Day of the Dead Poets Slam 2016

November 3 – 5, 2016

All activities listed below will take place in the Grand Lobby of Rochester Art Center.

SKULL_16 Youth Poetry Showcase: “My Story, My Voice”

Thursday, November 3, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Youth from our community take center stage to perform original poetic works about their lives and experiences, their travails and dreams, centered around the theme, “My Story, My Voice”!

We are still looking for more kids to perform! If you (or your child) would like to perform in the showcase, email Danny Solis, or just show up and sign up at the event!

Check out our Facebook Event

 SKULL_16 VIP! Very Important Pachanga!

Friday, November 4, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

A “pachanga” is a party, and you’re invited! Come to Rochester At Center’s Grand Lobby to meet and hang out with our performing poets, altar artists, and event organizers! This party will be festooned in purple, gold, and black, and dedicated to the late legend, Prince, so make sure to dress in your purple best for the night!


Five local artists have been commissioned to design and install Dia de los Muertos altars for this event. Altar artists are Teaki Garcia, Karla Giguere, Bobby Marines, Angela McHugh, and Luis Enrique Cisneros Pito. The altars will be up and ready to view for the VIP, and you can meet the artists and hear them talk about their work. In addition, there will be another altar dedicated to Prince, designed by Eleanor Robit, which will be unveiled at 6:00 PM during the VIP!

Poets will be performing exclusive preview poems before their big performance on Saturday night at Day of the Dead Poets Slam. 

Suggested Donation: $10 (No one turned away for lack of funds.) Please pay at the door. Cash, check, or card accepted.

There will be free snacks and refreshments available, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Please bring ID if you wish to drink alcoholic beverages.

Check out our Facebook Event

SKULL_16 Think & Do Free Family Day at Rochester Art Center

Saturday, November 5, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Free Family Day

Children and their families are invited to create traditional Day of the Dead altars, decorate sugar skulls, and make papel picado, a traditional Mexican craft using brightly colored paper and scissors.

Check out our Facebook Event

SKULL_16 Day of the Dead Poets Slam

Saturday, November 5, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Check out our Facebook Event

Day of the Dead Poets Slam is a combination of a Poetry Slam and Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. A Poetry Slam is is a poetry competition in which three judges, chosen randomly from the audience, give poets scores and decide who will proceed to the next round, and ultimately choose a Grand Champion! Day of the Dead is a traditional Latino holiday that celebrates and honors the lives of lost loved ones through altars, crafts, parades, and more.

Announcing this year’s poets!

Poets Announcement

Day of the Dead Poets Slam honors late and great poets through the Poetry Slam, where competitors choose a deceased poet to represent, and compete in the Poetry Slam as that poet – performing their poems using costumes, props, and calavera style makeup (makeup that looks like a decorated and stylized sugar skull). Poets perform in an environment festooned with Day of the Dead decorations, including altars dedicated to the poets, colorful papel picado, and decorated sugar skulls.

Rowdy audience participation is encouraged, by cheering for poems they love, and booing when they disagree with a judge’s score. Audience members are also encouraged to wear calavera style makeup, and come dressed as their favorite dead poet!


 Like what you see? We still need help reaching our financial goal!

Click the “DoDonate to Day of the Dead Poets Slam 2016nate” button to become a contributor today and you will be helping Rochester grow this unique arts and cultural event! 




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.


This event is a production of the Rochester Art Ensemble, and co-presented with the Rochester Art Center. 

For more information please contact:

Danny Solis | 505–459–3574 |   McKay Bram | |

Rochester Art Center | |