The one that started them all!

Now in its 27th year, The Uptown Poetry Slam is the not only the longest running show in Chicago, but the original poetry slam on the planet. Every week, slam originator Marc Smith takes the stage with co-host, J.W. Basilo to bring a raucous performance poetry show to standing room only audiences. That’s right, what has been called “the most important literary movement of our time,” all began with one show and that show is still running every Sunday at the Green Mill.This isn’t your everyday poetry reading; the slam is an engaging, interactive, free-for-all that has to be seen to be understood. A live band sets the mood for the show and never fails to impress. The show begins with an open mic at 7PM and is followed by a “feature set” at 8PM, spotlighting some the hottest talent in the country. Once the crowd is good an warmed up, the world famous slam competition kicks off at 9PM. Want to sign up to perform a poem and brave the notorious snaps and stomps? Get there early, as the lists are usually full by the time the show starts. Want to come and check it out? Get there early, as the joint is frequently at capacity. So what are you waiting for? Come see the show that started them all!

Upcoming Featured Guests:

October 5th:

Hosted By J.W. Basilo

Special Guests: Author Cristin O’Keefe celebrating her latest books The Year of No Mistakes released by Write Bloody Publishing and Dr. Mutter’s Marvels by Gotham Books/Penguin and National Slam Poet Ken Arkind. Also a Tedx Speaker, Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam Champion and published author Ken has performed his works in 49 states, 6 countries, and at over 150 colleges and universities. He is the founding program director of Denver Minor Disturbance, an independent literary arts organization dedicated to helping Colorado youth find a voice through the mediums of poetry and performance. He is the author of Denver (Fast Geek Press 2013), Coyotes (Penmanship Books 2014). Ken is the poetry editor for “Suspect Press” and wrote the title poem for the Air Ball Creative short film Breathless. He makes an amazing green chile stew.

plus Cam’s Tie!

Open Slam: Read or recite your own poem and maybe win $10. Wow!

October 12th:

Hosted by J.W. Basilo

Special Guests: Chicago writer Bill Hillman celebrating his debut novel The Old Neighborhood. Bill embodies the city’s dichotomies. A former gang affiliate and Chicago Golden Glove Champion as well as an award winning writer and storyteller. His work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, New City, Salon.com, and has been featured on NPR. He has told stories around the world with his internationally acclaimed storytelling series Windy City Story Slam.

plus the music of the Steven Hashimoto (bass), Carter Luke (piano), and Heath Chappel (drums).

Open Slam: Read or recite your own poem and maybe win $10. Wow!

October 19th:

Hosted by J.W. Basilo

Special Guests: Performance Poet Jamaal May, also an editor, and educator from Detroit, Michigan. His first collection of poems, Hum (Alice James Books, 2013), won the Beatrice Hawley Award.

plus the music of Futz! Tim Seisser (Electric Bass), Jamie Gallagher (drums), Matt Conway (piano), and Aaron Rybski (sax and flute)

Open Slam: Read or recite your own poem and maybe win $10. Wow!

October 26th:

Hosted by Marc Kelly Smith and J.W. Basilo

Special Guests: The Naomi Ashley Band is  joined by the BoyGirlBoyGirl crew presenting excerpts of their upcoming show “Fall-iday.”

plus the music of Futz Tim Seisser (electric bass), Jamie Gallagher (drums), Matt Conway (piano), and Aaron Rybski (sax and flute)

Open Slam: Read or recite your own poem and maybe win $10. Wow!

November 2nd:

Hosted by Marc Kelly Smith and J.W. Basilo

Special Guests: Tim Stafford is celebrating the release of his new educational anthology Learn Then Burn  published by Write Bloody Publishing. Tim Stafford is a former Chicago Grand Slam Champion, winner of the 2014 CSW Printer’s Row Lit Fest Slam, and was rated one of 2013’s top 5 slam poets by New City Magazine.

Open Slam: Read or recite your own poem and maybe win $10. Wow!

November 9th:

Hosted by Marc Kelly Smith and J.W. Basilo

Special Guests: Long-time Green Mill regular, Emily Calvo reads from her new book, Lending Color to the Otherwise Absurd. The book includes both her poems and paintings, which incorporate her poetry into the art using a unique process. After beating breast cancer and leukemia, this book demonstrates the healing power of artistic expression.  The book was partially supported by an Individual Artists Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Plus the music of Cam’s Tie!

Open Slam: Read or recite your own poem and maybe win $10. Wow!

November 16th:

Hosted by Marc Kelly Smith

Special Guest: Teagan Walsh- Davis is a member of Chicago Slam Works House Ensemble. Her continued vibrancy through writing and performing has made her one of the top people to watch in Chicago. Her first play, Minotaur, is being produced by Forget Me Not Theatre Company this June.

Open Slam: Read or recite your own poem and maybe win $10. Wow!

November 23rd:

Hosted by J.W. Basilo

Special Guests: Chicago Slam Works House Ensemble member Frankiem Mitchell will be performing Hologram Graveyards , an anthology of poems. This collective founder, poet, musician, and activist will leave you questioning what it means to be human vs. a human in this world.  Of course you can catch him February 6th at Stage 773 with the rest of the House Ensemble performing Redlined.

Plus the music of Steve Hashimoto (bass), Heath Chappell(drums), and Bob Long (piano).

Open Slam: Read or recite your own poem and maybe win $10. Wow!

 November 30th:

Hosted by J.W. Basilo

Special Guests: A performance poet’s return to Chicago Tim “Toaster” Henderson has competed in several “big money” competitions including NPS, NUPIC, IWPS and Ink Slam. He has performed at a variety of literary showcases such as Literary Death Match, The Encyclopedia Show, Lit Quake and Beast Crawl. Toaster has been featured in SF Weekly, on All Def Digital’s YouTube channel and Season 4 of Lexus Verses and Flow.

Plus the music of Futz– Junius Paul (bass), Zach Marks (drums), Andrew Lawrence (piano), and Aaron Rybski (horns)

Open Slam: Read or recite your own poem and maybe win $10. Wow!

December 7th:

Hosted by Marc Kelly Smith and J.W. Basilo

Special Guests: Chicago Slam Works House Ensemble member Bryant Cross. Bryant is the founder of the 500 Campaign and member of the Lethal Poetry Slam team, Chicago Artists Against Gun Violence Coalition, and Writes of Passage Collective. Like it or not he has a lot to say about  our city.

Plus the music of Steve Hashimoto (bass), Carter Luke (piano), and Heath Chappel (drums)

Open Slam: Read or recite your own poem and maybe win $10. Wow!

December 14th:

Hosted by Marc Kelly Smith and J.W. Basilo

Special Guests: Chicago Slam Works House Ensemble members Shelley Elaine Geiszler and Nate Olison. Shelley Elaine Geiszler is a member of the Speak’Easy Ensemble and will surely leave you grabbing your sides. Nate Olison is also a Chicago Slam Works Teaching Artist and founder of Westside School for the Desperate. He was a member of the Lethal Poetry Slam team that made it to group finals this past year at the National Poetry Slam.

Plus the music of Futz–

Open Slam: Read or recite your own poem and maybe win $10. Wow!

December 21st:

Hosted by Marc Kelly Smith and J.W. Basilo

Special Guests: The annual visit from the SPIRIT OF XMAS EXPECTATIONS

plus the music of Futz– and maybe a few other Xmas surprises

Open Slam: Read or recite your own poem and maybe win $10. Wow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



The Green Mill
4802 N Broadway, Chicago, IL
Right off the Lawrence CTA Red Line and several major bus lines
Sign-up starts at 6PM
Show starts promptly at 7PM and ends at 10PM
$7 cover
21+, strictly enforced

We haven't quite nailed down the dates of our next show. Join our mailing list and we'll give you a holler when the next show is announced!