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American performance poetry to slam city

Aug 18th, 2011 | By | Category: Arts/Entertainment, Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

 

INTERNATIONAL slam poetry comes to Wellington next week when Americans Ken Arkind and Carrie Rudzinksi take to the stage at Happy bar.

Slam is a competitive form of performance poetry gaining popularity in America.

Mr Arkind (pictured on front page) says each poet recites their original poem before five randomly selected judges from the audience, working to a time limit in front of a bar or café-style crowd.

“The important thing to remember is that slam was never meant to be a style, just a competitive venue designed to get people interested in poetry, and it works,” he says

He and Miss Rudzinski (left) are the star attractions in Alina Siegfried’s fledgling writers’ collective, Poetry in Motion, which will meet at Happy bar on Wednesday next week.

Miss Siegfried (above) says hosting the award-winning pair will be a good way to attract attention to the semi-regular event, but says she’s battling a culture of underexposure for amateur poetry.

“That’s the challenge that I’m up against- people just not knowing.

“The fact that we’ve got a couple of high-profile people is good, even if people don’t know what it means. “

Miss Siegfried is working to establish slam poetry as a trend in Wellington, saying the format is particularly attractive for youth.

She says Miss Rudzinski and Mr Arkind address a lot of issues relevant to youth.

“Their work is more challenging, more edgy and raw – perhaps a bit more confrontational than a lot of other poetry.”

“The subculture is alive and pushing itself to be full of not only respected performance poets, but published writers,” says Miss Rudzinski.

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