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White Plains Poets Selected for National Slam

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- On Wednesday, Eric ZORK Alan will co-host the White Plains Library's monthly Poetry Slam and Open Mic Night in the same place where he and four other local poets recently competed and qualified for the official Westchester Poetry Slam Team.

The team will compete in the National Poetry Slam Championships, sanctioned by Poetry Slam, Inc., the nonprofit governing body of poetry slams worldwide. The competition takes place Aug. 7-11 in Charlotte, N.C..

Poets were selected through a series of competitive poetry slams at the White Plains Library. In addition to Alan, poets Holden Contreras Sr., Bryan Roessel, Laura Vookles (LV) and Nina Robins were selected. Additionally, Peppermint (Holden Contreras Jr.) and James Joseph Buhs, won spots on the team, but can't attend the championships.

Alan competed in last year's National Poetry Slam Championship and is a 10-time National Poetry Slam competitor. He is a Macintosh consultant, but also a touring poet and poetry teacher.

“They usually get a space for about 2,000 to 3,000 people for finals, which is small by Sting standards, but when you think about two or three thousand people going to hear poetry, that’s pretty impressive,” Alan said.

The White Plains Library provided the following information about the Westchester Poetry Slam Team members.

Laura Vookles (LV) originally is from Memphis, Tenn., but has lived in Westchester County for more than 25 years. She has competed in two National Poetry Slams and two Women of the World Poetry Slams.

Bryan Roessel, a fifth-year high school science teacher in New York, has been running his own slam in Suffern since December 2011.

Holden Contreras Sr. is a "Dad/Believer in all things beautiful/ Messenger for the songs the universe/ Seeker of truth/Addicted to loving love/Dad."

Nina Robins began slamming in February 2011. The supermarket cashier and floral clerk also is a songwriter with her sister.

The library’s Poetry Slam and Open Mic series is paid for by the White Plains Library Foundation and occurs the first Wednesday of each month (except August).

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