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Sedona is sending Arizona’s best team of performance poets to the National Poetry Slam next month.After winning the Copper State Poetry Slam in Phoenix, the Sedona National Poetry Slam Team poses with their trophy. The team includes Gabbi Jue, Joy Young, Bernard “The Klute” Schober, Rowie Shebala and James Gould, from left to right. The team will compete at the National Poetry Slam in Oakland, Calif., from Tuesday, Aug. 5 to Saturday, Aug. 9.

The Sedona National Poetry Slam Team won the Copper State Poetry Slam, a statewide competition held in downtown Phoenix on Saturday and Sunday, July 26 and 27.

The Sedona National Poetry Slam Team was selected through a competition in early June at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre in West Sedona. The poets include Bernard “The Klute” Schober, Gabbi Jue, Rowie Shebala, Joy Young and Sedona Red Rock High School alumnus James Gould. The team heads to the National Poetry Slam in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 5.

“It was good to win,” Schober said. “We had a rough first night, which shook our confidence a little bit, but I think now that we are the champions, and me being champion on the Copper State championship two years in a row, I’m feeling a little more confident my own personal chances and the team’s chances at Nationals as well.”

For a poetry slam, competitors write their own original poetry. Poems can be no longer than three minutes or the poets are docked points. Five audience members are selected at random to judge the competition, weighing the poets’ stage performance and the content of their work on a scale from 0.0 to 10.0.

The statewide competition featured eight teams of five poets each. Four teams faced each other in two preliminary bouts on Saturday with the top two teams from each bout competing in the championship on Sunday.

To read the full story, see the Friday, Aug. 1, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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