NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
ERIC Number: EJ759511
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-May-18
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Outsiders' Art
Gehring, John
Education Week, v24 n37 p25-29 May 2005
Slam poetry was born in the Green Mill Tavern, a one-time Chicago speakeasy where Al Capone imbibed, when a construction worker and poet named Marc Smith revolutionized poetry readings with an Uptown Poetry Slam in 1986. Slam borrows heavily from the rhythms and wordplay of rap and hip-hop, as well as the stream of consciousness and metaphysical musings of Beat-generation poets. It is raw, edgy, and delivered with an attitude that says revolution through words is possible. "Spoken word" and slam have been growing at informal "open mikes," cafes, and schools, and has made students, long bored with how poetry is taught in schools, excited about the craft. In this article, the author describes how slam poetry influenced the lives of prospective poets around the world, including members of the District of Columbia's Teen Poetry Team, who will fly to San Francisco for the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival. More than 30 teams and some 300 poets between the ages of 13 and 19 will gather for four days of slams and writing workshops. Teams from New York City, Chicago, Honolulu, and even Leeds, England, will be represented. The event is a testament to the growth of an art form whose in-your-face style bucks the often-staid conventions of poetry readings. But despite its growing visibility, slam remains at its heart an outsider's art.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; District of Columbia