Wednesday September 27, 2017 at Studio 324 

Poetry Workshop 6:00 – 7:00 PM

Reception 7:00 – 7:30 PM

Poetry Open Mic 7:30 – 8:00 PM

Poetry Feature Performance 8:00 – 9:00 PM

“POETRY DOWNTOWN” a new poetry and spoken word series kicks off with an amazing quadruple feature of poets from Chicago, Minneapolis and Rochester. This event will feature two poets from out of town, Christopher Stewart from Minneapolis and Quraysh Ali Lansana from Chicago, and two local poets, Nicole Nfonoyim de Hara and Danny Solis. All the activities for this event are free and open to the public.

Poetry Workshop – Lead by Christopher Stewart and Quraysh Ali Lansana, this workshop is free and open to community members of all ages and all writing levels, including students.

Studio 324
Studio 324

Reception – Enjoy a reception after the workshop to ask questions, discuss poetry, and get to know the featured poets while enjoying light refreshments.

Poetry Open Mic – The stage is open to all to perform. Share old poems, new poems, or maybe poems you just wrote at the  poetry workshop earlier in the evening!

Performance –  Nicole Nfonoyim de Hara and Danny Solis, both from Rochester, will perform first to open for the two featured poets, Christopher Stewart and Quraysh Ali Lansana.


 Quraysh Ali Lansana Chicago poet Quraysh Ali headlines this amazing evening of poetry. Quraysh Ali is a poetry powerhouse that brings unflinching vision and awareness on social issues with a highly refined poetic sensibility. This Juilliard and Chicago Art Institute professor is as much at home in the classroom as he is in bars and coffee houses. Among numerous publishing credits Ali is also the last mentee and biographer of the poetry giant Gwendolyn Brooks. Ali not only shows the influence of the great Ms. Brooks in his writing performing and teaching, he carries the poetic, artistic light that Ms. Brooks kindled forward into the future for not just poets, but for our entire nation and civilization.

Christopher Stewart

Minneapolis poet Christopher Stewart’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. He has also collaborated with a range of music artists, and was a founding member of the dynamic  poetry music ensemble, Circadian Rhythm.


Danny SolisDanny Solis is a professional poet, educator and MC. He is the winner of many Poetry Slam Championships and serves as the Director of the Rochester Art Ensemble.


Nicole Nfonoyim Hara is a local award winning writer and poet who writes for 507 magazine.


Day of the Dead Poets Slam

Friday November 3, 2017 at Studio 324

Saturday November 4, 2017 at Rochester Art Center

Day of the Dead Poets Slam 2017 Schedule of Events

Youth Poetry Showcase

Youth Poetry Showcase: “I Remember…” | Friday, November 3 | 6:00 PM -8:00 PM

Young poets will perform their original poetry inspired by their life and memories!

VIP! Very Important Pachanga! |Friday, November 3 |  8:30 PM – 10:30 PM

Come party and meet the poets and artists! Talk to artists and to learn their inspiration and process, hear some preview performances, and get special Day of the Dead Poets Slam swag, like signed posters and t-shirts.

Free Family Day Day of the Dead Poets SlamDia de los Muertos Crafts at Think & Do Free Family Day | Saturday, November 4 | 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Children and their families are invited to create traditional Day of the Dead altars, decorate sugar skulls, decorate candles, and make papel picado, a traditional Mexican craft using brightly colored paper and scissors. Everyone is invited to place their creations on a community altar, dedicated to lost loved ones.

Day of the Dead Poets Slam Day of the Dead Poets Slam | Saturday, November 5 |  7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

The main event! See poets come to life and compete in the Poetry Slam for prizes, honor, and glory! Enjoy Mexican food provided by El Carambas, and watch dancers Mexica Yolotl and Mexica Yolotzin light up the room with traditional Aztec dance and music.

For more information on Day of the Dead Poets Slam, please visit the event website

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund.