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Oxenreider on top as 80 attend second installment of poetry slam series

BEMIDJI – Around 80 people crowded into the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts for the second installment of the Grand Slam competitive poetry reading series Feb. 5.

The event featured Todd Boss, nationally known poet from St. Paul, founder of Motionpoems, and author of award-winning books, Yellowrocket and Pitch. Todd is also recognized for his 35W project, an installment of 35-word poems commemorating the victims of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse.

Todd read some work before serving as a judge for the evening’s Poetry Slam. Other judges were Elaine Hoffman, Susan Hauser, Maggie Montgomery, and Cate Belleveau. Poets were judged 1 through 10 based on content and presentation.

Fourteen poets read in the first round, and seven moved on to round 2. The three winners in the final round were Julia Oxenreider for first place, David Berg in second place, and Kevin Zepper in third.

The event was presented by the Bemidji Public Library and the Headwater School of Music and the Arts. It was made possible by a grant from the State of Minnesota Legacy Fund as well as private donors.

The next poetry slam is set for April 26. Sign up for the event begins April 10.

For details, call 751-3963.