Seventy-two competitive slam poets walk into a coffee shop in Phoenix. This is not a joke. There will be no punchline.
The Arizona Humanities Council will play host to the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam, a four-day event that pits "presentative poets" against one another. The competition itself exists as a series of timed bouts, each judged by five randomly selected audience members. The top 12 competitors will move on to the final round on Saturday, October 11, hosted at Marquee Theatre.
Seventy-one poets have already secured a spot in the competition. The final competitor will be selected at Wednesday's opening night ceremony, put on by Lawn Gnome Publishing.
A variety of Phoenix locations, including Jobot Coffee, Lost Leaf, Changing Hands Bookstore, and Fair Trade Cafe will play host to the iWPS events. In addition to the competition, the Slam will feature workshops, themed open mic nights, and book swaps.
Highlights of the Poetry Festival include Wednesday's "Mariachi and Spoken Word" event at Bodega 420, Thursday's "XXX Haiku Deathmatch" at the Lost Leaf, and Friday's 9 a.m. "Crossword Puzzle Slam" at JoBot Coffee. There's also an "Erotica Slam," if you're into that whole sex thing.
Sixty bucks will buy you entry to all three days of the event. Purchase online through the iWPS website.