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Send your  poetry events to witsendpoetry@yahoo.co.uk to have your event added.
Established in 2002, Wits End Poetry is the longest running poetry series in South Carolina! 501 (C) 3

 

Poetry Events Every Sunday at Coffee Underground at 7:30pm in Downtown Greenville. 1 E. Coffee Street. Featured poets and poetry slams plus our weekly open mic.

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December 9th Sa Jules of Augusta, GA. Fertilized from the rich soil of Wisconsin and transplanted to savory fields of Georgia Sa Jules has been writing and assassinating the mic as a spoken word artist since the age of eleven. She spits pure uncensored truth with no chasers. The night will also feature a short open mic. All poetry styles welcome. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

December 16th. Jonathan Brown Aggressively Vulnerable Tour out of New Orleans. Hip Hop infused spoken word. Jonathan Brown holds a BA in Communication from the College of Charleston, an MA in Writing and Consciousness from New College of California, and an MFA from the University of New Orleans. On the stage, Jonathan is a rhinoceros, trouncing around; on the page, he’s an alchemist, transmuting vulnerability into a source of peace. He’s a prism splitting light in all directions.The night will also feature a short open mic. All poetry styles welcome. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

December 23rd Merry Christmas. No Show!

December 30th. Not Quite New Year Poetry Slam. Hosted by Moody Black. A poetry slam is a performance poetry competition judged by five randomly chosen members of the audience. Up to twelve local poets may sign up for the three-round poetry slam. After the first round, only eight poets will perform in the second round, and only four poets will perform in the final round. Each poet will perform one original poem without musical accompaniment, props, or costumes within the three-minute time limit. They will be judged on a scale of zero to ten with the lowest and the highest scores dropped to give the highest possible score of thirty. The winner of the slam will receive $100 prize. All poetry styles welcome. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $10.

January 6th Extended Open Mic Hosted by Moody Black! The night will also feature poetry games, fun, and a full night of open mic slots for local poets on a first come, first serve basis. All poetry styles welcome. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

January 13th, 2019 Shay Alexi of Atlanta. Shay is a radically tender poet and performance artist who explores the intersections of girlhood, mental health, sexuality, and self love. Their chapbook, DIARY OF A GHOST GIRL, is forthcoming from Glass Poetry Press. Shay is the 2017 Java Monkey slam champion and winner of the 2017 Brett Elizabeth Jenkins poetry prize. The night will also include a short open mic. All poetry styles welcome. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

January 20th, 2019. Candy & Melanin Goddess of the Dallas Poetry Slam.All poetry styles welcome. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

January 27th. Annual Grand Slam.Hosted by Moody Black. Qualified poets compete for a spot on the Greenville Slam Team. Top 4 poets will be on the team. All poetry styles welcome. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $10.

February 3rd JAZZ POETRY with poet Jenice Pleasant with Gerald Benson.  Jenice Pleasant and Gerald Benson bring their musical talent and passion for poetry together to celebrate the Jazz Poetry Era and the Words of Langston Hughes. Both originally from Greenville, SC these talented poets and musicians have taken their words and music to audiences across the nation. The beautiful Jenice Pleasant is a singer-songwriter, poet, and visual artist, as well as a National Poetry Slam semi-finalist. She is known for beautifully weaving music into jazz-inspired poetry. Gerald Benson is a spoken word artist and jazz guitarist who inspires audiences to honor musical heroes of the past. The night will also feature a short open mic. All poetry styles welcome. Host Moody Black. Produced by Wits End Poetry. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

http://www.witsendpoetry.com/Images/Selah%200210.jpg

February 10th. Selah the Poet was raised on hip hop and baseball in Atlanta, GA. The diversity of his artistry ranges from poetic, political, raunchy, fun and intellectual. And being the best isn't a concern but being dope is what drives him. "Soon to fly high over the field of poppy poets whose dope is as dope as mine but I'm the better choice dope. I AM DOPE!" –Selah. The night will also feature a short open mic. Host Moody Black. Produced by Wits End Poetry. All poetry styles welcome. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

This program is funded in part by the Metropolitan Arts Council with funds received from the City of Greenville, BMW Manufacturing Company, Michelin North America, Inc., SEW Eurodrive and the South Carolina Arts Commission.

These performances are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the South Carolina Arts Commission.

WitsEndPoetry is a 501C3 Charity
(since 2002).

Saturday 29th. THE ART OF SLAM CONFERENCE! #WORKSHOPS

Don't miss this one day poetry slam conference that includes workshops on writing and performing slam poetry, as well as live performances, panels, private coaching, and the opportunity to showcase your talent! Workshop leaders include Asia Samson, Daryl Funn, Kimberly J Simms, Moody Black, Johnny C. Weaver and more!

This conference will allow all levels of poets to grow their art through workshops with professional poets. Three tracks are available: teacher, teen, or adult. (beginer or experienced)

Workshops will be held from 11:00 am to 5:00pm with snacks and lunch included. Teen Poetry Slam ata 6pm. Afterparty, showcase, and cookout at 8m.

Please register or get more information at

http://witsendpoetry.blogspot.com/p/conference.html

Our Venue: Coffee Underground

Coffee Underground

Coffee Underground is a locally owned coffee house & cafe specializing in freshly made desserts & coffee roasted on premises.

They have a great dinner menu as well as a full bar in additional to smoothies, vegetarian food, and specialty drinks!

Located at the corner of Coffee & Main, they are nestled only twelve steps down from our neighbor, Ristorante Bergamo.

1 East Coffee Street, Downtown Greenville, SC

 

Summer Season

May 5th, 2019. Extended Open Mic Hosted by Moody Black! The night will also feature poetry games, fun, and a full night of open mic slots for local poets on a first come, first serve basis. All poetry styles welcome. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

May 12th, 2019. Mother's Day Open Mic. The night will also feature a short open mic. All poetry styles welcome. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

May 19th, 2019. Feature to be announced. The night will also feature a short open mic. All poetry styles welcome. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

May 26th, 2019. King of the South Slam. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

June 2nd. Feature TBD. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

June 5th - 8th 2019. SOUTHERN FRIED POETRY SLAM in Fayetteville, NC. More Info

June 9th. Open Mic. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

June 16th. Father's Day Open Mic. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

June 23rd. Kia Flow of Charlotte, NC. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

Wits End Poetry Staff

Executive Director Kimberly J Simms

Kimberly Simms is the founder and director of nonprofit Wits End Poetry. Kimberly is a pioneer in the poetry slam world as one of the first female slammasters, a member of the first National all female team, a Southern Fried Poetry Slam Champion, and a member emeritus of the Executive Council of Poetry Slam Inc. She has directed prestigious events such as the World Poetry Slam and the Southern Fried Poetry Slam. You can learn more about her at www.kimberlysimms.com

Artistic Dirctor Moody Black

Moody Black oversees grass roots promotion and event coordination, as well as serving as the Greenville Co-Slammaster. He is a frequent Sunday night host. Moody Black is also a teaching artist with the Metropolitan Arts Council's SMART Arts Program. Moody Black is a spoken word poet, rapper, emcee, actor, artist, and photographer. He studied business and theater at University of South Carolina, Spartanburg.He studied business and theater at University of South Carolina, Spartanburg.

 

Join Wits End Poetry to help build our community projects! 501 C3 Non-profit!

- Weekly high-quality poetry events each Sunday at Coffee Underground plus open mic for local poets.

- The Greenville Slam Team annually sends 5 local poets to regional (Southern Fried Poetry Slam) and to the National Poetry Slam in Atlanta 2021.

- Annual flagship events including the Queen of the South Slam (April), the King of the South Slam (May), the Art of Slam & Anniversary Slam (September).

- NEW Annual "The Art of Slam Conference" where emerging local poets, teens, and teachers can build their craft and expand their knowledge of poetry slam with professional poets.

- NEW Brave New Voices TEEN programming coming soon.

- Maintaining online web presence to promote the art of performance poetry through our website, twitter, instagram, and facebook pages.

No Unsolicited Emails/calls for web or other services. #grassroots WEBSITE IS DESIGNED IN HOUSE BY Director. Unsolicited emails will be billed at $15 as they cause our volunteers to take their time away from our important mission to deal with vendors who have not even taken the time to visit our website once.

Spring Season 2019


February 17th. Feature Poet Jay Ward of Charlotte, NC | Jay Ward is a poet and teaching artist from Charlotte, NC. Honest and compelling; a story aching to be heard, a salve searching for hearts, the poet is a 2018 National Poetry Slam Champion, a 2017 Fellow of both Callaloo and The Watering Hole, and a veteran of the slam poem he also publishes in the realm of the page. He currently serves as a Program Director for BreatheInk, where he facilitates writing and performance workshops and coaches youth poets attending Brave New Voices each year. Host Moody Black. Produced by Wits End Poetry. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $10. The night will also feature a short open mic. Host Moody Black. Produced by Wits End Poetry. All poetry styles welcome. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

Performance at iWPS Finals 2015, Jay Ward "When buying a Dog." Read more about Jay on our blog!

February 24th. $100 Poetry Slam. Hosted by Moody Black. A poetry slam is a performance poetry competition judged by five randomly chosen members of the audience. Up to twelve local poets may sign up for the three-round poetry slam. They will be judged on a scale of zero to ten with the lowest and the highest scores dropped to give the highest possible score of thirty. The winner of the slam will receive $100 prize. All poetry styles welcome. Host Moody Black. Produced by Wits End Poetry. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $10.

March 3rd. Extended Open Mic Hosted by Moody Black! The night will also feature poetry games, fun, and a full night of open mic slots for local poets on a first come, first serve basis. Host Moody Black. Produced by Wits End Poetry. All poetry styles welcome. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

March 10th. Carolina Slam Tour. The Carolina Slam Tour is a high-energy, national-poetry-slam-style TEAM bout featuring powerful voices from across the Carolina's!   Nationally certified teams competing are Charlotte Slam Team vs Say What Greenville vs Java Monkey Atlanta vs Spartanburg Slam. Get a taste of Nationals here at home! The night will feature group pieces as well as individual poets! Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $10. 

March 17th. Feature Poet . Dove is a lyricist, actor, and educator, as well as a Button Poetry feature, a Southern Fried Finalist and a National Poetry Slam semi-finalist. He recently made his Greenville acting debut in the Warehouse Theater’s play Sweat. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $10. https://youtu.be/p8bYshPYimM

March 24th. Slammadness Tournament Finals. Slam Madness is a weekend long, poetry slam festival from March 22 – 24 inspired by the NCAA March Madness tournament. Invented by host Johnny C Weaver, poets compete in brackets to slam, mano y mano! The finals features the top 12 of the 32 poets competing from across the nation for $2,000 in prize money. During the Slammadness weekend poets engage in community service with youth and local recovery shelter.  Sky Lounge. 50 Woods Lake Rd, Greenville, SC 29607. 6:00pm. Finals tickets $10. https://www.slammadness.com/

March 31st. $100 Poetry Slam. Hosted by Moody Black. A poetry slam is a performance poetry competition judged by five randomly chosen members of the audience. Up to twelve local poets may sign up for the three-round poetry slam. After the first round, only eight poets will perform in the second round, and only four poets will perform in the final round. Each poet will perform one original poem without musical accompaniment, props, or costumes within the three-minute time limit. They will be judged on a scale of zero to ten with the lowest and the highest scores dropped to give the highest possible score of thirty. The winner of the slam will receive $100 prize. All poetry styles welcome. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $10.

Happy National Poetry Month 2019!
April 7th, 2019Mia Willis. Mia Willis is a anthropologist, poet, and activist who recently won the inaugural FEMS Tournament in Cambridge, MA. (Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam (FEMS) is a grassroots resistance initiative that is for feminine identified people.) She is a former Southern Slam Queen, iWPS Finalist, and published poet. Hosted by Moody Black! The night will also feature a short open mic. All poetry styles welcome. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.

April 14th, 2019. South Carolina Slam Team Battle. The SC Slam Battle is a high-energy, TEAM bout featuring powerful voices from across South Carolina! Including the Charleston Slam Team, Columbia Slam Team, Spartanburg Slam team, and Greenville. Get a taste of the Southern Fried Poetry Slam here at home! The night will feature group pieces as well as individual poets! Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $10.
April 21st, 2019Feature Poet Bittersweet. BitterSweet is a survivor, artist, and activist who is changing the world one poem at a time. Her lit verse and sense of humor have inspired audiences at universities and venues across the nation. She is a Button poet and national slam finalist who has led multiple slam teams to the Southern Fried finals stage.  A native of Greenville where she is the reigning slam champion, she has put the Upstate on the map as she has won high stakes slams including Atlanta’s Rough Language, Queen of the South, Slam Madness, and Columbia’s Soul Sista slam. Don’t miss this inspirational speaker who will have you on your feet clapping for more! Button Poem: https://youtu.be/nBCo5EMnR4M The night will also feature a short open mic. All poetry styles welcome. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Greenville, SC 29601. 7:30pm. $7.
Image result for bittersweet ashley gowens
April 28th. Queen of the South Slam. $400 in prize money! Invitational Poety Slam featuring the top 15 female poets in the South East. To finish National Poetry Month with a magical bang - don't miss this exciting high-energy poetry slam which will spotlight emerging and veteran female poetic artists from across four states. This event, founded in Greenville by Kimberly Simms, inspired the creation of the national WOWps. All poetry styles welcome. Registration opens on February 15th. Coffee Underground. 1 East Coffee Street. Additional information at http://witsendpoetry.blogspot.com

Please visit the blog for the latest information on the 2018 Upstate Slam Team.

Congratulations to the Greenville Say What Slam Team represented South Carolina and who finished 5th out of 80 teams in the Nation at the National Poetry Slam. They beat out big city teams such as San Diego, Oakland, St. Louis, Houston, Portland and more. We also sent our team to the Southern Fried Poetry Slam Festival in San Antonio Texas in June 2018. Let's help our local talent continue to grow as artists and repesent our talented community here in the Upstate of SC!

http://witsendpoetry.blogspot.com/

Ever wondered about the history and purpose of Poetry Slam? Check out this TedX Talk by our founder Kimberly Simms:

Support Poetry in the Schools

New Teen Programming Coming Soon!

Wits End Poetry "Upstate Rah!" is currently raising money to create teen programming including a monthly poetry club and Brave new voices team for the 2018 - 2019 school year in the Upstate of SC. Please support our effort by donating below.

These sponsorships come with a community recognition package that includes advertising on our website, our event programs, and in our social media! Email witsendpoetrysc@gmail.com to receive a sponsorship package.

Sponsorship Levels

Let us Curate Poetry for Your Next Event!

Do you need spoken word poets to liven up your next event? Poets are available to perform at your community events. We can find the perfect poet to compliment the vision for your event!

Check out our SC Teaching Artist Roster listing here: https://www.culturegrants-sc.org/artistdirectory/roster_contact.php?id=15

Some events may even qualify for support from the SC Arts Commission or the SC Humanities Council's Speakers Bureau which provides funding for Kimberly Simms to provide a workshop, talk, or presentation to your group or school.

Please email witsendpoetrysc@gmail.com for details on types of poets available, pricing, and event support.

Thank you to Wits End Poetry's supporters:
 
What Is a Poetry Slam?

Simply put, poetry slam is the competitive art of performance poetry. It puts a dual emphasis on writing and performance, encouraging poets to focus on what they're saying and how they're saying it.
A poetry slam is an event in which poets perform their work and are judged by members of the audience. Typically, the host or another organizer select the judges, who are instructed to give numerical scores (on a zero to 10 or one to 10 scale) based on the poet's content and performance.

The National Poetry Slam is the annual slam championship tournament, wherein four-person teams from all over North America and Europe gather to compete against each other for the national title. It has become part Super Bowl, part poetry summer camp, and part traveling exhibition. Staged in a different city each year, the National Poetry Slam has emerged as slam's highest-profile showcase.

Participants
Generally, you may sign up for a poetry slam at the door on the night of the slam. But some big money slams may require advanced reqistration. Though everyone who signs up has the opportunity to read in the first round, poets may be eliminated based on judges' scores. In other words, the judges vote for which poets they want to see more work from.

NPS is held annually in August in a different city each year.

Want more information about Poetry Slam? Check out this resource of performance tips, rules, and history:

http://www.witsendpoetry.com/whatisslam.html

Interested in featuring? Please be sure to include your slam team affiliations and slam accolades with your email of interest. We are a poetry slam focused venue, so we focus on featuring slam poets. witsendpoetrysc @gmail.com. Please attach a picture and copy your bio into the body of your email. We feature poets on the 2nd/3rd Sundays. PLEASE NOTE: WE BOOK AT LEAST 6 MONTHS IN ADVANCE.
FALL is Booked. Currently booking Jan-Aug.

DO NOT EMAIL ABOUT WEB OR OTHER SERVICES OR YOU WILL BE INVOICED A $15 FEE TO SUPPORT OUR CHARITY.