Madonna, Macy Gray To Judge Poetry Contest

You may not immediately associate Madonna and Macy Gray with dreamy scribes like William Butler Yeats or Pablo Neruda, but never you mind; the two performers will be taking a literary turn as poetry judges for a contest being held by the teen-centric Web entity Alloy.

Alloy and its new AlloyBooks imprint are sponsoring the competition, which is being held in conjunction with the release of "Slam," a book showcasing poetry and song lyrics by artists such as Missy Elliott, Ani DiFranco, Tom Waits, and Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20.

The contest is being held in two parts, with the first, Madonna-judged competition accepting submissions until the end of September, and the second, Macy Gray-evaluated contest kicking off in October.

The winner of each contest will receive a professionally mounted and framed copy of his or her winning poem signed by the celebrity judge. For more information on the contest, check out


Meanwhile, a portion of proceeds from the sale of "Slam" will be donated to Tori Amos' nonprofit organization, RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), which runs a toll-free hotline providing assistance to people whose lives have been affected by sexual assault and abuse.

Another AlloyBooks project, "D.I.Y. Beauty," will feature facts and how-to tips from rock and hip-hop fashion mavens Shirley Manson of Garbage, Mary J. Blige, and Missy Elliott. Jennifer Lopez's personal makeup artist (who has also worked with Drew Barrymore and Jada Pinkett) is also featured in the book.