First Annual Rootabaga Slam set for April 27

At 8 p.m., Friday, April 27, up to 20 of the heartland’s top pro/am performance poets will go tongue to tongue in poetry slam competition at the first Rootabaga Slam at the Cherry Street Pub in Galesburg, Ill.

Poetry slams began in Chicago at the Green Mill Jazz Club 21 years ago, and have since become a global phenomenon. Arguably the most important social/literary arts movement of our time, there are now more than 1,000 slam organizations, staging slam events in schools, libraries, cultural centers and nightclubs across the U.S. from Seattle to Miami, and across the world from Singapore to Switzerland to Madagascar. Scientists at the South Pole have conducted poetry “Slams on the Ice.”

The First Annual Rootabaga Slam will be hosted by slam originator Marc (So What!) Smith. The prizes for this pro/am competition (open to anyone with $20 and the guts to fling words on a public stage) are: $300 for first, $150 for second, $50 for third. The field is limited to 20 poet/contestants. Poets interested in competing should contact Marc Smith at for rules and entry procedure.

Poetry slam competitions are highly entertaining, egalitarian events judged and enjoyed by gregarious audiences composed of scholars and street folk, sonneteers and rappers, grandpas and pre-teens. By tradition, all forms of poetry and all walks of life are welcome at poetry slams.

from the April 25-May 1, 2007, issue

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