Island celebrations of National Poetry Month continue with Vineyard Slam’s first open reading of the 2008 season at Che’s Lounge on Main street in Vineyard Haven, tomorrow, Saturday, April 12.

Starting at 7 p.m., student and adult poets are invited to read from their original works in both open microphone and slam formats.

The slam is open to everyone, students and adults, spectators and participants. Those who wish to read can sign up at the door.

The suggested donation is $1.

Before, during and after the performances, a wide range of refreshments and baked goods will be available for sale.

The evening will begin with an open mike session, when anyone may sign up to take the stage for up to three minutes and present a poem or poems.

The slam rules are straightforward. The evening is moderated by a master of ceremonies, and each poet is given three minutes in which to present his or her best original work. After each performance, judges chosen from the audience immediately assign a score from 1 to 10.

A founding principle of slam poetry is inclusiveness. Poets of every possible description and background are encouraged to read their works with as much passion as they can muster.

As slams impose no limits on a poet’s subject or language, some poems may not be suitable for very young children.

Prizes will be awarded.