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Denver's slam poetry community is hitting the gas: As the dates for the August National Poetry Slam in Boston draw near, competition is heating up up for spots on a local team. For the poets of Slam Nuba, whose team took first place at the nationals in 2011, tonight is the penultimate rung on the ladder to head-cutting success: They'll be hosting the Last Chance Slam, the last opportunity to qualify for the Slam Nuba finals on Friday, April 5, when the spots on the national team will be won or lost. So it's reasonable to expect that competing poets will be reaching deep for their strongest works. Slam Nuba member and mentor Suzi Q. Smith notes that you never really know who's going to come up out of nowhere and have the night of their life.

But this will be a night to remember for other reasons, as well. Even before the slam-off commences, featured guest and veteran slam poet Roger Bonair-Agard will step to the mic. A Trinidadian who found his calling on the mean streets of New York, Bonair-Agard is a two-time NPS champion, author, national performer, instructor and mentor.

The evening starts with a slam workshop at 6:30 p.m. for a $5 fee; slam sign-up is at 7:30 p.m., and wannabe competitors had best be on time. It's another $5 for the meat of the evening: Bonair-Agard first, at 8:30 p.m., and then the slam proper. The three poets earning the highest scores by the end of the evening will qualify for Friday's final competition on the road to Boston; as Slam Nuba exhorts, it's "kind of a big deal, y'all."

Slam Nuba gathers at the Crossroads Theater, 2590 Washington Street in Five Points; for more information, visit the Slam Nuba Last Chance Slam event page on Facebook.
Mon., April 1, 8 p.m., 2013


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