BBC Radio 4 will be broadcasting a second series of Poetry Slam programmes in 2009. New Belfast Community Arts Initiative has been asked to host the All Ireland Regional Heat taking place on Thursday 18th June. A Poetry Slam is a knockout performance poetry competition in which poets perform their own work in front of an audience and a panel of judges, and are given scores by the judges based on content, style, delivery and level of audience response. Poetry Slamming began in the United States in the 1980s and is now thriving all around the world. There are hundreds of slams run all over Britain every year, and Radio 4 will be showcasing, through its own slam, some of the best performers in the United Kingdom. Radio 4 ran its first Poetry Slam in 2007, and this will be the second. There will be three broadcast programmes, comprising two semi-finals and a final anticipated to transmit in late September and early October 2009. To ensure a wide geographical spread, we will be running our three broadcast programmes after a series of nine regional heats, which will reflect the slam scene around the country. These will not be for broadcast, but out of them two winners from each heat will go forward to the broadcast semi-finals, making a total of nine participants in each semi-final. Three winners from each semi-final will go forward to the final. These qualifying rounds will be run in accordance with the same slam rules which will govern the broadcast semi-finals and final, so that all performers around the country will be taking part under the same conditions. Rules for performance and judging in the Radio 4 slam follow as closely as possible the generally accepted slam conventions, with a few specific points included in order to create a competition suitable for broadcast. The full rules and criteria will be available at http://www.newbelfastarts.org/news/slam09/ from Saturday 9th May 2009 If you have won a slam in the past three years and feel that you meet all other criteria as laid out in the rules (available through the above link) then please complete an application form (also available at the above link) and return it to us by Monday 1st June. In the event that eligible applications exceed number of places, NBCAI reserves the right to draw participants by lottery according to province to ensure that all regions are equally and fairly represented.