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Poetry Slam

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Little bit of History:

In 1985 a construction worker and poet named Marc Smith (slampapi) started a poetry reading series at a Chicago jazz club, the Get Me High Lounge, looking for a way to breathe life into the open mike poetry format. The series' emphasis on performance lays the groundwork for the poetry which would eventually be exhibited in slam. In 1986 Smith approached Dave Jemilo, the owner of the Green Mill (a Chicago jazz club and former haunt of Al Capone), with a plan to host a weekly poetry competition on the club's slow Sunday nights. Jemilo welcomed him, and on July 25, the Uptown Poetry Slam was born. Smith drew on baseball and bridge terminology for the name, and instituted the basic features of the competition, including judges chosen from the audience and cash prizes for the winners. The Green Mill evolved into a Mecca for performance poets, and the Uptown Poetry Slam still continues nearly 15 years after its inception.

I recently purchased a book narrated by Marc Kelly Smith called The Spoken Word Revolution: Slam, Hip Hop & Poetry of a New Generation.  I highly recommend this book.  The book itself contains a wide range of work, but what really impressed me was the included cd.  The cd contains 25 tracks and a bit of history of the evolution of the poetry slam.  It just amazed me.  The poetry is not meerly narrated or read outloud.  The poetry is performed; some to music, some by multiple people and others are perfomed in a monologue style.  It is amazing to hear the emotion and excitement of the performers.  It makes me really want to attend a poetry slam.  I've been to a few readings off and on, but if anyone has any advice or can direct me to where I can find more information on readings or slams, it would be much appreciated.     

 



Arts - Humanities and Literature  

discussion

  • > def poetry, an amazing show put together by hip hop label def jam owner/produc...more
    - [ben]
  • Thanks, I'll check it out. Mohammed said there was a good one on BET so we'll w...more
    - [flower]
  • The Lansing area has several outlets for poetry. Way Station books, the Creole...more
    - [stargrazer]
  • there are several places in ann arbor as well for spoken word/poetry such as cra...more
    - [pax]
  • kristin, i don't know if you are ever in Ann Arbor, but i figured out some of th...more
    - [pax]
  • Thanks, Julia. I'm not in the area too often, but hey, I can make some trips ov...more
    - [flower]
  • How about an outside circle poetry slam? Or a "progressive" on-line poem?
    - [stargrazer]

  read more (7 total)

Irreversible

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“Irreversible” can be appreciated on two distinct levels.  First, the extraordinary account of a subject normally considered taboo:  rape.  Noe displays the events in reverse order, providing the viewers with an in your face, raw and graphic representation of life.  Secondly, the camera work is phenomenal.  The use of different views adds to the feelings of chaos and lack of control.  If you can’t appreciate the story line, you can at least appreciate his filming technique. 

*Side note:  entire film is in French with subtitles.  It was recently playing @ Royal Oak's Main Art Theatre.

http://www.irreversiblethemovie.com/

http://www.landmarktheatres.com/Market/Detroit/MainArtTheatre.htm



Arts - Movies and Film  

discussion

  • This film grabs you by the throat and takes you on a vengeful downward spiral o...more
    - [ducks]
  • i have read VERY mixed reviews on this movie. some people say that it is a "vis...more
    - [ben]
  • Ben, if you get a chance to see it, do. the two scenes that are they are referri...more
    - [ducks]

  read more (3 total)