The 10th annual National Poetry Slam runs August 11 through 14. Preliminary and semifinal bouts take place Wednesday-Friday evenings (three per night) at the following Wicker Park venues: the Guild Complex at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, 773-296-1268, ext. 26; the Subterranean Cafe & Cabaret, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600; the Note, 1565 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-0011; Phyllis' Musical Inn, 1800 W. Division, 773-486-9862; and Roby's, 1944 W. Division, 773-252-9250. The championship final takes place Saturday at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, 312-559-1212. Admission to preliminary bouts on Wednesday and Thursday is $5 at the door; tickets for Friday's semifinals are $10 at the door; tickets for Saturday's final are $18, and can be purchased at the Chicago Theatre box office in advance or the night of the show. Four-day, all-event passes are $30 and are available at ticketweb.com or by calling 312-726-4849. Additional free daytime and late-night events take place at other venues as shown in the listings below (which may be subject to change); in addition, Sheila's Slam Museum, 2850 W. Fullerton, is open daily August 11 through 14 from 11 AM to 5 PM, displaying memorabilia documenting the history of the Poetry Slam. General information on the National Poetry Slam is available at www.poetryslam.com or by calling 708-848-8007.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11
National Poetry Slam
Marc Smith hosts poetry teams from around the country; each team will greet Chicago with a one-minute group performance. The event features a Poet's Confessional and Poetic Portraiture. Chicago Cultural Center, Randolph Cafe, 78 E. Washington, first floor (enter at 77 E. Randolph), 312-744-6630, 2 to 4 PM.
The first bouts of Wednesday's preliminaries start at 7 PM at the Chopin, the Subterranean, and the Note. Bouts 2 and 3 start at 8:30 and 10 PM at the Chopin, the Subterranean, the Note, and Phyllis' Musical Inn.
Six Deadly Sins Reading
Gregorio Gomez and Mario host this late-night event. Subterranean, midnight.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 12
Performance Poetry Panel
The Oyez Review sponsors a discussion; participants include Marc Smith, Jeff Helgeson, Reggie Gibson, Taylor Mali, Lisa Martinovich, and Guy LeCharles Gonzalez. Roosevelt University, second-floor lounge, 430 S. Michigan, noon to 1 PM.
John Biederman hosts a limerick competition. Subterranean, noon to 1:30 PM.
Hiss! The All-Female Open Mike Jude Baker and Lola Huston host this showcase of women poets. Mad Bar, 1640 N. Damen, 773-227-2277, noon to 2:15 PM.
This open mike features Latin-American poets. Subterranean, 1:30 to 3 PM.
This showcase of national talent features Michael Brown, Bill MacMillan, and Deb Marsh. Sheila's Slam Museum, 1:30 to 3:30 PM.
The Annoying Poetry Show
Thax Douglas and Tina Howell host an open mike. Mad Bar, 1640 N. Damen, 773-227-2277, 2:30 to 3:30 PM.
David Kodeski's True Life Tales: Another Lousy Day
Monologuist David Kodeski's one-man show is inspired by journals and scrapbooks recording a local woman's daily life in the early 1960s. The program also features a performance by Edward Thomas-Herrera. Sheila's Slam Museum, 2:30 PM.
Fifth Wheel Slam
This event features coaches and alternate members from visiting slam teams; Michael Salinger hosts. Subterranean, 3 to 4:30 PM.
Hip-hop Open Mike
Anacron hosts. Mad Bar, 1640 N. Damen, 773-227-2277, 3:30 to 6 PM.
Open Poetry Jam
This event features music by the Tyson Bennett Trio. Sheila's Slam Museum,
The first bouts of Thursday's preliminaries start at 7 PM at Roby's, the Chopin, the Subterranean, and Phyllis'. Bouts 2 and 3 start at 8:30 and 10 PM at the Chopin, the Subterranean, Phyllis', and the Note.
Cass King hosts. Subterranean, midnight.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 13
Monica Copeland hosts an open mike featuring African-American poets. Subterranean, noon to 1:30 PM.
Grunt! The All-Male Open Mike
John Biederman and David Rubin host. Mad Bar, 1640 N. Damen, 773-227-2277, noon to 2:30 PM.
Sports Poetry Reading
Bob Chico hosts this outdoor event. Wicker Park softball field, intersection of Damen and Wicker Park Ave., 1 to 2:30 PM.
Brenda Moosey hosts a competitive slam in which participants may use props. Subterranean, 1:30 to 3 PM.
Featured artists include Kim Holzer and Jim Nave. Sheila's Slam Museum, 1:30 to 3:30 PM.
Gay and Lesbian Showcase
Lisa Hemminger and Noam Paco-Gaster host. Mad Bar, 1640 N. Damen, 773-227-2277, 2:30 to 4 PM.
Open Poetry Jam
This event features music by the Tyson Bennett Trio. Sheila's Slam Museum, 2:30 PM.
Henry Sampson and Alison Durazi host an open mike in which performers read poems written by other people. Subterranean, 3 to 4:30 PM.
The Box o' Doom
This poetry grab bag is hosted by Maria McCray and Noam Paco-Gaster. The "box o' doom" is stuffed with "really bad 80s song lyrics and horrible love poems," a Poetry Slam spokesperson advises. Mad Bar, 1640 N. Damen, 773-227-2277, 4 to 6 PM.
Bouts 1 and 2
The first two bouts of Friday's semifinals start at 7 and 8:30 PM at the Chopin, the Subterranean, and the Note. Bout 3 starts at 10 PM at the Note; this event features individual performers rather than teams.
Mario hosts this spoken-word event. Chopin, 10:30 PM.
Seventh Deadly Sin
Reggie Gibson and Krystal Ashe host an erotically oriented spoken-word program. Subterranean, midnight.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 14
Dennis Kim hosts. Subterranean, noon to 1:30 PM.
Daniel Ferri hosts. Subterranean, 1:30 to 3 PM.
Featured artists for this program include Patricia Smith, Cin Salach, and Michael Salinger. Sheila's Slam Museum, 1:30 to 3:30 PM.
Doody! The All-American Scatology Open Mike
No shit. Daphne Gottlieb hosts. Mad Bar, 1640 N. Damen, 773-227-2277, 2:15 to 3:15 PM.
The Sex Show
Evert Eden hosts. Sheila's Slam Museum, 3 PM.
Taylor Mali hosts. Subterranean, 3 to 4:30 PM.
Jedi Masters Slam
Shappy and Shag host a program of Star Wars-themed poetry. Expect a great disturbance in the Force. Mad Bar, 1640 N. Damen, 773-227-2277, 4 to 6 PM.
Poetry Slam Final
Competing for $5,000 in prize money, the remaining contenders face off on the sprawling stage of the ornate Chicago Theatre. 7 PM.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Dan Machnik.