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Local students, staff compete in National Poetry Slam Festival

July 30, 2008 By Gwen Evans

Hundreds of spoken-word performers will be in Madison Aug. 3-9 for National Poetry Slam 2008. The poet-performers are members of some 75 teams that will compete at several downtown venues for a chance to advance to the finals showcase and competition at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State St.

Two students in the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s First Wave program are competing on teams. Sophomore Danez Smith is on the Madison team, and freshman Karl Iglesias is on the Milwaukee team.

Josh Healey, program director of UW–Madison’s Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI), will be part of a panel discussion on how to build/connect with the youth spoken-word movement and also will facilitate editing sessions. Healey is also a member of the Madison team, as is Eric Mata, a poet-mentor for First Wave and social justice education specialist at the Multicultural Student Center.