Marc Smith featured at April 12 Bookworm poetry slam

Online Staff Report

Since January 2013, Bookworm Bakery & Café, 6685 E. State St., Rockford, has been approved as a certified site for Poetry Slam by Poetry, Inc. Poets who win competitions at the café may use points earned to get into regional and national competitions. Additionally, the café can form a team from Rockford to compete on the national stage.

Bookworm Bakery & Café has a poetry slam competition every month on the second Friday. Slams are meant as a proving ground as well as a learning experience fostering new and emerging poets, while providing a venue for experienced poets.

In that spirit, Bookworm has announced that from 6 to 8 p.m., April 12, Marc Smith will be in attendance. Smith is the creator and founder of the International Poetry Slam movement. As stated in the PBS television series The United States of Poetry, a “strand of new poetry began at Chicago’s Green Mill Tavern in 1987 when Marc Smith found a home for the Poetry Slam.” Since then, performance poetry has spread throughout the world, exported to more than 500 cities, large and small.

Chalking up more than 2,500 engagements in nightclubs, concert halls, libraries, universities — and on top of the occasional hot dog stand — Smith continues to entertain and inspire audiences as diverse and eager as any to be found in the realm of fine arts. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Institute, Galway’s Cruit Festival, Denmark’s Roskilde Festival, Ausburg’s ABC Brecht Festival, and the Queensland Poetry Fest in Australia. He has hosted more than 1,000 standing-room-only shows at the Green Mill’s original slam and has been featured on CNN, 60 Minutes and National Public Radio. He narrated the Sourcebooks releases Spoken Word Revolution and Spoken Word Revolution Redux. His volume of poetry Crowdpleaser (Collage Press) and his CDs It’s About Time, Quarters in the Juke Box and Love & Politics are available through his website,

Smith will attend the Bookworm Bakery & Café Slam, offering advice on improving poetry skills, involving more youth poets, and fostering the poetry community in Rockford. Judges for the poetry event are always picked from the audience, and poets will have a chance to win one of three trophies or the Kid’s Choice Award. This special event is for anyone in the community who wants to perform spoken-word poetry, loves hearing poetry, or supports the arts and community-based events. This event is free with a café purchase.

Call Bookworm Bakery & Café at (815) 966-2797.

Posted April 10, 2013

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