Ernie Blue, one of Waterbury’s favorite poets and a poetry slam champion himself, will return to the Silas Bronson Library, 267 Grand Street, Waterbury, to emcee this year’s National Poetry Month Poetry Slam Wednesday, April 5 at 6:30 p.m. The program is free and open to the public. Evening parking is also free.

A Poetry Slam is a competition at which poets read or recite their original works which are judged by people selected from the audience. The program is part of the “Calling All Poets (…and poetry lovers)” series hosted monthly by poet and educator Victoria Muñoz.

Participants are invited to sign up just before the beginning of the program with at least three pieces to recite for no longer than three minutes each. The competition will consist of three rounds. Winning participants of each round will advance to the next. Although the program is open to adults of all ages, high school students are especially welcome and are invited to participate as teams representing their schools if so desired.

Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets throughout the United States band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.