Slam poetry began in Chicago’s speakeasy scene at the Green Mill lounge, by Marc Kelly Smith in the year 1986. The poetry slam and the accompanying “competition” was a catalyst for modern performance poetry – a major force in stirring the minds of students, scholars and everyday folks. While it seems simple, the act of putting equal emphasis on both the performance and content of a poem began a new, interactive art form that has since spread around the world and has even been called the most important literary movement of the last 100 years.
Poets with Class’s teaching and touring artists boasts some of Chicago’s most accomplished writers and performers, all of whom have extensive backgrounds in theater, poetry, and education.
The Poetry Center of Chicago is an independent not-for-profit, 501c3 arts organization founded in 1974.