Did You Say ‘Slam Poetry’?!

Did You Say ‘Slam Poetry’?!

Natalie Wilson, Features Editor

Yes, poetry is for somewhat emotionally-challenged nerds who lovingly embrace said characteristics, but what is slam poetry? What could even be so “slam’ about it? When we talk about poetry, we think of melodic rhymes and tear-jerking metaphors, but slam poetry is packed with hardcore, straight-up feelings structured in a way that one can present to an audience and cause them to become haters because it is so amazing.


Throw away stellar vocabulary and rules of rhyme scheme, because if poetry is going to be slammed, the message should consist of understandable phrases pieced together in a way that emphasis is put on the theme being display. The tone and pitch should increasingly get angrier, more solitary or whichever emotion the piece revolves around. The best slammers have mastered the art of making listeners feel anything and everything from crying for no personal reason to longing to “rage against the man”. It does not take a professional to bring on “the feels”. A proud slammer walks the halls of our school, going by Anna Grace Brown during school hours, and “Hey you, that was soooo awesome!” during chic coffee shop slams. Upon uncovering her two identities, investigation on how she got into slam poetry and what it means to her ensued.


How did you hear about slam poetry?

BROWN: Well, my older sister knew that I had an interest in poetry, so when she came across slams on the internet at the beginning of the summer, she showed them to me, thinking that I might be interested. From that moment, slam poetry has captured me with its intensity and emotions. For me, the most inspiring writers that I’ve seen are Sarah Kay and her partner Phil Kaye. Their team slams drive home so many emotions for me; it’s truly unlike anything you’d expect from poetry.


Would you say you aspire to be like Kay and Kaye?

Oh, most definitely. Their content and delivery influence so much of my writing today.


Do you remember what your first slam poem was like?

Oh goodness…It was probably really embarrassing! The first one that I remember being proud of would be a Valentine’s Day poem for my best friend. Writing that just seems so long ago…it was pretty slammin’ though, get it?


Now that you write regularly, what three words would you pick to describe your poems?

Real, relatable, and definitely in progress. I’m far from being a professional right now, but I’m working hard to get there. Even I can see a lot of improvement and growing maturity in my style and word choice, especially.


What’s your favorite part about a slam?

I really love the welcoming vibes you pick up from the moment you walk in. Everyone there just shares that same creativity and lifestyle, and it’s so much fun to hear all the different poems, especially the differences in two poems from one artist.


So why should students get involved with the slams here in our journalism program?

I would totally recommend getting involved with slam poetry if you’re an artsy person, or even if you just have an interest in public speaking or writing! It’s a blast sharing your work, and there’s no better feeling than the applause that come after. Also, sharing time with your friends is a big part of slams, and even if you go solo, you get to meet so many new people on a different level than if you just meet-up through school or on the street.


Do not be afraid to share your work! If you have an interest in participating in a slam, Mrs. Rose is hosting a new club called HeartSlam here at North Forsyth. Heart Slam will be meeting every Thursday morning at 7:45 a.m. in Room 303. We have several fun events tied in with community service coming up, and we would love to have your participation.