The Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition, the Orange County Arts Commission, and 2023 Piedmont Laureate Dasan Ahanu present Letter From Poetry Slam, commemorating the 60th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail.
Wednesday, April 19
7-8:30pm, doors open at 6:30
Eno Arts Mill Gallery
437 Dimmocks Mill Rd, Suite 17
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Free admission | Cash bar
The Letter From Poetry Slam is in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Letter from a Birmingham Jail written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and considered to be the most important written document of the civil rights era.
All poems performed must be related to the letter in some way. A copy of the letter is available for each participant to read here.
A poetry slam is a competitive art event in which poets perform their poetry before a live audience and a panel of judges. It is a unique spoken word competition created in the ’80s in Chicago as a way to to engage new audiences. Since then, poetry slams have been held across the world.
This competition will be judged by a panel that consists of 4 judges selected from the community and 1 from the audience.
Guidelines are as follows:
- The slam is open to everyone 18 years or older.
- Up to 10 poets will be invited to compete (see registration link below).
- In poetry slam there is no music, there are no costumes or props and each poet will be performing original work.
- The competition will be a 2-3 round slam with elimination each round. The final information on the number of rounds and the elimination will be provided to invited participants.
- For this slam, poems may be up to 3 and a half minutes long, but after a 10 second grace period, the performer loses a point for going over time. The slam assistant will be keeping time. The time starts when the poets begins their poem.
- The scoring is done Olympic style on a scale from 0 to 10 for each poem. 0 is the worst and 10 is the best. Poems will be considered for content, delivery, and their connection to MLK’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
- The highest score and lowest score are dropped, and the poets score for the round is determined by adding the three middle scores together. The highest score a poet can receive for their poem is a 30.
- The poets will draw numbers to determine the order of the first round. In the 2nd and 3rd round, the poet with the highest score from the previous round will perform first and the round will end with the poet with the lowest score.
- The scores are cumulative and the highest scoring poets will advance. The poet with the highest cumulative score wins.
- Prize money will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in the slam: $250 for 1st place, $150 for 2nd place, and $100 for 3rd place.
Register for an opportunity to participate by 11:59pm on Wednesday, April 12th. Applicants will be asked to submit one poem they plan to read during the event for consideration. Selected poets will be notified by Saturday, April 15th.