Nov 10th, 2015, 05:54 PM

Slamming in the City of Lights

By Melissa Monique Halabe
Image Credit: Michelle Tribe/Flickr
The competition that is spreading like wildfire has come to Paris.

Slam poetry is a competitive form of performance poetry that came into popularity in the 80s and 90s across American cities like San Francisco and New York. As contestants and listeners trickle into dark cafés and bars buzzing with excitement, five judges are chosen at random from the audience, poets sign up to perform original work, and the night begins. Slam poetry is usually delivered with a lot of emotion, intensity, and sometimes even humor. Contestants have three minutes to perform.

Darius Simpson & Scout Bostley - "Lost Voices" (CUPSI 2015)

Video Credit: Button Poetry/Youtube

Paris Lit Up (PLU), a non-profit organization aimed at enriching the City of Light with art, brings together a community of Anglophones and Francophones every Thursday. Not only does the organization host open mic events, but it has also begun a slam poetry competition for Anglophones in Paris. 

Every six weeks, PLU brings slam poetry to their weekly venue, Culture Rapide, in Belleville. Even if you don't feel ready to compete on stage or haven't written any poetry, it may be worth a listen. The next slam contest will be held on May 19 at 8 pm.

Culture Rapide
103 Rue Julien Lacroix
Paris 75020

Image Credit: EF Fotography/Flickr

If you can't wait, slam poetry can be found every Monday at the Downtown Café. This venue offers a weekly dose of much needed spoken word for French speakers and internationals, as well as in other languages. "Slam au Downtown" starts at 8 pm and goes until midnight.

Downtown Café
46 Rue Jean Pierre Timbaud
Paris 75011