Poetry Slam FINALLY Turns Legal!
So this one night in Chicago, this guy attends an open mic poetry reading…in a Bar. Finding that he had to compete with the noise of TVs blaring and drunken patrons talking loudly, he jumped up on a table, started to perform loudly and THAT’S how poetry slam was born.
Well, not really. But that’s the story I was told when I came into the poetry slam world some 8 years ago.
Though I’m not sure of the real tale as to how it all began, I do know this: poetry slam (slam for short) was created July 26, 1986 by then construction worker, Marc Kelly Smith. Since then, slam has evolved from coffee house showcases and being fodder for the academic world (well…actually, that’s still going on) to worldwide poetry slams and international competitions (such as the National Poetry Slam (NPS), the individual World Poetry Slam (iWPS) and soon the Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWPS)). Anthologies, studies and articles have been written cataloging and following slam’s growth over its twenty-one year journey (including Mumbai Newsline’s recent article, “Rhyme and Rhythm”). This year, the National Poetry Slam will be held from August 7 – 11, 2007 in Austin, TX.
Hundreds of poets representing 75 teams from across North America will converge on the lovely city and celebrate Poetry Slam’s 21st birthday like never before, wreaking havoc with their words. But before you pack your bags to Austin (which I HIGHLY recommend that you do) to join us, you should make a pit stop on July 22, 2007 in Chicago, IL (the birthplace of slam) and join Marc Smith, the Green Mill Slam Team, Chicago – Mental Graffiti and two other teams as they face off in the Uptown Poetry Slam Pep Rally and NPS warm-up! Here's the info:
Uptown Poetry Slam
Green Mill Tavern
4802 N. Broadway (corner of Broadway & Lawrence)
Chicago, Illinois 60640
$8 cover 7 PM to 10 PM
*There will also be a silent auction of Slam Memorabilia to raise money for the Chicago teams.
In the meantime, check out www.poetryslam.com for more information and news about our upcoming events and the National Poetry Slam!
Happy birthday, poetry slam and thank you, Marc Smith!
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