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Bards to battle before the Super Bowl

Jay Vegas, 29, of Freeport, won the "golden

Jay Vegas, 29, of Freeport, won the "golden football" for his poem presented at Super Poem Sunday 2012. The 2014 edition is set for Sunday, Feb. 2. Credit: Alessandra Malito

For the millions who invest passion and energy in following the doings of the National Football League, the arrival of the Super Bowl is a special time. Now that the 2014 conference playoffs have been settled, the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos will take the field on Sunday, Feb. 2  to decide which team will hold the Vince Lombardi Trophy (a day widely known as “Super Bowl Sunday”).

Needless to say, the time for fans to start making celebratory plans has also come to pass.

And how do the devoted tackle such preparation? Some might search for the perfect pub or spot to view the contest, while others might stock up on chips, snacks and beverages to power personal, living-room bashes…but some will be busy preparing stanzas.

Although the crafting of verses via meter and rhyme is not considered common tailgating activity, local bards and writers will take part in “Super Poem Sunday,” a poetry slam to take place at the Walt Whitman Birthplace, also on Feb. 2. (No worries if you want to take part and watch the big game, as the spoken scrum runs from noon to 4 p.m. while Super Bowl XLVIII doesn't kick off until 6:25 p.m.).

All styles and forms of poetry are acceptable, but presentations must be limited to no more than three minutes (one piece per contestant), and no props are allowed. Once the readings have been wrapped, three winners will be chosen – with one going on to become the slam’s “MVP” (“Most Valuable Poet”).

Readers must RSVP in advance (at, and there will be books for sale and raffle prizes; admission is $10. For more information, reach out to hosts The Bards Initiative at and (groups Long Island Poetry Collective, Performance Poets Association and Poets In Nassau are also to be represented).

Walt Whitman Birthplace: 246 Old Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station, 631- 427-5240.

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