Category Archives: Slam Poetry

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: 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: 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