Slam poetry may have disappeared from mainstream pop culture since the 1990s, but it’s still going on. In fact, one of the biggest poetry events in the South is coming to Knoxville soon. The Southern Fried Poetry Slam is hosting its 18th annual regional slam here in early June, with events scattered throughout the Old City, the 100 block of Gay Street, and Fort Sanders, scheduled for June 2-5.
The Asheville-based Southern Fried hosts a regional slam contest, one of the largest in the country, somewhere in the South every year. Knoxville last hosted the Southern Fried slam in 2000. The local organizers are Black Sunshine Arts-N-Entertainment, who have hosted Knoxville’s regular poetry slam for the last eight years.
Preliminary rounds of the contest will be held at Remedy Coffee, Old City Java, the Emporium Center, and Knoxville Pearl. The finals, on June 5, will be held at the ballroom at the Civic Auditorium, with a post-slam concert by local R&B ensemble Aftah Party at the Hill in Fort Sanders scheduled to conclude the festivities that night. Visit the Southern Fried Poetry Slam website for more information.