ENCINITAS — True to poetry slam tradition, the Full Moon Poets Winter Poetry Slam began with 17 poets and five judges picked at random from the audience.
Following local tradition the slam was held close to a full moon on Feb 12.
Competing poets signed up the night of competition, most using their first name.
Each took to the stage of the La Paloma Theatre and faced the audience with no props or music accompaniment and belted out a three-minute self-written poem.
Poets shared verse about dealing with cancer, the gardening revolution, and finding love in the bike lane.
“You’ll hear a wide selection of poetry — rhyming, urban rap,” Danny Salzhandler, president of 101 Artists’ Colony and slam organizer since 2000, said. “It’s an Encinitas kind of thing. It’s a real hometown crowd. And really good poetry.”
Three rounds of cumulative scores ranked performances from one to 10 and narrowed the competition to three finalists.
Popcorn buckets were passed around early in the evening to collect prize money for the finalists that added up to more than $100 each for the first-, second- and third-place winners.
The night’s big wins went to the Glassless Minds poets who took first and second and third place by poets Joe Limer, Rolland Tizuela and Joshua Roman.
Palomar College Political Science Professor Joe Limer wanted to engage his students during lectures and started to interject spoken word poetry.
His poetry went over so well that his students encouraged him to perform on stage.
Limer took the leap. He has been writing and performing poetry for four years and has placed in numerous national poetry slams.
Once he experienced the fulfillment of performing spoken word poetry he encouraged his students to do the same.
Limer provides interested students a weekly space to write in his classroom. He gives aspiring fellow poets writing prompts and a supportive environment.
Poet Rolland Tizuela organizes stage time at the Brooks Theatre in Oceanside where poets in the group can practice delivering their poetry.
Glassless Minds poets have competed as a team at national slams.
Their motto is honesty.
“I really wrote for myself, to heal myself,” Tizuela said. “Once I got control of the verse I thought of it as a mission.
If you need to hear it, other people need to hear it.”
Tizuela added that a great poem transcends the reason the poet wrote it and touches everyone.
Poems at the slam were scored equally on content and delivery.
On stage Limer delivered his poems with every inch of his body.
His advice to win a slam is to be passionate, honest and vulnerable.
“The best representation of you is be the words,” Limer said.
Team Glassless Minds showed their chops at the Full Moon Poets Winter Poetry Slam.
The Full Moon Poets group began in 2000 as a subgroup of the 101 Artists’ Colony that started the poetry slam in 1998.
The 101 Artists’ Colony also organizes the annual Arts Alive Banners fundraiser that began in 2007. Banners are created by local artists, hung on streetlamps along Coast Highway, and auctioned off to support the arts.
A preview of this year’s banners was shared during the poetry slam.