Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Charlotte has one of the top slam poetry communities in the country. SlamCharlotte won the National Poetry Slam in 2007 (host city: Austin, Texas) and 2008 (Madison, Wisconsin), but it's been a four-year drought since the spoken-word crown has belonged to the Queen City. Well now the home team, led by well-known slammaster Bluz, gets to go for it on their own turf. National Poetry Slam 2012 is underway in Charlotte now through Saturday, August 11.

Credit: Facebook

The annual competition, now in its 23rd year, officially kicks off today, but there were some registration and welcome events held yesterday afternoon and evening as many of the expected 400 poets began arriving to Charlotte. They represent 72 teams from across North America (United States and Canada) and will compete in 46 bouts over five days. If you aren't familiar with slam poetry, it, essentially, is competitive performance poetry. Performers use a combination of poetry, storytelling, songwriting, theatre, stand-up comedy, and anything else dramatic and engaging to go for the high score of 10 from judges.

Most of the National Poetry Slam 2012 events are open to the public (see schedule); some, like the workshops, are free, while others, like the bouts, cost $7 to attend. Among the nearly 50 events on the schedule, most are taking place at theaters, museums, and galleries throughout Uptown, and there are also a few social events like parties, a movie showcase, and a picnic. If you happen to be in Uptown late this afternoon, there's an event you'll want to check out. A poetic flash mob is scheduled to take place at 5:15 p.m. at the corners of Trade and Tryon Streets.

Visit nps2012charlotte.com for all the details. You can also follow on Facebook and Twitter (hashtag: #NPSCLT2012).


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