KINGMAN - This weekend marks Kingman's 10th annual celebration of the spoken and written word - a series of poetry and literacy events organized by KABAM!, Kingman's literacy advocate and nonprofit.
Poets, authors and readers will gather tonight at Beale Street Brews Coffee Shop & Gallery in Kingman's historic district for a poetry slam, said Kristi Turman, former KABAM! chair and current organizer.
The poetry slam will be held 6-10 p.m. today at 418 E. Beale St., Turman said.
"It's a competition," she said, adding that participants can join in, open-mic style. "It's really about engaging with the audience, who volunteer to be judges."
The first-place winner will receive $150, second place $100, and third place $50, said Turman.
Saturday morning, a full day dedicated to books, music and food begins 10 a.m. at Metcalfe Park, located at the corner of Grandview Avenue and Beale Street, according to the organization. KABAM! Book Festival
The KABAM! Book Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to Turman, and will feature several acclaimed poets and authors, including Senior Special Agent Canine Handler Lauren S. Marakas.
Marakas is the handler of a female Labrador Retriever named Ruthie, who is certified by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms as an explosives detection canine, according to the Mohave County Library District.
Ruthie is trained to detect approximately 19,000 explosive odor combinations, and her job is to help protect the public by assisting ATF agents and law enforcement officials in finding bombs, bomb debris, guns, ammunition and shell casings, the library states.
Ruthie lives in Las Vegas but travels nationwide, and will be signing autographs after a presentation Saturday, according to the library.
"Really an important thing we want to highlight is our effort to encourage children to read, because this is really an early literacy push," said Turman. "But also we expand that out to the community and older readers."
Turman said the organization is in need of volunteers Saturday, and those interested in doing so can contact her at (928) 303-9133.
Event sponsors include the Mohave Library Alliance, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Kingman Regional Medical Center, city of Kingman, and Mohave County One-Stop Career Center, according to KABAM! (Kingman Area Books are Magic).