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Slam Dunk

“Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That’s how Miss Maudie Atkinson explained Atticus Finch’s advice to Scout in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. And it’s not too much of a stretch to apply that to slam poets, too — or any poet, for that matter: They take the stage to sing their hearts out, to anyone who’s there to listen.

For that reason, Cafe Nuba’s annual championship slam, usually held in August, and the One Book, One Denver campaign showcasing To Kill a Mockingbird seemed like a good match. So Nuba honcha Ashara Ekundayo moved the event to October and to an unusual day — a Monday, of all things — at a new kind of venue: The Denver Central Library, 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway, in the lower-level B2 Conference Center. Another difference? No prize-winning Slam Nuba team competing. “The Slam Nuba team is notorious for going to other people's slams and winning,” notes Ekundayo, adding that two members are on the road as a result, making a living as poets. And that’s a good thing.

But at least one Nuba team member, Bobby Lefebre, will be there to emcee, when five invited poets and ten pre-registered in an open call compete in the 2009 Cafe Nuba Slam for cash prizes tonight from 7 to 10 p.m. Spectating is free; go to
Mon., Oct. 26, 7 p.m., 2009


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