Upcoming slam Dates:*dates are 3rd Saturdays
About the Poetry Slam:
The Jambalaya Soul Slam was started in 2002 by Dasan Ahanu and Ray Gorham. It moved to the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham in 2005 and has been supported by the St. Joseph's Historic Foundation ever since. Each month the slam brings together the best poets in the area to compete for a cash prize and an invitation to Grand Slam Finals where the Bull City Slam Team (BCST) is picked. The Jambalaya Soul Slam also features some of the best poets from across the country each month. In 2009, the organizers of the slam hosted the Southern Fried Southeastern Regional Poetry Slam in Durham, NC. It is the largest regional competition in the country. The Jambalaya Soul Slam has been highlighted in the News & Observer, Herald Sun, and other media as one of the area's most successful arts programs.
About the Bull City Slam Team:
The Bull City Slam Team (BCST) is the Triangle's regional and national competing poetry slam team. They are selected through the Jambalaya Soul Slam, a monthly poetry slam series that is a part of poetry programming at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham. The BCST is supported by the St. Joseph's Historic Foundation.
The BCST has represented the Triangle in regional and national competition for 7 years now. The BCST finished second in regional competition in 2009 and won a regional championship in 2010. The team finished 3rd in national competition in 2010 while making final stage for the first time and 2nd in Group Piece Finals in 2012 at the National Poetry Slam. It's team members have won regional individual championships and have ranked as high as 10th at the Individual World Poetry Slam. The BCST values being part of a rich tradition of performance poetry in North Carolina.
BCST members participate in creative writing and performance programming at the Hayti Heritage Center throughout the year. As representatives of the foundation, the BCST helps facilitate workshops, host cultural arts events, and coordinate community programs with local partners. One of the goals of both the slam and the team is to not only be a representative of the community but also an active participant in the community.
What is a Poetry Slam?
I am glad you asked. Slam is a form of performance poetry that follows very specific rules in its delivery. Poets are given three minutes to step up to the microphone and perform one original poem of their own construction. No props, costumes, or outside accompaniment are allowed. After the poem is finished, it is given a numerical score between zero and ten by a panel of five judges who have been selected from the audience.Poetry Slams are interactive events and the audience plays an important role in the process. Slam is about the idea that the opinion of everyone about a poem is a valid opinion. One of the goals of a poetry slam is to challenge the authority of anyone who claims absolute authority over literary value. No poet is beyond critique, as everyone is dependent upon the goodwill of the audience.