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5 (More) Poetry Slams You Should Know About

Posted: 07/31/11 01:18 AM ET

Back in May, I created a post including five poetry venues I thought were worth checking out and, in the extremely limited scope of my piece, I neglected to mention many other outstanding poetry venues and events around the country. In the comments it was noted that I had not included anything from the South, and indeed I did forget to mention some very noteworthy spots. And so, without further ado, here are five more poetry venues, slams, events, festivals (whatever you prefer to call them) that you should know about, with a steady dose of Southern flavor.

The Green Mill
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The proclaimed "birth place" of slam poetry, this Jazz bar in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago became a mecca of sorts once Marc Smith--the "inventor" of the art--brought his creation through it's doors back in the 1980s (Marc Smith will actually be hosting an event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of slam poetry's creation at the Metro in Chicago on July 30th). As the story goes (or one of them, anyway), Smith was working construction in the '70s and was trying to get published by prominent literary magazines, however his work was never accepted. Smith, tired of this constant rejection, decided to create "slam poetry" in order to give himself--and people in his position--an opportunity to have their work heard, to own what they had created (above is a video of Smith performing at the Green Mill). Since then slam poetry has gone on to become a worldwide phenomenon, and 25 years later the Green Mill still hosts weekly poetry slams every Sunday.
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