Friendswood Junior High students experience poetry through 'slam'
To wrap up National Poetry Month, the seventh-grade Language Arts teachers at Friendswood Junior High hosted the inaugural “Poetry Slam.”
Students converted their classrooms into poetry cafes and invited other students, faculty and staff, and parents to stop in for some coffee and poetry.
Many students performed original works of poetry while their classmates acted as servers, emcees or stage managers. Many poets had musical accompaniment.
In the mid-1980s, a Chicago construction worker named Marc Smith, along with several other friends, put on a competitive poetry reading judged by the audience and called it a “poetry slam.”
Poems that do well at slams tend to be those audiences can "get" after hearing them only once. Usually in a poetry slam, the better-scoring poets move on and the others are told to sit down and become part of what Walt Whitman called "the great audience great poetry requires."
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