An incomplete history of Slam Poetry

The numbers of venues in various states are taken from Slam, theinternational performance poetry newsletter, publishedin Medford, Massachusetts. For info specific to the reference here, see volume 1,no. 6; printed December 1993.

In general, Slam in print was a good authority on the annualslamming activities in North America. It was publishedquarterly by Michael Brown, Patricia Smith, and Tim Mason, when they allhailed from Massachusetts. It contained listings for poetry venues with regular slam and reading schedules, arranged by state or province, and offerred contact info for individual slam poets and MCs.

There have been several other zines, newsletters, and even regionalpoetry broadsides which announced the events of the day. The most notableinclude:

The Connecticut Poet
Published by Faith Vicinanza, this newsletter announced many of the events leading up to, and including, the 1997 Connecticut National Slams

Toronto's regular poetry and literary arts newsletter which continues tosurvive and grow, published by Insomniac Press, and edited by Mike O'Connor. Toronto has not always received slam poetry with open arms, but performance poetry without competition, and poetry recitals are embraced throughout the city.

Next: a guide to southern California poetry events
Next survived until October 1998 as a free monthly in the Los Angelesand Orange County, California area. Since the editorial content coverednot only regionally significant poets but also poets of national calibre,Next enjoyed a circulation well beyond greater Los Angeles. It survives todayas an online zine and calendar.

copyright (c) 1999 Kurt Heintz