Poetry Slams

Poetry, the ages-old craft of rendering humankind's loftiest ideals and most meaningful experiences into beautiful and memorable language, met its red-haired cousin in the '90s. Listening to amateur poetry at loud volumes in a coffeehouse was like eating dinner made by a 6-year old: The enthusiasm was there, so were the good intentions, the kid seemed impressed by what he or she had put together, but, man, what a mess. Would-be stand up comics or folks who didn't get picked to air their grievances on Ricki Lake could just break their thoughts up into random lines, throw on a ringer t-shirt, and shout their words with gusto into a crowd anxiously awaiting their turn to do the same.

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