The Gulf Coast Ethnic and Heritage Jazz Festival is known for their free concert on the first Saturday of each August, but they host more than that in the week beforehand. Not only is there a free jazz camp for area youngsters of varying skill levels, but a night dedicated to literary arts as well.

Their annual Evening of Poetry will take place July 31, 6:30 p.m. at the History Museum of Mobile (111 S. Royal St.) and features two facets. The first is a contest for eager poets. Entries must be typed in a Times New Roman or equivalent font no smaller than 12 points and submitted on 8.5-by-11-inch pages with margins no less than one inch.

All entries must identify the person submitting the poem. Only one entry per person.

Entries must be submitted to GCEHJF with a self-addressed stamped envelope for notification of selection status and the $5 entry fee. Entries will not be returned.

The host will select 10-15 pieces to be read the evening of July 31. Poems should take no longer than five minutes to read or recite.

A panel of judges will select the winning poem and it will be read at the Evening of Poetry. The deadline for entry is July 12.

Mail poem entries to Gulf Coast Ethic and Heritage Jazz Festival, P.O. Box 40404, Mobile, AL, 30040.

The second portion of the night will be for spoken word performances. Interested participants can sign up the same evening at the museum.

For more info, call 251-432-8343 or email