Slam Poems

Slam Poem: Team Austin - "Motor Red"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Here's the complete version of a classic "group piece" from Team Austin excerpted in SlamNation.

Team Austin had become masters of these ensemble poetry performances, and they were highly favored to win it all at the National Poetry Slam in Portland as a result. Group pieces generally score higher than individual performances. However, Team Austin scored poorly in the finals, and no one is quite sure why. Perhaps there was some backlash against too many group pieces, and the audience wanted to hear more individual voices?

In any case, as can be seen here, Team Austin was great at group pieces, a genre of performance poetry unique to the National Poetry Slam.

SlamNation DVD 
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SlamNation: H. M. Naqvi - "I, Carnivore"

Guest post by H. M. Naqvi:

My Fifteen Minutes: An Anecdotal History of the Golden Era of Slam Poetry

 

If I remember correctly, I ambled into a smoky, neon-lit joint on the periphery of civilization in the District of Columbia of yore, around the corner from the stretch patrolled by transvestites teetering on heels and desperate johns in slow jalopies. I was new in town, had five fifty in my pocket, and knew nobody. Parking myself on a barstool, I ordered a drink from a stout character sporting dreadlocks. “You ready, baby?” he asked in a stentorian tenor. “Cause it’s show time!”

Two shabby characters took the stage. One delivered an impassioned disquisition on the construction of identity, ontology and Cheeze Whiz. It was primal, electric, theatrical, occasionally meaningful, recalling Vachel Lindsay’s “Congo” or Ginsberg’s “Howl.” There was scattered applause among the malcontents who had assembled. They assembled every Monday evening. The audience, I learned, decided who would proceed to the next round. I had walked unbeknownst into a poetry gong show. By the end of the evening, the applause was louder than a circus. (The bartender, for some reason, would periodically holler, “I don’t need your money!”) The loser was booed off stage. The winner was awarded fifty bucks. Fifty bucks! I thought. What a goddamn boon!

SlamNation: Steve Marsh - "Protect Yourself with a Condom"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

In this outtake from SlamNation, Steve Marsh, the architect of Poetry Slam, Inc. delivers one of his signature pieces.

 

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

SlamNation: Patricia Smith - "Mad Rappin'"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Patricia Smith is a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam. A monster talent and a fierce competitor, Patricia works her magic in this poem performed in a preliminary round of the Portland Nationals. But a crowd-pleasing group piece by the Austin team threatens her chance at the championship. Witness the strategy unfold in SlamNation.

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

SlamNation: Andrea Thompson - "After Kissing"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

This was definitely the sexiest poem excerpted in SlamNation.  Sit back and soak up the entire performance by the lovely Andrea Thompson.

I was able to catch up with Andrea a few years ago in Toronto when I was shooting parts of BLAST! there. You can catch up with her too, in this interview.

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

SlamNation: Ngoma Hill - "I Was Here First"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

I love this energetic alternative history from activist and poet Ngoma Hill.  Since it wasn’t crucial to the story, I knew it was going to be an outtake of SlamNation but I edited it carefully anyway, just because it’s such a fun piece and happened to have so many varied angles.

Ngoma continues to be dynamic performer and it’s always a pleasure to run across him when I’m out and about in the poetry scene in NYC.

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

SlamNation: DJ Renegade - "Miles"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Form and content merge seamlessly in this jazz poem about Miles Davis by the master, DJ Renegade.

It was excerpted briefly in the opening montage of SlamNation. Now you can feel the whole piece.

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

SlamNation: Team Austin - "American"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Team Austin performs one of their many group pieces in this outtake from SlamNation.

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

 

Slam Poem: Andrew Berger - "Funky Clown Town"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Funky Clown Town was a short, humorous moment in SlamNation. The low scores and look of disappointment said it all. However, that moment catapulted this poem into cult celebrity in the slam poetry community. Everyone wanted more of Funky Clown Town. Here it is, in all its glory.

Check out this post about Funky Clown Town by Big Poppa E!

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

Slam Poem: Team Albuquerque - "Calling America"

Posted by Rina Svet:

"Calling America" is a great and entertaining group effort by Team Albuquerque which comments on the state of the American society. 

SlamNation DVD 
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