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WMRW celebrates National Poetry Month, hosts on-air Poetry Slam!

Geof Hewitt, poet, author and reigning Poetry Slam champion of Vermont, will host the WMRW's 2014 annual poetry slam, sponsored by Rootswork, Ann Day, Warren Public Library and WMRW. This is an all-ages event, free and open to the public. Join other area poets and fans at the station on Saturday, April 5, at 7 p.m.

Geof Hewitt lives and writes in Calais, Vermont. Since retiring from his full-time position at the Vermont Agency of Education, Hewitt has concentrated ever more intensely on "spreading the magic of writing for fun" in Vermont schools. He also hosts poetry slams in libraries and cafes, and promotes them as "all ages" events, attracting an inter-generational mix of people eager to share their poetry in a very casual atmosphere. "Everyone knows that scoring poems is a joke," he says, "so poetry slams can actually become somewhat raucous, which may be why people enjoy them so much. You never know what's going to happen, except that you're likely to hear some pretty surprising poems!"

Hewitt's published works include three books for teachers. The most recent, Hewitt's Guide to Slam Poetry and Poetry Slam (Discover Writing Publishers, Shoreham, VT), comes with a DVD that provides illustrative moments from several slams, shows Hewitt in performance, and contains an instructive demonstration of beat boxing that has become a YouTube favorite. Hewitt is also author of two titles from Heinemann Publishers (Portsmouth, NH): A Portfolio Primer: Teaching, Collecting, and Assessing Student Writing and Today You Are My Favorite Poet: Writing Poems with Teenagers. His most recent book of poetry, just released, is The Perfect Heart: Selected and New Poems (Mayapple Press, Bay City, MI).

Those intending to "slam" should bring two original works of poetry that can be recited or read in three minutes or less. Audience members will volunteer as judges, who help to keep the proceedings quite lively.

Those who are unable to attend in person can call in a poem to WMRW: 496-4951.

Distant poets and fans can listen to the event by streaming the audio at wmrw.org or 95.1 FM.

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