On September 6, 2011 Albany Poets, Urban Guerilla Theatre, and the Frequency North Reading Series teamed up for the first Nitty Gritty Slam at Valentines. The show started with an open mic hosted by Mojavi with poets Poetyc Vyzonz, Stephen Leslie, Elizag, Michelle Bula, Bless, and Dan Rain all sharing their work. Then slammaster Dain Brammage took the mic and the (8-4-2) slam began with Algorhythm, Jessica Layton, Tammy Lopez, Emily Epstein, Shannon Shoemaker, Kevein Peterson, Dan Wilcox, and Illiptical. Veteran poet Miriam Axel-Lute acted as the “sacrificial poet” for the evening to get the judges warmed up. In the end, after all three rounds, Tammy Lopez came out on top with Shannon Shoemaker coming in second and Algorhythm taking third.[audio:https://hvwg.org/audio/sounds/NGS1Sept62011.mp3|animation=yes]
Dan Wilcox wrote up a detailed rundown of the first Nitty Gritty Slam over at his blog. All of the scores from the three rounds can be found here.