Verbal Sparring in Oak Cliff

10th Annual Southwest Shootout Regional Poetry Slam

The 10th Annual Southwest Shootout Regional Poetry Slam will take place at the Kessler Theater this weekend. It’s the second time the regional performance poetry contest; hosted annually throughout the southwestern U.S., will happen in the Metroplex.

Poetry slam teams from seven different states will participate in the festive event.

Tickets are $10 for a two-day pass when purchased in advance at theater neighbor Cliff Notes Books, located at 1222 West Davis Street.

Tickets are $7 in advance daily and $10 at the door for Friday’s preliminary round or Saturday’s final championship round.

Seattle-based writer/performers Denise Jolly and Ryler Dustin will teach a free writing workshop Saturday, followed by a head-to-head haiku challenge.

During the preliminary bouts, DJ's from sponsor H4 and jazz combo Yells at Eels will provide beats for attendees.

“We're looking forward to it because it will really help draw attention to the new Cliff Notes Prolonged Media book store, located in the Kessler building, right next to the box office,” said Kessler Theater artistic director Jeff Liles, who will spin during finals night.

In addition to watching witty and creative slams, guests can expect great barbeque provided by one of the organizers, Bob "Whoopeecat" Stephenson (Cool River).

So come out, eat, drink and make merry all in the name of poetic, friendly competition.


  • Sixteen teams regional teams will compete. 18-and-under teams from Austin and Houston will also compete alongside adult counterparts.
  • Writing workshop: Sat. 1 p.m.
  • Haiku Challenge: Sat. 3 p.m.
  • Poetry Slam competition: 7 p.m. each night
  • Doors open at 5 p.m. each night for Happy Hour

Kessler Theater
1230 West Davis Street

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