Thom Francis at NGS #20

Thom’s 10 Things… The Other Poetry Slams Going to NPS, Part 2

Thom Francis at NGS #20

In the last Thom’s 10 Things… I began running down the list of the other slam teams that will be competing at the National Poetry Slam with Team Nitty Gritty. This time around I am picking it up with teams 11 – 20. Some of these teams do not have much information readily available on the internet, but I was able to find some videos of all of the venues this time around.

Sit back and enjoy the ride as I introduce to you ten more teams vying to the big prizes at Nationals in a little over a month in Charlotte.

11. Eclectic Truth , Baton Rouge, LA

Slam Master: Jocelyn Young

The only things that I can find out about this slam is that it happens at the M Bar on the first Monday of every month. Sadly, there does not seem to be too much of a web presence for this slam series.


12. FlagSlam, Flagstaff, AZ

Slam Master: Ryan Brown

Open Mic & Poetry Slam every 2nd and 4th Wednesday (except where some holidays get in the way) of the month starting at 8:00pm. (Signup at 7:30pm). This all takes place at Campus Coffee Bean, 1800 S Milton Rd Unit 24, Flagstaff, AZ 86001


13. Da Poetry Lounge, Hollywood, CA

Slam Master: Shihan Van Clief

The year was 1997. Dante Basco, a successful actor/dancer/poet, began a weekly gathering known then as, Dante’s Poetry Lounge. As with most start up events, it was Dante and a group of his friends. Some nights they were in his living room, other times, at Bistro 829. In 1998, Dante brought on Shihan, DJ Brutha Gimel and Poetri, who, together are the Founders of what is now known nationally, as Da Poetry Lounge. Poetri and Shihan were the weekly hosts, while DJ Brutha Gimel spun records in between poets. Over the next few years, DPL would take residence in several venues around LA; Pan Am Sandwich Shop, Zoo Theatre and Cabaret Café, before making The Greenway Court Theatre home in 2000.

DPL has always been a creative, inspiring space, open to all who are courageous enough to share their stories or willing to support others, as they do. Twelve years later, we are strong as ever, with DJ Brutha Gimel, Shihan, and Natalie Patterson producing, what has become, the largest, weekly open-mic, in Hollywoods history. Although the faces and the venues have changed, (more than a few times), our purpose is the same: To create a space for people to be heard.


14. Puro Slam, San Antonio, TX

Slam Master: Jason Shaggy Gossard

PuroSlam is the only nationally certified poetry slam operating in San Antonio, Texas, USA. Started in 1999 by Benjamin Ortiz, PuroSlam has earned a national reputation as one of the toughest, roughest, rowdiest poetry slams in the United States, bringing the exciting world of performance poetry to South Texas on a weekly basis. “I’m excited about San Antonio,” says Boston poet Dawn Gabriel in a 2006 article in the San Antonio Current, “because they have a reputation for being the meanest Slam poets around.

Finally, after bouncing around from venue to venue for almost two years, PuroSlam found a home at Sam’s Burger Joint [4], the punk rock club in San Antonio. Thanks once again to the hard work and slam passion of the legendary Hollis, Sam’s welcomed PuroSlam with open arms and since March 2001, the two entities have worked together to bring poetry to an average of 120 slam fans a week. During a 128-week span starting in December 2002 and ending during a San Antonio Spurs NBA Finals game in 2005, PuroSlam attracted over 100 paid fans each and every week, including a seven-week span in the summer of 2004 when over 200 people walked through its glass doors every Tuesday. This streak saw a record-high 318 guests for Survivor Slam III in December ’03, and a record low 47 on that humid June night in 2005 when the San Antonio Spurs were dismantling the Detroit Pistons en route to their third NBA title. In fact, the three lowest nights in PuroSlam attendance history all occurred in June on nights when the Spurs were competing for NBA titles.


15. Neo-Soul, Austin, TX

Slam Master: Brian Francis

Every Thursday at 11th Street Station Restaurant and Bar, 1050 E. 11th Street, Austin, TX 78702 – 9 PM to Midnight


16. Austin Poetry Slam, Austin, TX

Slam Master: Danny Strack

The Austin Poetry Slam is a weekly event held every Tuesday at 29th Street Ballroom at Spiderhouse that showcases 12 amazing and original spoken-word artists in a no holds barred, raucous, energized competition. That’s right: we assign scores to art!


17. SF Bay Area Unified, San Francisco, CA

Slam Master: RaMona Webb


18. Bama Slam, Montevallo, AL

Slam Master: Kirk Hardesty


19. Slam Free or Die, Manchester, NH

Slam Master: Mark Palos

here is great article about the slam in Manchester by New Hampshire Public Radio –

Slam Free or Die presented by Russian Roulette Productions at Milly’s Tavern in Manchester, NH. This open mic poetry night is every Thursday from 7-11pm and there is a $3 cover. Each week, there is an open mic, and some weeks will offer featured poets and poetry slam competitions. Milly’s Tavern (500 Commercial St) is located next to Arms Park. The show is all-ages and there is plenty of free parking! Please use the entrance on the side of the building facing the river. Come on down, recite poetry, tell stories, do free-verse, whatever! The first rule is… there are no rules…


20. Boise Poetry Slam, Boise, ID

Slam Master: Cheryl Maddalena

Boise Poetry Slam is an umbrella for two Boise shows, Poetry Slam Delux (21+) and Slam of Steel (all ages).

Poetry Slam Delux, Third Mondays (8 PM) at Neurolux, 113 N. 11th St., Boise ID 83702

Slam of Steel, First and Third Wednesdays (workshop at 6, slam at 7), Woman of Steel Gallery, 3640 W Chinden Blvd, Boise, ID 83714

Join me next time when I will go through teams 21 – 30 from the official list of from Poetry Slam, Inc. including the Lawn Gnome Poetry Slam from Phoenix, White Plains Library Slam, Salt City Slam, Vancouver Poetry Slam, and the Beltway Poetry Slam from D.C.