Sunday, February 21, 2016

The National Outsider Poetry Slam League of America

The phenomenon of slam poetry has done a great deal to democratize poetry and bring what was once an art form belonging to a very few into the schools, cafes, pubs, libraries, and any public forum where those who want to share their work congregate. Slam poetry was created in 1986 by Marc Smith in Chicago and was soon exported to Nuyorican Poet's Cafe in New York. The first National Poetry Slam was held in 1990 in San Francisco. It has steadily increased in popularity since then until now nearly every town has at least one slam poetry venue and competition. The concept of poetry as a competition is another innovation of the poetry slam, as well as an emphasis on style, performance, and personality as well as the written word. Audiences are openly encouraged to actively participate in the performance and show their approval by clapping, snapping their fingers, or cheering.

Outsider Poetry league of America Logo

The National Outsider Poetry Slam league of America was founded in 2016 to raise awareness about the written and spoken word and provide a national format for poetry slam teams to compete against each other in a national championship. Eight teams will comprise the first season of the OPSLA: The Sheboygan Syllablists, The Chemung Shamans, The Rancho Cucamonga Kookamungas, The Kokomo Oralists, The Rockford Pages, The Podunk Polemicists, The Paducah Plain Speakers, and The Minooka Meter Maids. Each team represents a communist dedicated to fielding a team intent on winning the National Outsider Poetry Slam League of America Championship in October 2016. 

National Outsider Poetry League of America commissioner Dr. Henry Wolfsburg, also editor of The Journal of Outsider Poetry, says competition will begin in May in two Divisions, The Easter and Western and Division, also comprised of two conferences, the Northern Confernce and the Southern Conference, and it is hoped eventually the league will expand to 8 conferences 4 regional divisions, much like the NFL.

Corporate sponsors should contact assistant league commissioner Dr. Millard Rausch for advertising and corporate sponsorship opportunities.