The One That Started Them All!

Every Sunday Night!

Now in its 29th 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:

February 7

The annual “Who cares about the Superbowl?” show with special guest KEVIN KANTOR. Kevin has been featured on The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Upworthy, & is forthcoming in the anthology We Believe You: Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault Speak Out (Holt Paperback). Most recently, Kevin was featured on an episode of ABC drama American Crime and named to Teen Vogue’s “Young Poets Are Actually Making the Genre Cool Again”

Hosted by Marc Smith & J.W. Basilo (with J.W. backing poets on guitar. This could get interesting.)



Hosted by Marc Kelly Smith & J.W. Basilo
Guest Performers: From Portland, Maine performance poet BEAU WILLIAMS — Grand Slam Champion at Port Veritas in 2014; plus the music of FUTZ Jamie on drum, Matt on piano, Jeremiah on bass, and Aaron on sax and flute.
Preliminary Slam Bout to qualify for 2016 NPS Slam Team Finals
Hosted by Marc Kelly Smith & J.W. Basilo
Guest Performers:
From Minneapolis internationally acclaimed performance poet and educator, SIERRA DeMULDER — two-time National Poetry Slam champion, a thrice-published author, and co-founder of Button Poetry ;
plus the music of FUTZ Jamie Gallagher on drums, Brad Macdonald on piano, Patrick Mulcahy on bass, and Aaron Rybski on sax and flute
Preliminary Slam Bout to qualify for 2016 NPS Slam Team Finals


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!