NORWICH – Open up that notebook of your old and new poems, stand in front of the mirror and recite your words with passion and conviction, and get yourself ready for the 7th Annual Poetry Slam Competition on Saturday, September 6, at this year’s Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival in downtown Norwich.
What is a poetry slam? If you’ve never seen or participated in a poetry slam, it’s probably not what you’d expect. It can make you laugh, cry, or ponder this world and our existence in it; a poetry slam is entertaining and inspirational, theatrical in many ways, with a spoken word vibe that takes you on an emotional roller coaster. And, of course, at this year’s Colorscape, as always, it’s absolutely free!
“Performance poetry has been growing by leaps and bounds across the country,” says Richard Bernstein, Norwich poet and teacher and organizer of the event. “Each year has seen an increase in our attendance. The reason is that we’re fortunate to combine local talent with some of the biggest names in performance poetry.”
This year’s Slam features Roger Bonair Agard, a native of Trinidad and Tobago and a Cave Canem fellow. Co-founder and artistic director of the louderARTS Project, Roger is author of two collections of poetry, “Tarnish and Masquerade” (Cypher Books, 2006) and “GULLY” (Cypher Books, 2009). He is a two-time National Poetry Slam Champion, has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour. He has been published in several journals and anthologies and been featured in festivals throughout the world.