Contemporary Poetry in the Carolinas and beyond

About Wit’s End Poetry

Established in 2002, Wits End Poetry is the longest running poetry slam and the longest running open mic in South Carolina! 501 (C) 3

Wits End Poetry is a full 501 (c) (3) tax exempt non-profit and SC charity. Our programs improve literacy and help build creative capital in South Carolina. We are in desparate need of donations to expand our educational programs, as well as to continue to bring nationally recognized poets to our area. We receive support from the South Carolina Arts Commission, SouthArts, Alternate Roots, and the Metropolitan Arts Council.

Wits End Poetry is working to make poetry as familiar to people in Greenville
County, as it is to people in New York, LA, and Chicago. The power of poetry lies
in its appeal and relevance to diverse audiences and youth. Wits End Poetry
encourages the use of performance poetry in education to produce more creative
and literate students.
We bring poets from across the country to Greenville county, as well as organize
live events across the state; provide resources to up-and-coming writers through
our website; and promote community building among writers both in Greenville
County and across the South East.

Wits End Poetry's core mission is to:
1. to advocate, promote, support, witness, and /or perpetuate the art of
2. to promote and encourage poetry events and those who organize them
3. to promote the use of performance poetry in education
4. to celebrate diverse artists and their stories

For additional information on how to donate please email All donations are tax deductible. In-kind donations are also appreciated.

Events held at Coffee Underground at 1 East Coffee Street, Greenville, SC 29601.

2022 Annual Report

Our Say What Show season ran all year round with shows held on Sundays both at the Radio Room and Coffee Underground. Our King of the South, Queen of the South, and Carolina Regional were our most popular shows and they all sold out. The Say What slam team formed in January 2022 and competed in the Southern Fried Poetry Slam in Louisville, KY where they placed 8th in the nation. This year the Metropolitan Arts Council, South Carolina Arts Commission, South Arts, and the City of Greenville A Tax all sponsored our weekly events. Our events also included opportunities for local audiences to ask questions of and get books signed by traveling poets, as well as opportunities for locals to share their own poetry in our open mic.

As part of our youth outreach goal, we continue to partner with the SmartARTS progam to work with students across Greenville County.


Wits End Poetry Every Sunday at Coffee Underground 7:30

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Wits End Poetry Tournaments at the Radio Room:

Martin Luther King Celebration January 15th at the Radio Room

Greenville Grand Slam Wednesday February 22nd at the Radio Room

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@Carolina Poets Every Thursday on Facebook Live and our YouTube Channel
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT
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Education Outreach

Wits End Poetry sponsors Teen Poetry Slams in Greenville County schools in partnership with SmartARTS!

We have previously worked with League Academy, Tanglewood Middle School, Greenville High School, and Carolina High School.

What is 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 ) based on the poet's content and performance.

The National Poetry Slam and Southern Fried Poetry Slam are 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. The indivdual World Poetry Slam was conceptualized by our founder Kimberly Simms and held initially in Greenville, SC in 2004. Kimberly Simms also conceptualized the Queen of the South Poetry Slam and the Women of the World Poetry Slam while serving on the executive council of the national non-profit Poetry Slam Inc from 2005-2008.

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.
The Southern Fried Poetry Slam is held annually every June.



Thank you to our 2022 Sponsors including the Metropolitan Arts Council, SouthARTS, the City of Greenville A Tax, and the South Carolina Arts Commission.

Sunday Night

Every Sunday Night 7:30 pm at Coffee Underground 1 E. Coffee Street. Featured poets, Slam and our WeeklO open Mic