POTSDAM — SLC Arts will be hosting its first virtual poetry slam competition this weekend.

The competition will be held this Friday at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom and will feature 12 competitors and four judges. The event is sponsored by North Country Public Radio.

“It’s a little different than just a regular poetry reading because it incorporates the element of preforming and theatrics as well,” SLC Arts Programs Coordinator Jenna Clute said of the event.

Competitors are encouraged to log onto the zoom call at 6 p.m. and the first 12 will be the chosen competitors. The judges will include Rajiv Narula, John Berbrich and Amanda Stopa Goldstein, as well as one random audience member.

There will also be two non-competitive poet slots at the end for those who might not want to compete or who wanted to but didn’t get one of the 12 spots, Ms. Clute said.

Each performance will be three minutes long and must be original work. Following the first round of performances, there will be a 20 minute intermission where SUNY Potsdam alumni Sara Cantwell will be reading a piece of her own original poetry.

During the intermission, judges will deliberate and choose which competitors they think should move onto the final round.

“A lot of what we’ve done in the last year has been for visual artists like painters and sculptures,” Ms. Clute said. “We wanted to do something where we can incorporate performers who either write or are in theater. We wanted to be able to offer them something especially with COVID still being a threat for many.”

There will be winners with prizes including a $50 cash for first place, a $25 Jernabi Coffeehouse gift card for second place and a notebook and pen set for third place.

Tickets will be required for participants and audience members. The event is $10 for non-creative partners, $5 for basic creative partners and students and free to all enhanced creative partners and can be purchased at slcartscouncil.org/virtual-poetry-slam.

“This is something that can be inclusive for writers but it’s also great entertainment for our audience as well,” Ms. Clute said.

More information on the event and other upcoming events can be found at slcartscouncil.org/virtual-poetry-slam.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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