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Student SLAMS highlight National Poetry Month
The Port Angeles Library, 2210 S. Peabody St., hosts student PoetrySLAMs in April. A SLAM for students in grades 9-12 is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18. The traditional SLAM, for students grades 6-8, is at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 19.
Prizes for the best performers and poems will be a tablet, an iPod Shuffle, and gift certificates to local bookstores.
All poets must perform their poems at the event on Thursday, April 18, to be eligible to win the contest.
High school contestants may enter up to three original poems. The total length of all poems must not be longer than 60 lines. Poetry will be judged primarily on content, although presentation may have some bearing in the final awards. Poems may be read or memorized. Submit entries by 3 p.m. Thursday, March 21, to either high school librarian Eve Datisman or to Youth Services Librarian Jennifer Knight.
Poets may practice reading (or reciting) their work at the library’s elimination round at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 13. Students must provide an advance copy of the work they plan to perform. Call the library at 417-8500, ext. 7733 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to register. The elimination contest at the library is free and open to the public.
“Poetry is a powerful medium. A SLAM gives kids an opportunity to engage with poetry in an exciting and fulfilling way,” said Knight. “Students who have performed in the library SLAM in previous years, but are now in high school, wanted the opportunity to continue participating. So, this year, we decided to add an additional SLAM event just for 9-12 graders."
Other National Poetry Month events include a poetry workshop presented by the Washington State Poet Laureate, Kathleen Flenniken and readings by Flenniken and Native Voices poets (April 10).