The Chickasha Area Arts Council and the USAO Drama Department will sponsor a Red Dirt Poetry Slam at 7 p.m. July 8 in Room 107 of USAO Davis Hall.

The community is welcome to attend.

Featured poets include Andy Bowen, Melissa May and Rob Sturma of the 2010 Oklahoma City Red Dirt Poetry Slam Team. The team will be representing Oklahoma at the 2010 National Poetry Slam in St. Paul, Minn, from Aug. 3-7.

A Poetry Slam, which is the competitive art of performance poetry, involves poets reading or reciting their original works, or more rarely, poetry written by others. It is highly politicized, with poets speaking on many issues including current social and economic issues, gendered injustices, and racial issues.

Previously selected members of the audience then judge these performances on a numeric scale. The poets are evaluated, not only on the content of their Slam, but also on the manner of delivery and passion behind their words.

The National Poetry Slam continues to grow, and organizers of this year’s event expect 84 teams from throughout the US and Europe to compete, as the organization engages more than 15,000 audience members during the five-day event.  Events of the 21st Annual NPS will be held in numerous venues throughout downtown St. Paul, with all events leading up to the finals on  Aug. 7 at the Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium.

Marc Smith, a construction worker-turned-poet, invented Poetry Slam in July 1986 at an uptown watering hole in Chicago, which was frequented by Al Capone.

By the late 1980’s, Slam had spread beyond Chicago to San Francisco, Boston, New York and Ann Arbor.

In 1989, the first Annual National Poetry Slam took place in San Francisco.

Trending Video

This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you