You can’t keep a good poetry slam slammed.
Dayton Poetry Slam has proved that by slamming back from years of declining interest.
The group’s bi-monthly events are drawing large crowds and, for the first time since 2006, Dayton Poetry Slam is sending a poet to compete in a national competition.
Y the Poet (Yahel Pack) will represent the community group this October at the Individual World Slam in San Diego.
A Gofundme.com page has been set up to raise money for the trip.
Organizers say his appearance in the competition is monumental for the organization launched in 1999.
“It (Dayton Poetry Slam) just kept getting smaller and smaller, and there wasn't as much interest in a while in sending someone (to a competition),” Breanna “Quiet Storm” McGowan, a Dayton Poetry Slam organizer, said. “A couple of years ago, things started picking up.”
The open mic poetry slams are held at7 p.m. each first and third Sunday at Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St. in Dayton’s Oregon District.
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There is $2 charge at the door.
Each poet has three minutes and 10 seconds to present their work with no musical accompaniment.
Lincoln “Link” Schreiber, the co-host of the slams with McGowan and Dayton poet Johnathon Gallienne, said many of the faces associated with Dayton Poetry Slam have changed since he joined he group 15 years ago, but its heart has remained the same.
“I came out to the show (the first time) and was completely blown away by the comaraderie of everyone,” Schreiber, a professor at Strayer University, said. “I try to keep that same welcomeness, that same welcoming feeling.”
Over the years, Dayton Poetry Slam events were held at a list of venues that include Canal Street Tavern, The Dublin Pub, Therapy Cafe, The Oregon Express, One-Eyed Jacks and Canal Public House.
It landed at Yellow Cab about two years ago.
“It seems that every show we do, we get this new group of people who discovered us,” Schreiber said.
McGowan said slams attract a wide range of people of various ages for people in their teens to those in their 70s.
“It’s an open space for people to come and express themselves,” she said.”If you want to come out and read something you can do it.”
McGowan said poetry has changed from a hobby to a passion for her since her therapist encouraged her to write a few years ago.
“Now I am a spoken world poet in Dayton,” McGowan, a medical assistant, said. “I am an introvert and lot of people don’t believe me at this point. Poetry got me out of my box. That was kind of my outlet to express myself.”
Want to go?
WHAT: Dayton Poetry Slam
WHEN: Shows are held at 7 p.m. each first and third Sunday
WHERE: Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. 4th Street, Dayton
COST: $2 donation at the door