Bards & Brews Poetry Slam Theme for November 5: Love, Music, Joy & Pain

What: Bards & Brews Poetry Slam
When: Friday, November 5, 2021, 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: Central Library Grand Reading Room, 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL, 35203
Details: 10 talented spoken word artists will compete for a $300 grand prize in BPL's Bards & Brews poetry slam. For more information, call Bards & Brews Creative Director Candice Hardy at (205) 925-6178. 

Birmingham, Ala. - Want to see some of Alabama's most talented spoken word artists? Then make your way down to the Central Library in downtown Birmingham for this Friday's Bards & Brews Poetry Slam, in which 10 poets will compete for a grand prize of $300. 

 A poetry slam is a competition using elimination rounds in which individuals perform their own original poetry before an audience of volunteer judges chosen from the audience. During the Friday, November 5 Bards & Brews poetry slam, the 10 poets will compete to advance through four rounds of competition  centering on four specific themes  -Love, Music, Joy and Pain. 

The competition theme was inspired by longtime emcee and host Brian "Voice Porter" Hawkins, who died at age 42 in late August.  Voice Porter had been a part of Bards & Brews since the Birmingham Public Library founded the event 11 years ago. His unexpected death devastated many who admired Voice Porter's  passionate support for the arts community as well as his powerful oratorical skills as a spoken word artist. 

"I asked the poets to develop a challenging theme for the competition that was a depiction of what they felt or how they coped with the death of our longtime creative director and emcee, Brian "Voice Porter" Hawkins," said Candice Hardy, Bards & Brews Creative Director and branch manager a Powderly Library.

"His untimely death left the group in shambles yet assisted us in producing a theme for the event," Hardy said. "Love is what we have for literary arts. Music is what was used to escape the madness. Joy is what was experienced during his time with us. Pain is what was experienced when he departed."
Poets interested in participating in the Bards & Brews Poetry Slam should arrive early as there are only 10 spaces available in the competition. Doors open at 6 p.m. in the Central Library, 2100 Park Place. Admission is free and masks are encouraged.

The slam will be limited to 10 participants - with a registration fee of $10. On-site registration begins promptly at 6:00 p.m. and poetry will begin 30 minutes later.

For more information, visit or call Bards & Brews Creative Director Candice Hardy at (205) 925-6178. 

This will be BPL's second poetry slam of the year. On January 8, 2021, BPL hosted its first virtual poetry slam on the Bards & Brews Facebook page. The November 5 event will be the first in-person BPL Bards & Brews poetry slam since October 2019.