SlamNation

Team Urbana - Celena Glenn - No One Knows

Posted by Paul Devlin:
 
This poem by Celena Glenn is from the 2000 National Poetry Slam in Providence, Rhode Island.
 
 
The full set of the poems from that classic competition from the heyday of slam poetry is available for streaming here.
 
 

2000 National Poetry Slam Finals: Stream on VHX
SlamNation DVD
SlamNation Trailer

SlamNation - Floyd Jensen - "Leonard's Hill"

Posted by Paul Devlin:
 
Floyd Jensen performs his poem "Leonard's Hill" from Paul Devlin’s SlamNation.
 
 
Slam Poetry melds the art of writing and the art of performance in the context of a good old fashion brawl.  SlamNation is the seminal film of this literary movement.
 

Buy or stream digitally on VHX
SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

 

 

Team San Antonio - Rich Perin - No Sense

Posted by Paul Devlin:
 
This poem by Rich Perin is from the 2000 National Poetry Slam in Providence, Rhode Island.
 
 
The full set of the poems from that classic competition from the heyday of slam poetry is available for streaming here.
 
 

2000 National Poetry Slam Finals: Stream on VHX
SlamNation DVD
SlamNation Trailer

SlamNation - Sean Shea - "Personal"

Posted by Paul Devlin:
 
Sean Shea performs his poem "Personal" from Paul Devlin’s SlamNation.
 
 
Slam Poetry melds the art of writing and the art of performance in the context of a good old fashion brawl.  SlamNation is the seminal film of this literary movement.
 

Buy or stream digitally on VHX
SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

Team Union Sq - Roger Bonair-Agard - Weusi Alphabet

Posted by Paul Devlin:
 
This poem by Roger Bonair-Agard is from the 2000 National Poetry Slam in Providence, Rhode Island.
 
 
The full set of the poems from that classic competition from the heyday of slam poetry is available for streaming here.
 
 

2000 National Poetry Slam Finals: Stream on VHX
SlamNation DVD
SlamNation Trailer

SlamNation - Jack McCarthy - "Boys Don't Cry"

Posted by Paul Devlin:
 
It has been three years since we lost the wonderfully talented performance poet Jack McCarthy.
 
 
It was my privilege to have him appear in SlamNation. He gave us the one poem in the movie that brought a tear to the eye. Here is that poem, this time presented in its entirety.
 

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

2000 National Poetry Slam - Team Urbana - Noel Jones - Seven Seconds

Posted by Paul Devlin:
 
This poem by Noel Jones is from the 2000 National Poetry Slam in Providence, Rhode Island.
 
 
The full set of the poems from that classic competition from the heyday of slam poetry is available for streaming here .
 
 

2000 National Poetry Slam Finals: Stream on VHX
SlamNation DVD
SlamNation Trailer

Slamnation - Lisa King - "Lost Friends"

Posted by Paul Devlin:
 
Lisa King performs her poem "Lost Friends" from Paul Devlin’s SlamNation.
 

Slam Poetry melds the art of writing and the art of performance in the context of a good old fashion brawl.  SlamNation  is the seminal film of this literary movement.
 

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

Slamnation - "Children of the Night"

Posted by Paul Devlin:
 
Enjoy Saul Williams as he performs his poem "Children of the Night". This and much more is featured on SlamNation.
 


Slam Poetry melds the art of writing and the art of performance in the context of a good old fashion brawl.
 

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

SLAMNATION MINI DOC

Posted by Paul Devlin:
 
This outtake from SlamNation takes place at the Slammaster’s meeting at the Portland National Poetry Slam in 1996. These used to be completely democratic meetings, that anyone competing in the National Poetry Slam could participate and vote in.

The quality is rough and the original is lost, but this mini-doc captures a turning point in the poetry slam movement: the birth of the non-profit organization Poetry Slam Inc (PSi). The piece shows that the organization was born out of the fear that some big corporation would trademark the phrase “Poetry Slam” and block the poets from using it for their events. (The reality of copyright law is that “Poetry Slam” had already become part of the common language and could no longer be trademarked for performance poetry events. So the fear was unfounded, and no one, not even PSi, owns the phrase “Poetry Slam.”
)
 


For those who have the context and know the players, this is a study of subtle power plays. Participating in the early slam poetry movement was a profound, close-up lesson in politics. The stakes may be lower, but I’m convinced the dynamics are similar to any government or big corporation.

This is the beginning of the end of what I found most fascinating about the ad-hoc national community of slam poetry – that grass-roots anarchy which managed to generate spectacular events like the National Poetry Slam. When Poetry Slam, Inc. became an official non-profit and started referring to by-laws instead of family at meetings like this, something magical about the movement was sacrificed.
 

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

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