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Sedona Poetry Slam

The Sedona Poetry Slam proudly welcomes Arizona slam poetry legend Bill Campana to the stage on Saturday, April 13, as performance poets bringing high-energy, competitive spoken word to the Mary D. Fisher Theatre starting at 7:30 p.m.

Admission is free, thanks to funding from the Northern Arizona Book Festival.

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 $100 grand prize, $50 second-place prize and $25 third-place prize. Between rounds, Campana will perform a featured set.

Earlier in the day, at 12:30 p.m., the Sedona Poetry Slam is co-hosting a head-to-head Haiku Death Match at Heritage Square in Flagstaff, with $600 in prize money on the line.

Bill Campana
Campana seeks to find answers to the big questions in life, but usually settles for vague, watered down, surreal explanations. Campana has been a fixture in Phoenix poetry since 1997 and is the author of six out-of-print collections of poetry, a six-time member of the Mesa National Poetry Slam Team, and is the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam’s Haiku Death Match Champion.

“A poetry tour de force, Bill Campana has done what few poets could ever dream of in writing sharp, entertaining poetry that doesn’t cater to anyone but is enjoyed by all,” publisher Bob Nelson stated. “In his live performances, he comes at you like a machine gun of short, powerful linguistic observations. Bill’s live performances are the thing of legend.”

Open Slam
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. Call 282-1177 or visit SedonaFilmFestival.org.

The next poetry slams of the season will be held on Saturdays, May 11 and June 8.

The prize money is funded by the Northern Arizona Book Festival and by 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. For more information, visit sedonafilmfestival.com or foxthepoet.blogspot.com. For a full list of slam poetry events in Arizona, visit azpoet.com.

Haiku Death Match
A Haiku Death Match is a competitive poetry duel that is a subgenre of poetry slam. The Haiku Death Match is a prominent feature at the annual National Poetry Slam. Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry consisting of 17 syllables in three phrases of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables.Slam haiku used in a Haiku Death Match is far simpler than traditional Japanese style haiku and only need to be 17 syllables exactly. Anyone can sign up to compete. Haikusters need around 40 to 50 original haiku, but they can make them up on the fly at the microphone if necessary. Three judges will rate the haiku in a head-to-head format. First place will win $300, second place $200, third place $100. Email foxthepoet@yahoo.com to sign up.

Northern Arizona Book Festival
The Northern Arizona Book Festival returns from Friday, April 5, to Monday April 15, with in-person and online events and activities for all ages, including readings from multiple local and regional authors, poetry slams, workshops and live performances for all ages in multiple venues across Flagstaff, Sedona and online. The bulk of the events, including a Haiku Death Match, take place Friday, April 12, to Sunday, April 14. Admission to all festival events is free and open to the public. The list of the over 30 different events are available at noazbookfest.org.

What is Poetry Slam?
Founded at the Green Mill Tavern in Chicago in 1984 by Marc Smith, poetry slam is a competitive artistic sport designed to get people who would otherwise never go to a poetry reading excited about the art form when it becomes a high-energy competition. Poetry slams are judged by five randomly chosen members of the audience who assign numerical value to individual poets’ contents and performances.

Poetry slam has become an international artistic sport, with more than 100 major poetry slams in the United States, Canada, Australia and Western Europe. Slam poets have opened at the Winter Olympics, performed at the White House and at the United Nations General Assembly and were featured on “Russell Simmons’ Def Poets” on HBO.

Sedona has sent four-poet teams to represent the city at the National Poetry Slam in Charlotte, N.C., Boston, Cambridge, Mass., Oakland, Calif., Decatur, Ga., Denver and Chicago.



Mary D. Fisher Theatre
2030 W. State Route 89A, Suite A-3
Sedona, AZ 86336 United States
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(928) 282-1177