RED BANK: ONLY LOSERS LEFT ALIVE

Nicole_diner_1Poet and Slam Master Nicole Homer coordinates the regular series of Loser Slam poetry events at Two River Theater, the latest edition of which returns to the upstairs Mastrobuono Library on Monday, May 5.   

According to Nicole Homer, a live-action Loser Slam poetry event is a thing that’s “louder, more uproarious” than an oh-so-civilized, lectern-and-water-pitcher reading — but if you’re expecting maybe a contentious crowd of hipster hecklers and mic-hogging Me-Firsters, the poet, teacher and Slam Master assures one and all that the twice-monthly Monday events in Red Bank foster “a friendly vibe…we go out of our way to establish a community feeling, to make every new person feel at home.”

Formed in 2006 at Brookdale Community College, the Loser Slam collective bounced around to various venues in Monmouth County before being invited by Two River Theater Company to bring their popular spoken word/ performance poetry competitions to the Two River building’s Victoria J. Mastrobuono Library — the recently refurbished second-floor space equipped with a fireplace, coffee/ snack bar, wood bookshelves, and room for 30 to 40 attendees. It’s there that Nicole and her partners return on the evening of May 5, for three rounds of creative competition, audience interaction, and a traditional open mic for aspiring performance poets.

A passel of poets, ranging in age from high school freshmen to senior freestylers, will be expected to bring their best stuff before the assembled audience — and members of that audience will be called upon to serve as judges for the main event, awarding points for a contest in which the lowest score wins (hence the name), and the winners receive a $50 cash prize, a slot in the quarterly semifinals, and a possible chance at competing in this summer’s National Poetry Slam finals in Oakland, CA.

Official start time for the Slam is 7 pm (with workshop sessions going on at 6, and first come/ first served open mic sign-up at 6:30). Admission is free of charge, but plan to donate a few bucks to the passed-around jar — and plan to devote a few hours of your time, in support of the creative community.