Spoken Word, Fairs, Festivals, & Fiestas

Individual World Poetry Slam

When: Wed., Oct. 7, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thu., Oct. 8, 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri., Oct. 9, 12-11 p.m. and Sat., Oct. 10, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. 2009

The Bay Area was ground zero for the Beat generation, and half a century later we're still producing some of the country's most prolific limners of words. This week (which could be dubbed "poetry's big homecoming week," given all the events taking place around town), 96 of the world's top spoken-word champs will convene for the Individual World Poetry Slam 2009, taking place in venues throughout Berkeley. Highlights include publishing workshops and panel discussions, head-to-head haiku, head-to-head XXX haiku, hip-hop open mics, comedy showcases, karaoke, and every different type of themed poetry slam you can imagine (plus a few you can't imagine): nerd slams, queer slams, erotic slams, youth slams, bad poetry slams, slams dealing with specific political issues, slams focused on diaspora, slams brimming with inappropriate content. Among the hosts are TourettesWithout Regrets founder Jamie DeWolf (hosting the XXX haiku, naturally), Oakland Poetry Slam producer Nazelah Jamison, beatboxer Joshua Walters, former nightclub DJ Stretch, and comedian Bucky Sinister. Oct. 8-10, mostly at Berkeley's Starry Plough Pub (3101 Shattuck Ave.). $5-$25. IWPS.PoetrySlam.com

Rachel Swan

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