It’ll be Baton Rouge versus New Orleans Tuesday night, and the contest promises to be poetic.
Local poetry slam team Eclectic Truth will go up against Slam New Orleans in the teams’ annual fundraiser. Proceeds from the slam will help Baton Rouge’s foursome and New Orleans’ five-person team attend the 2014 National Poetry Slam in Oakland, Calif., in August. Also on the line are bragging rights for the winners.
“New Orleans definitely has a more performance-heavy aesthetic,” Baton Rouge coach Donney Rose says. “Baton Rouge’s aesthetic is slightly more subtle with kind of a more heavy emphasis on craft, but it’s going to be dynamic performances on both ends.”
Slam New Orleans has held the national title for the last two years.
At the local event, teams will compete in four rounds, with the winner being the team with the most cumulative points, Rose said.
“It’s almost like a live rehearsal (for nationals) in front of an audience,” Rose said. “It will be a variety of poems on a variety of topics, a lot of well-crafted, honest, passionate material from both sides, Baton Rouge and New Orleans.”
Poetry slams happen each Tuesday at Le Bon Temps, and Rose said a portion of proceeds from the other July slams will also go to the Baton Rouge team, and all profits from the July 29 slam will go to Eclectic Truth as well. At this showcase event, the poems the team will take to nationals will be on display.
In addition, the Baton Rouge poets are seeking donations online at gofundme.com/eclectictruth2014.
Meanwhile, after years as a competitor, Rose is enjoying the coaching experience.
“It’s great to be on the other side, just being able to encourage the team I’m coaching and just to be able to pass on any knowledge of slam and competition that I’ve obtained over the years. It’s very rewarding.”