Best Of Chicago

Best Poetry Slams In Chicago

October 5, 2010 8:21 PM

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credit:  Spencer Platt/Getty Images

credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

1675264 Best Poetry Slams In Chicago

credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Chicago is home to many different poetry hot spots. Any day of the week there’s somewhere to go for a poetry fix. Here’s a list of some of the best poetry slams in the city.

Green Mill

4802 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 878-5552
www.greenmilljazz.com

In 1985 a construction worker and poet named Marc Smith started a poetry reading series at a Chicago jazz club looking for a way to breathe life into the open mike poetry format. The series’ emphasis on performance laid the groundwork for a style poetry and performance which would eventually be spread across the world. In 1986 Smith approached Dave Jemilo, the owner of the Green Mill (a Chicago jazz club and former haunt of Al Capone), with a plan to host a weekly poetry cabaret on the club’s slow Sunday nights. Jemilo welcomed him, and on July 25, the Uptown Poetry Slam was born. The Green Mill evolved into the Mecca for performance poets, and the Uptown Poetry Slam still continues 18 years after its inception.

Spoken Word Café

4655 S King Drive
Chicago, IL 60653
(773) 373-2233

The Hideout

1354 W Wabansia Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 227-4433
www.hideoutchicago.com

Backstory Café

6100 S Blackstone Ave
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 324-9987
backstorycafe.com

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