Saul Williams to Host BookSense.com's BEA Poetry Slam

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Saul Williams, author of several books, including , Said the Shotgun to the Head (MTV Books/Pocket Books), will host BookSense.com's first-ever Poetry Slam on Saturday, May 31, at BookExpo America. The contest offers a chance for aspiring poets to read and have their work judged by their peers, and the winning poem will be published on the BookSense.com Web site and in Bookselling This Week.

Williams is also the writer and star of the award-winning film Slam and a featured poet in Spoken Word Revolution: slam hip hop & the poetry of a new generation (Sourcebooks).

"We're delighted to have a well-known and well-respected writer like Saul Williams involved with the Poetry Slam," said Len Vlahos, director of BookSense.com. "His participation adds another layer of excitement to an already spectacular event."

All convention attendees are eligible to participate in the Poetry Slam, which will be held in Room 306A/B of the Los Angeles Convention Center from 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. The contest is limited to 12 poets, and poems are limited to three minutes. A panel of three nationally known poets and two randomly chosen convention-goers will serve as judges. Each poem will be graded on a scale from 0 to 10, and the high and low score for each will be thrown out. A total score of 30 is the maximum any poem can get. A tie will be decided by the applause of the audience, as judged by the slam's organizers. Poets are not allowed to use props, music, or animal acts.

The Poetry Slam is being sponsored by Soft Skull Press, Sourcebooks, Consortium Sales and Distribution, and HarperCollins Publishers. Beer, wine, and coffee will be served at the event.

Those wishing to participate must sign up in advance of BookExpo America. To take part in the BookSense.com Poetry Slam, contact Len Vlahos at len@booksense.com.