Winter Poetry Slam March 5 at La Paloma

Stereotypes and commonly held opinions about poetry will disappear Thursday, March 5, when 17 poets perform their work for five judges and a crowd known to fill every seat in the historical La Paloma Theatre.

Doors open to the audience at 6:45 p.m. and the poetry starts at 7. Free to enter and free to attend, this twice-yearly event promises a memorable evening of pure entertainment from familiar locals and nationally renowned writer/performers ranging from angst-laden adolescents to wickedly wise and funny seniors whose work spans a broad horizon of poignant reflection, biting satire, incisive commentary and bizarre perspective.

Interested poets should arrive early — sign-in is 6 p.m. sharp. They should be prepared with three of their original poems (each to be performed in 3 minutes or less). No props, no costumes, no musical instruments allowed, and five judges picked at random from the audience will observe and report their scores on a scale of 0 through 10.

Please be advised. This is not a warm and fuzzy evening that caters to standards and tastes of the shy, squeamish, and sleepy types. Content can be “adult-oriented,” so poets under 18 will need a signed parental permission to participate.

As a celebration of First Amendment free speech rights, the La Paloma Slam stands squarely in the middle of every imaginable point of view. It’s an unpredictable roller-coaster ride starting with 17 hopefuls in the first of three rounds and ending with three finalists (each performing their third poem of the evening). As judges announce scores, the audience responds with approval or disapproval. A generous audience donates cash to reward three finalists.

Thanks to these local sponsors, this event is free to enter, free to attend: 101 Artists’ Colony, Iced Tea Services of San Diego, The Coast News, Double Take, Encinitas 101 MainStreet Association, Moonlight Beach 7-11, and SoulScape.

For a full depiction of the rules and directions to the event, visit Need more information? Email to