More than 400 poets from all over the United States will spend this week in Decatur, competing in the National Poetry Slam, which is being hosted in Georgia for the first time.
Poets in San Francisco hosted the first National Poetry Slam competition in 1990.
Host city coordinator Daryl Funn won a bid to host the competition in his native city of Decatur in 2013.
“The National Poetry Slam is like the world’s biggest poetry battle. There’s nothing bigger than this one,” Funn said. “About 400 poets, 72 teams, spanned over six days. For the first time, bringing it to Georgia, is like the opportunity of a lifetime.”
In addition to slam poetry battles, the event will include workshops, open readings, hip-hop and haiku competitions, an American Sign Language cabaret showcase and a Nerd Slam.
“Nerd Slam is this amazing thing where nerds of all kinds get to pick their area of expertise and they can go head to head in a bracket-style form to see who is the champion nerd and in between there, nerd poems are performed,” Funn explained.
Winning the bid guarantees Decatur will be the host city every five years going forward. Funn has been competing since 2008 and is called a Slam Master or poetry teacher.
“I’ve seen it done so many different ways and I get to welcome all of my friends who I’ve known for so long, and they get to see how wonderful an experience it can be coming to Decatur and Georgia,” Funn said.
The top four teams will compete for the national title at the Sidney Marcus Auditorium of the Georgia World Congress Center on Saturday, August 6 at 8 p.m.
For more information about the National Poetry Slam competition in Decatur, watch the trailer here. The trailer contains some explicit language.
Funn will provided an update on the National Poetry Slam on “City Lights.”