LOVELL — Poetry slams have been called “the democratization of verse.” Also, “no place for wimps.”

On Thursday, July 14, the Brick Church for the Performing Arts will present the town’s first poetry slam, courtesy of poet Krista Mosca and the team that will accompany her to Boston next month to compete in the National Poetry Slam.

Slam poetry is a form of competitive performance poetry in which participants recite or read works that are no longer than three minutes and are judged by randomly picked audience members. No props, music, or costumes are allowed.

A panel of five judges scores each participant from 0-10. But, as former Asheville, N.C., slammaster Allan Wolf was quoted, “The points are not the point; the point is poetry.” The phrase has become a mantra of sorts, reminding poets and organizers that the goal of slam is to grow poetry’s audience.

Slams are all about the art of the spoken word, and most, including the July 14 slam, are open to all audience members. Any style is welcome.

Area poets are welcome to come to the slam and present their original work. The opening poet for the evening will be Diana McClellan of Conway. Several poets scheduled to perform have been to the 2010 National Poetry Slam. Krista Mosca has also performed at the Women of the World Poetry Slam and the Individual World Poetry Slam. Her break-out performance was at the Underground Indies in 2010.

Construction worker and poet Marc Smith started the first poetry slam at a Chicago jazz club in the 1980s. The first National Poetry Slam competition took place in 1990 with only two teams and one individual poet. This year, more than 80 teams will take part in the five-day National Championship in August.

The slam will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, $10, will be available at the door. Refreshments will be served at intermission. The Brick Church is on Christian Hill Road. For more information, call 925-2792 or visit

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