The Superbowl of Spoken Word
August 4-8, 2009!
WHAT IS POETRY SLAM?
A competitive spoken word performance in which participants have three minutes on the mic to prove themselves to five judges who have just been randomly selected from the audience.
Show your support in front of a diverse sampling of the downtown West Palm Beach marketplace as teams representing 80 venues from North America and Europe lay it on the line. Organizers for the 2009 National Poetry Slam expect record numbers of teams and audience members to converge on downtown West Palm Beach, Florida, for the largest poetry event of its kind. Participants embody a mix of ages, ethnicities, and demographics as diverse as the geographies they represent. The festival and competition will commence on Tuesday, August 4th, with teams competing in multiple venues along West Palm Beach’s famed Clematis Street.
Much more below after the jump...
A Sample of Daytime and Late-Night Events: African American Showcase / Asian American Showcase / Erotic Showcase/ Grammar Rodeo / Grief and Remembrance Reading / Group Piece Showcase /Head to Head Haiku / Hip Hop Headquarters / Latino Reading / Nerd Slam/ Queer Voices Showcase / Rookie Open Mic / Women’s Showcase/ Daytime workshops and panels
A BRIEF HISTORY OF SLAM
Billed as “the competitive art of performance poetry,” Slam was invented in Chicago in July 1986 by Marc Smith, a construction worker-turned-poet at an uptown watering hole once frequented by Al Capone. By the late "80s, Slam had spread beyond Chicago to San Francisco, Boston, New York, and Ann Arbor. In 1989, the 1st annual National Poetry Slam took place in San Francisco.
Bolstered by MTV’s interest in spoken word in the early ‘90s, Lollapalooza’s inclusion of a spoken word stage on its 1994 tour, the release of the documentary film Slam Nation in 1997, and grassroots touring efforts by Slam artists, the Slam movement had sown seeds across the map by the end of the millennium.
By 2000, the Slam movement exploded to include a record number of performers, ever-growing audiences, and an exponential increase in the number of cities staging Slam events. Slam’s popularity was evidenced by the debut of the HBO original series, Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry, featuring many top slammers.
The 20th annual National Poetry Slam continues to grow. NPS 2009 expects a record number of teams from throughout the US and Europe as it engages over 15,000 audience members during the five-day event.
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