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Performers wanted for upcoming Slam Poetry night in Vicksburg



poetry reading

A new opportunity is coming to Vicksburg for local poets and performers who are interested in writing, reading and performing poetry on stage.

After the development of an inspiring slam poetry group for locals on Facebook, it became clear that Vicksburg is home to several talented artists and individuals who enjoy self-expression through poetry. As a result, the idea to bring these creative individuals together in a physical setting began to form. Now, the opportunity to participate in this unique event is being extended to anyone who wants the chance to step outside of the limits of their comfort zone and perform poetry live at the Strand Theater for what may very well be Vicksburg’s first Slam Poetry night.

This event is being coordinated by Tessa Elizabeth Scandizzo, thanks to the courtesy of Jack Burns who runs the Theater. It will take place on Wednesday nights and if it kicks off, it has the potential to become a recurring event. Currently, performers and poets are wanted and you are encouraged to be part of this and let any artists you’re connected with know about this chance to shine through poetic expression.

At this time, the goal is to have a soft opening for the Slam Poetry night in two weeks on Wednesday, September 7. The soft opening will be an opportunity for poets to get a feel for performing poetry on the stage without the pressure of doing so in front of a full audience. During this time, attendees will be limited to include other performers who want to get accustomed to reciting poetry on stage as well as the tech and theater crew who will be taking part in the event. This gives poets the chance to warm up while performing in front of a smaller group.

The grand opening night complete with full concessions, alcoholic drinks and a ticketed audience is expected to take place the following Wednesday, September 14. Tickets will be 5 dollars at the door. The time of the event has not yet been determined. Anyone who is interested in being included in the lineup is encouraged to email Scandizzo at, or contact her via Facebook messenger here. Potential performers will be directed to the Facebook group Slam Poetry Jam: Vicksburg and Friends, where they are invited to keep up with regular updates and discussions on the upcoming event.

At this time, opinions and concerns of local poets are welcomed as it is being determined whether or not to have a more intimate get-together/rehearsal for performers who want to practice reciting their poetry prior to taking the stage. For those who are not ready to perform their own personal poetry, they may enter the lineup with their favorite poem written by a different author. The aim is to make this event as open and welcoming to artistic individuals as possible. If one is concerned about memorizing a poem in time, no need to worry. A written copy of your selected poetry piece is allowed to be used during the performance. This is intended to be a laid-back event that helps people gain confidence in sharing poetry with the community.

For those who are deaf or hard of hearing, it is hopeful that an American Sign Language interpreter will be present to interpret the poetry during the performances of those who are comfortable. Ideally, this will extend the opportunity to those who wish to participate as a performer or audience member that may benefit from having an interpreter present. The intention is to make this an all-inclusive event. If you have information on anyone who is interested in participating as an interpreter, please forward the email contact provided so that they may have the chance to partake. As a reminder, this will be a volunteer event as part of an extension of community theater.

Kindness is always encouraged in the Slam Poetry group. Participants are asked to remain respectful of the vulnerability of their peers and supportive of the art and expression of others. Members of this group of individuals uplift each other by either sharing their own personal work or positively affirming the work of others. All forms of poetry are welcome at this event. It will be geared towards an adult audience, therefore the boundaries of one’s poetry are limitless. If you have any ideas or would like to submit your work for the upcoming Slam, please don’t hesitate to reach out. The signup date for the opening event will be announced when it has been determined. It is currently expected that poets will enter no later than five days prior to the event.

Further announcements will be made as more details are worked out.

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