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Slam Poetry’s Blue Collar Roots And Growing Popularity


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In clubs and coffee shops across the area, local poets take the stage in what’s become a growing art form … spoken word poetry. These poets compete in what’s called Poetry Slams. Winter Park poet Curtis Myer organizes the S.A.F.E.! Words! Poetry! Slam! at the Milk Bar downtown.

“I’m very proud and in awe of the bottomless pit of talent in Orlando,” Meyer tells Intersection.

“Not just spoken word poets, MCs, musicians, beat boxers,” he says.

Meyer explains how Slam poetry got its start in a Chicago bar in the ’80s.

“The uptown poetry slam in 1986 was a stupid bar game,” he says.

“But there’s something very romantic about this thing this guy created to fill time, to get customers into a bar in Chicago, now is spread all around the world.”

Spoken word locations in Orlando include Dandelion Communitea Cafe and The Milk Bar.


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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

A recent transplant to the Sunshine State, Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of ... Read Full Bio »

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