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LA inkSlam poetry festival includes heavy-spitters

November 3, 2009 | 11:47 am

Those who want to see lively live poetry should not miss the inkSlam Los Angeles Poetry Festival, which kicks off Wednesday and runs through Saturday The lineup features more than 50 poets, including seven national poetry slam champions and nine regional champions. Shihan, above, is one of four poets who have appeared on "Def Poetry Jam" on HBO.

Shihan is one of the four founders of "Da' Poetry Lounge," L.A.'s largest weekly poetry open-mic night. It takes place every Tuesday at the Greenway Court Theater, which is where the inkSlam festival is being held. The theater is at 544 N. Fairfax Ave., adjacent to the Fairfax High School campus.

The Greenway Arts Alliance operates arts education programs for Fairfax High students as well as the theater, and is a sponsor of the inkSlam festival. It's keeping the theater open during the day for workshops, focusing on the art and the business of being a poet. At night, there are performers' showcases -- and the high-octane poetry slam competition. Tickets run from $5 to $20.

-- Carolyn Kellogg