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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Our Pick

    The longest-running poetry festival in the Southwest returns Friday and Saturday. The Tucson Poetry Festival celebrates its 28th year with the theme “”Poetry Where You Are.”” This year’s festival combines readings, workshops and the biggest poetry slam ever to hit Tucson.

    A poetry slam is a live performance of poetry by multiple artists. Before you turn your nose up at the idea of a poetry night, recognize that slam poetry is not your grandma’s poetry — unless your grandma is really hardcore. Slam poetry is performance art, so the vocalization and intonation used in delivery is just as important as the written content. Styles range from hip-hop vocalizations to dub rhythmic hymns to erratic tonal changes.

    It’s poetry for a rougher generation.

    The festival boasts an expansive schedule, as well as four nationally known guest poets. The festival opens Friday with readings at Club Congress at 7 p.m. Scheduled to read are the winner of the High School Poetry Contest and guest poets Manuel Paul Lopez and Gypsee Yo. Later that night, round one of the Poetry Grand Slam begins at 8:30. Presented by Ocotillo Literary Endeavors, the Grand Slam offers its victor a cash prize of $1000.

    Day two of the festival begins with readings from the High School Poetry Contest in Tucson High’s library at 11 a.m. The festival moves to Fourth Avenue’s Casa Libre at 2:30 p.m. for three hours of poetry workshops. The first hour is with Lopez and Yo, while the second is with guest poets Linda Russo and Sonya Renee. The final hour consists of a panel discussion moderated by Paul Fisher.

    The festival returns to Club Congress at 7 p.m. for readings from the Statewide Poetry Contest winner, Linda Russo and Sonya Renee. The Grand Slam finals begin at 8:30 p.m.

    Tickets for readings are $10, readings are $5 and the high school readings are free. A pass good for the entire weekend is $25. All tickets are available at the venue on the day of the events. There is no presale.

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