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Slamma Jamma

By Margaret Hicks in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 11, 2006 2:41PM

Slam.jpgWe haven’t been to the Green Mill in ages. Not because we don’t like the Green Mill, but because at this late stage in our life-game, we cannot bear to stand in line, to stand inside a club, full of people standing. Also, Sunday night is show tunes night at Sidetrack, and we can usually snag a seat when someone gets up to sing “I’m Still Here”

The thing we miss most at the Green Mill however, is the Poetry Slam on Sunday nights.

But on Wednesday, you can catch Marc Kelly Smith, Father of Slam Poetry, discussing the “How and Why of the International Poetry Slam Movement”. And since it's poetry month, and not show tunes month, (do they have that? They should have that!), we’ll be sure to check it out.

Marc Kelly Smith was born and raised in Chicago; he started a poetry reading at The Get Me High Club in 1985. It was his addition and emphasis of the performance aspect of poetry that changed the medium from uncool to cool. In 1986 Smith approached the owner of the Green Mill with his “Uptown Poetry Slam”, and boom, history was made, and is still being made 20 years later.

If you are interested in slamming yourself (we know, we know, sounds dirty) or want more information, Kelly has also co-written the "Complete Idiot’s Guide to Slam Poetry" (do they have that for show tunes? They should have that!). The show’s basic structure of an open mic, guest performers and competition still works today and is completely entertaining, as long as you can get in the door.

You can see Marc Kelly Smith at The Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln, Wed. April 12 at 7:00PM. (773) 293-2665.