“Put your name in the popcorn bucket and leave your ego at the door”. That about sums up the spirit of the many Poetry Slams organized by Danny Salzhandler since the late 1990s.The other instruction for budding poets is not to take it out on the judges if you get cut in the elimination rounds – the audience will happily take care of that.Anyone meeting Danny for the first time cannot fail to be knocked out by his infectious enthusiasm. And thanks to his relentlessly cheerful attitude – aided and abetted by a lot of hard work – his dream to stage regular poetry slams soon became reality.
When Danny founded the Full Moon Poets, his aim was to encourage local poets to meet once a month and bounce ideas off one another. Enchanted by their talent, he was soon organizing slams twice a year at La Paloma Theater to standing-room only audiences.
The term “sold out” would apply equally as well, except that no tickets are sold: as soon as the name of the last hopeful performer has been pulled from the popcorn bucket it gets passed around again to collect the prize money.
Despite their grass-roots beginnings, the Full Moon Poets are no amateurs. Our illustrious Poet Laureate, Trish Dugger, started out at the Encinitas Poetry Slam and look how well she’s done – Scrambled, her latest anthology, is bursting with her delicious naughty-but-nice poems and selling well throughout Encinitas and cyberspace.
The Full Moon Poets’ next Poetry Slam is slated for Friday August 3lst. It will be easy to find your way to La Paloma Theater that night: just look for a gloriously full moon.