Wednesday, February 17, 2016

New Poetry Slam League Attempts To Trick Americans Into Reading

A new national poetry slam league has been formed with the intent of raising awareness of the written and spoken word according to a statement released by Dr. Henry Wolfsburg, editor of The Journal of Outsider Poetry and commissioner of The Outsider Poetry Slam League of America. Seven teams so far have been awarded franchises in the fledgling league, including The Paducah Plain Speakers, The Chemung Shamans, The Rancho Cucamonga Kookamungas, The Kokomo Oralists, The Sheboygan Syllablists, The Podunk Polemicists, and The Minooka Meter Maids. The league eventually hoped to expand to eight regional divisions divided into conferences of four teams each, much like the NFL, says commissioner Wolfsburg.

Slam poetry is a form of spoken word presentation created by Chicago poet Marc Smith in 1986 to help revitalize a lifeless poetry scene in the Windy City. Slams were first held on Sunday nights at the Get Me High Jazz club in Chicago, but eventually moved to the Green Mill when it became more popular. During a slam performance, the poet is encouraged to gesticulate, speak louder, overemphasize accents in unexpected places, and rely more on the power of style and personality than the written word itself. The first National Poetry Slam Championship was held in 1990 because everything eventually becomes a competition approximating war in America, with the Chicago team beating a San Francisco team and a New York contingent of one poet in the city of San Francisco.

The Outsider Poetry Slam League of America will similarly encourage competition, boisterous braggadocio, trash talking, and a general atmosphere of contempt and undeserved condescension towards one's opponents. "But it's all in fun" insists Erica Lowe, team captain of the Minooka Meter Maids. "We can't get away with statutory rape or trashing hotel rooms like musicians," the diminuative but oddly dominant Lowe smirked, "but damn sure can get our licks in, so to speak."

Competition in the Outsider Poetry Slam League of America will begin in May. 

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