“The points are not the point, the point is poetry”
Nili Koffler (Ellen Potless) and Arik Eber – “Spoken word is the art that is used in Poetry Slam competitions. These are evenings where eight poets walk up to the stage and tell the world what is in their hearts. It is usually rhythmic and rhymed poetry that can be humorous, can be deeply sad, can be basically anything but no props or music allowed.
There are two rounds in the competition. The four poets who get the highest points from the audience advance to the second round. The one who wins the last round receives the golden mic and the right to say the “last words”, and then reads another poem.
Poetry Slam was invented in Chicago in1984 by a construction worker named Marc Smith. Four years ago, together with the spoken word artist Pedro Grass, and with great help from the Jerusalemite Incubator Theater, we created Poetry Slam Israel. It grew quite fast and became a real hit. The last event, the Grand Slam, where the 2015 best poet was crowned, took place in the famous ‘Barby’ club in TelAviv. The tickets were sold out two weeks in advance, and we had over 700 people in the crowd!
Yet, as we announce loudly in every evening – the points are not the point.
The point is poetry. Poetry slam is indeed a poetry competition, but one that does not take itself too seriously. We are here to bestow and to consume good art, and to have fun.