Entertainment

Slam poetry contest set for West Langley Hall

No music, no costumes, no props.

Just you and a microphone — and three minutes to wow the audience with your original poetry.

The Langley Centennial Museum and Langley Arts Council are holding a youth poetry slam on Saturday, May 5, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., at West Langley Hall, 9400  208 St., as part of BC Youth Week celebrations.  Entitled “Scriptum Vox – Fraser Valley Youth Poetry Slam,” the event is open to anyone from 13 to 18 years old.

A slam is a competition where poets read or recite original work without accompaniment. Performances are judged on a numeric scale by five members of the audience, who are picked at random before the competition starts.

Slam poetry has found popularity as a form of self-expression among many teenagers across North America. It has been recognized in the movie documentary “Louder than a Bomb” and in the HBO television series “Brave New Voices.”

In British Columbia, the annual youth poetry slam championship “Hullabaloo” attracts many high school teams from around the province.

One of the organizers of that event, R.C. Weslowski, will act as host and emcee of Scriptum Vox in Langley.

Weslowski was named the male Poet of Honour at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in 2008 and has performed on stages across Canada and the USA.

Weslowski’s bio describes him as a clown mouth full of X-ray visions trying to get at the heart of things.

His work has been anthologized and published in magazines such as One Cool Word and he has travelled parts of Europe, setting his words adrift in England, France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. He will surely entertain, while guiding the slam.

The top prize at Scriptum Vox is $100 cash. There are also several subsidiary prizes that will be awarded to some of the ranked and participating poets.

These prizes, gifts, and gift cards have been donated by local merchants.

The fee for entry is $2 and students must pre-register online at recexpress.ca or by calling 604-532-3536.

The event is open to the public and admission is $3 at the door.

Competition rules are online at langleymuseum.org.

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