The Faulkner County Library is proud to offer a “A Banned Books Week Poetry Slam.” 

The poetry slam will take place today at 7 p.m. in honor of Banned Books Week at the library. 

The poetry slam is free and open to the public. Refreshments and coffee will be served. 

Winners will receive a prize. 

Banned Books Week 2009 is the 28th annual celebration of the freedom to read. This freedom is not only to choose what we read, but also to select from a full array of possibilities. 

Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to choose or to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. 

Participants in the Poetry Slam are encouraged to bring work that relates to Intellectual Freedom. This Poetry Slam is designed for the audience to react vocally and openly to all aspects of the show, including the poet’s performance, the judges’ scores and the host’s banter. 

The judges’ tastes, the audience’s reactions and the poets’ performances will all shape this slam event. 

Poets are free to do work in any style. 

Five judges will score the poetry on a 1-10 scale based on content, writing and performance. The highest and lowest scores will be dropped off and the remaining three will be added together. Three of the five judges will be chosen from the audience. 

The winners will be announced at the event. 

The adult programming librarian will do a brief reading from a book that has been challenged in a library by an institution or initiator in 2008, and will then introduce the host. 

The Faulkner County Library is honored to have Houston host this event. Houston is a member of the Ozark Poetry Slam team, and is the second-ranked poet in the state of Arkansas. He began slamming just three years ago at Hendrix College, and since then has been competing both on the collegiate and national level. 

He resides in Fayetteville, where he helps with the monthly Ozark Slam and participates in multiple programs to bring performance poetry into high schools. 

Challenged books will be available for check out at the poetry slam in addition to a Banned Books Week display, information and materials. 

Join the library in support of your intellectual freedom. The library will not censor poetry at this event; discretion is encouraged with children in attendance. The recommended age for attendance is 14. 

Rules 

• Participants must be 14 years of age or older. 

• Each poem must be of the poet’s own construction. 

• Each poet gets three minutes (plus a ten-second grace period) to read one poem. If the poet goes over time, points will be deducted from the total score. 

• The library will not censor the poetry for this event; please do not disappoint the audience with hateful or slanderous language. 

• No sign up required for poets, however they must arrive 15 minutes early (6:45 p.m.) and submit their name and title of their work. If you would like to reserve a reading time at the slam please e-mail sarah@fcl.org with a subject title that reads “Poetry Slam Reservation.” Only the 15 poets will be accepted on a first come first serve basis. 

For more information contact Sarah, the adult programming librarian at 327-7482, or e-mail her at sarah@fcl.org.