Slam Nation: The Sport of the Spoken WordDirector: Paul Devlin
The phenomenon of the poetry slam originated in Chicago in the 1980s, where young writers would perform their verses in competitive form at bars and coffeehouses before a live audience. Poets would be given three minutes to perform a piece they wrote themselves, and a panel of judges (chosen at random from the audience) would rate the poets and their delivery on a scale of one to ten. As spoken word performance gained a new popularity in the '90s, the poetry slam began to spread nationwide, and soon four-member slam teams from different cities were competing against each other around the U.S. Slam Nation: The Sport of the Spoken Word is a documentary shot at the 1996 National Poetry Slam in Portland, Oregon, in which groups of young performers from across the country compete with their streetwise, aggressively-performed verses in front of an enthusiastic audience. Director Paul Devlin, who has also directed sports programming for ESPN, focuses on the competitive nature of the performances onstage, and their more contemplative and philosophical sides offstage. One of the featured performers, Saul Williams, also starred in a dramatic feature about the poetry slam movement, Slam.
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Cast & Crew
1. Opening Montage [:59]
12. Representing New York City [:59]
15. Day One [1:04]
16. New York City vs. Seattle vs. Mesa [1:27]
22. Team Providence [:16]
28. Providence vs. San Francisco vs. Berwyn [:25]
33. Boston vs. Austin vs. Cleveland [1:00]
39. Day Two [1:55]
40. New York City vs. Connecticut vs. Worcester [:06]
41. The Published Debt [:41]
46. Providence vs. Vancouver vs. Long Beach [:28]
52. Origins of the Slam [:43]
56. Gotta Go To Work [1:31]
60. Poet Softball [2:00]
61. Berwyn vs. Vancouver vs. Seattle [:05]
64. Democratization of Art [:31]
67. New York City vs. Boston vs. Athens [:42]
75. Slam Masters Meeting [3:30]
76. Finals [1:47]
89. End Credits [2:48]
Play in Expanded Mode
The Fixed Order Controversy
Phoenix and San Francisco
Jim Navé's Slam Analogy
Mums Da Schemer's Bronx Tour
Unexcerpted Poems From SlamNation
Andrew Berger: "Funky Clown Town"
Corey Cokes: "Beneath The Surface"
Brian Comiskey: "Beats"
Mums Da Schemer: "Truth"
Mums Da Schemer: "Roach Motels"
Mums Da Schemer: "Mental Lapses"
Gayle Danley: "I Want To Die Like Nixon"
Ebani Edwards: "Numbers"
Dan Ferri: "Bald Guy (Preliminaries)"
Dan Ferri: "How To Be A Teacher"
Dan Ferri: "Bald Guy (Finals)"
Sarah Holbrook: "Do Not Dream"
Floyd Jensen: "Leonard's Hill"
Beth Lisick: "Paradise"
Taylor Mali: "Lilly Wilson"
Taylor Mali: "Dyslexic Scrabble"
Taylor Mali: "I Could Be A Poet"
Taylor Mali: "Recovering Poet"
Taylor Mali: "Like To Totally Whatever"
Jack Mc Carthy: "Boys Don't Cry"
Ray Mc Niece: "They'll Be Back"
Jessica Care Moore: "How To Make Love"
Alexandra Oliver: "Ring-a-Ding-Ding"
Alexander Oliver: "Love"
DJ Renegade: "Miles"
Sean Shea: "Personal"
Beau Sia: "When I Get The Money (Finals)"
Beau Sia: "Asian Men"
Beau Sia: "Gold's Gym"
Beau Sia: "When I Get The Money (Semi-Finals)"
Marc Smith: "The Downbeat"
Patricia Smith: "Sixth Grade Class"
Patricia Smith: "For John Coltrane"
Patricia Smith: "The Jukebox"
Team Austin: "Motor Red"
Team Austin: "Tube"
Team Berwyn: "Community Theater"
Team New York City: "Time"
Team Providence: "Main Street"
Team Providence: "A Letter For All Seasons (Preliminaries)"
Team Providence: "A Letter For All Seasons (Finals"
Andrea Thompson: "After Kissing"
Saul Williams: "An Army Of Me"
Saul Williams: "The Fiery Sun Of My Passions"
Saul Williams: "OM (Preliminaries)"
Saul Williams: "OM (Finals)"
Limmerick, Haiku and Sonnet Slam
Marc Smith/ Chicago
Patricia Johnson/ Roanoke
Ngoma Hill / Connecticut
Todd Davis / Seattle
John Dooley / Portland
Evert Eden / Winston-Salem
Lisa King / Boston
Wammo / Austin
Jessica Care Moore / NYC
Pat Storm / Asheville
Clebo / Dallas
Rita Parrish / Portland
Tina Wright / Berwyn
Marilyn Murphy / Los Angeles
Dan Mc Ginn / Los Angeles
Danny Solis / Austin
Phil West / Austin
Andrew Berger / Mesa
Team Albequerque / Albequerque
Jerry Quickly / Los Angeles
More at Slamnation.com/outtakes
Disc #2 -- Slam Nation: Bonus Disc
Play Slammin' Pilot
Nuyorican Finals (3:15)
Opening Ceremony (4:41)
New York Team Rehearsals (6:54)
Slammin' Becomes Slamnation (3:08)
Wammo - Austin (3:18)
Sara Holbrook - Cleveland (2:48)
Saul Williams - New York (3:27)
Alexandra Oliver - Vancouver (2:29)
Evert Eden - Winston-Salem (3:06)
Jessica Care Moore - New York (3:09)
Jim Nave - Taos (2:02)
Andrea Thompson - Vancouver (3:26)
Kim Holzer & Exene - Winston-Salem (2:56)
Patricia Johnson - Roanoke (3:12)
Danny Solis & Hillary Thomas - Austin (3:02)
Kevin Samsel - Portland (3:00)
Karen Wurl - Athens (3:05)
Steve Marsh - Ann Arbor (2:42)
Wammo - Austin (3:11)
Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back
Keep the River On Your Right
Ladysmith Black Mambazo: On Tip Toe
The Smashing Machine
The Weather Underground
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