An incomplete history of Slam Poetry

An agreement in agenda: NeoFuturists and SlammersThe connection between the NeoFuturists and the Slammers is not coincidental. They share a common urge for brevity.

Slam competition rules frequently, specifically state that a poem must not exceed three minutes in performance. This mandates a "cut-to-the-chase" attitude with the poem. It keeps the text and action short and to the point, generally free from the so-called flowery prose which the public appears to dislike.

The NeoFuturists predicate their performance on one credo: "Thirty plays in sixty minutes." An even shorter deadline per piece applies. While the NeoFuturists have license to use theatrical technique, and sometimes abandon language altogether, brevity is no less an issue.

NeoFuturists have often watched, if not actually participated in, theUptown Poetry Slam as students of compact performance. Those slammers whoare also NeoFuturists have often taken their poems for the slam andperformed them as dramatic monolog, as a short play in "Too MuchLight Makes the Baby Go Blind." The complement is true ofNeoFuturists not ordinarily given to poetry slamming who've taken performances written originally for their stage and performed them at theGreen Mill.

copyright (c) 1996 Kurt Heintz