The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the mouth's got them both beat in this exciting look at the latest in literary blood sport: the poetry slam. At the intersection of spoken-word performance, revival-meeting evangelism, troubadour poetry and
stand-up comedy lies the arena of the "slam," an organized contest in which poets compete against one another for points in front of a panel of judges selected from the audience. The Super Bowl of verbal derring-do is the annual National Poetry Slam, in which competing four-poet teams from various
North American cities assemble for four days of preliminaries, semifinals, and a climatic final slam in which the two top-r...