Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bards & Brews Makes Its Return

Bards & Brews logo
Set your alarm for Friday, January 6, at 6:30 p.m. It marks the time when the library’s phenomenal program Bards & Brews makes its return. Since its inception in October 2010, Bards & Brews has brought a diverse audience of more than 900 attendees to the Central Library. Returning in 2012 is our host Brian “Voice Porter” Hawkins, who has emceed poetry slams throughout the city. Live music is performed from 6:30 p.m. until the slam begins at 7:00 p.m. The monthly poetry slam and beer tasting is held on the first Friday of each month and is free to the public. Attendees must be at least 18 years old to enter, and 21 years or older to be served. IDs will be checked.

Poetry slams have grown in popularity in recent years and are a natural fit for the library. Bards & Brews is one of the ways the Birmingham Public Library is reaching out to a younger audience/demographic. The craft beer movement in which beer is elevated to the level of fine wine as something to be savored and appreciated has really taken hold especially among the younger generation. Put the two together, and you’ve got a combination that is very appealing. Each contestant contributes $5 to the pot, and winner takes all. Southern Fried Slam rules are observed. Five judges are chosen at random from the audience. The highest and lowest scores are thrown out. Slam participants must be 18 years or older. On Friday, February 3, Bards & Brews will travel to Birmingham Public Library’s Avondale Regional Library. This event will be an open mic rather than a slam.

The Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) has again provided funding for the Bards & Brews series. Also receiving funding for the second time in its five year run is WORD UP! 2012, a poetry slam for high school students throughout Jefferson County. Winners from individual schools will compete in the final slam held at BPL on April 1. Prizes are awarded to the top three performers.

Word up, y’all!

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