12 women compete in poetry slam finalsby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Twelve women will compete in Minneapolis on Saturday night for the title of Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion.
The championship is being held in Minnesota for the first time in its five-year history. Eighty women from 35 states, along with some from Canada and New Zealand, vied to win preliminary rounds over the past three days.
It is the largest gathering of women slam poets in the country, said event coordinator Allison Broeren.
"Slam poetry is kind of like the Olympic sport of talking," Broeren said. "Since we actually have judges, like figure skating-wise, handing out scores zero to 10, ranking people like that. And every room is different and every panel of judges is different, so it's really like a competition sport that way."
Broeren defined slam poetry as the competitive art of spoken word performance poetry that emphasizes both writing and performance.
She added that the Twin Cities is a fitting host for the competition: "We have one of the best spoken word scenes in the nation. St. Paul and Minneapolis have a monthly slam that is really well attended. And both of our teams have placed in the top five in nationals the past years. And St Paul is a two-time national champion team. So we send a lot of poets to big tournaments and we come home with a lot of pride and a lot of rewards for that."
The event starts at 7 p.m. at Aria at Jeune Lune, 105 N. First St. in Minneapolis.