Slam Works


Who We Are

Chicago Slam Works (CSW) is rooted in the Poetry Slam movement, which began in Chicago as a highly entertaining, interactive, innovative poetic experience and spread around the world to become a major force in stirring the minds of students, scholars, and everyday people. The founding members of CSW are pillars of the international movement and the organizational force behind dozens of major poetic events in and around Chicago - as well as the world. Past projects include

Poets for a Sister City Awards

A series of city-wide contests sending Chicago poets to Osaka, Prague, Mexico City, and Ghana. Three National Poetry Slam Championships Staged in Chicago at the Metro Cabaret (1990), Chicago Theater (1999), and Skyline Stage (2003), these four-day performance poetry events played to the largest poetry audiences in Chicago and Midwestern history. "60 Minutes" documented the 1999 NPS which had audiences spilling out of seven venues running simultaneous shows nightly throughout the Wicker Park Arts area.

The Poetry Hot Dog Cart

At Chicago's 2006 "Stirring Things Up Festival," an interactive poetry experience that captured the hearts and minds of summer visitors to the Millennium Park "Bean."

Slam Dunk Poetry Day

At the Field Museum - a day-long Chicago event blending the art of poetry with the sport of basketball.

The Biker Slam

At Chicago's Field Museum - a performance in conjunction with the "Guggenheim Art of the Motorcycle" event. The Summer Solstice Poetry Slams At the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Haiku Challenge with City Chase 2009 Chicago Slam Works added a literary challenge to the City Chase Worldwide competitive series by challenging players to write a haiku capturing an aspect of Chicago