:30 p.m. with poetry beginning at 7:15 p.m.

Dr. Stephen Berard, WVC faculty member, world languages, brought the idea of poetry slams to WVC in spring 2000. He gleaned the concept from the 2000 First Night Monterey festival in Monterey, Calif., which he attended.

The slams at WVC draw anywhere from 20 to 60 people, with most of the competing poets coming from the community, as well as some WVC students and staff members, Berard said.

Poets wanting to compete must sign in at the door.  Poets’ names are written on slips of paper, and then drawn from a hat to determine order of performance.

All poetry performed must be original and composed by the poet. In the first round of the slam, each poet has three minutes to either read or recite the poem from memory. Histrionics are both permitted and encouraged, although no props or music are allowed.

Five judges are chosen from the audience. They evaluate poets by giving equal weight to content and performance/delivery. The middle three of the five scores are used to evaluate each poet, in accordance to national poetry slam rules.

If time permits, follow-up eliminations are held between the three poets with the highest scores. Each poet is allowed five minutes to perform his or her work in the elimination round.

All poets and audience members are charged $1 for admission. The winner receives two-thirds of the money collected, and the runner-up wins the remaining third.




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