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Marc Kelly Smith

Born: 1949 in Chicago, Illinois
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Smith is a native Chicagoan and born on the southeast side of the city.

Biography: Marc Smith is best known for creating the ''Poetry Slam'' in 1986 at the Green Mill Tavern in Chicago. Born on the southeast side of Chicago, Smith’s sense of rhythm and realism has made him one of the country’s most compelling poetry performers. Smith has performed at The Smithsonian Institute, The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Chicago Museum of Contemporary, the Asheville Poetry Festival in North Carolina, 1st Night Annapolis in Maryland, The Innovator’s Festival in Washigton DC, the Kennedy Center, Galway’s Cruit Festival, Denmark’s Roskilde Festival, Ausburg’s ABC Brecht Festival, and the Queensland Poetry Fest in Australia. He has been featured on CNN, 60 Minutes, National Public Radio’s Whadda Ya Know, ARTbeat Chicago, Ophra, Wild Chicago, WGN Chicago’s Very Own and Chicago Slices.Smith’s poetry has been featured in Hammer’s Magazine, Chicago Magazine, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, Poetry Slam, an anthology, ''Aloud! Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe'', which won the 1994 American Book Award, and ''The United States of Poetry'', a publication that accompanied the PBS television series. Selections of his work can also be heard on the CDs: ''By Someone’s Good Grace'', a recording of the first National Slam Team Champions, ''Grand Slam: The 1995 National Slam'', ''It’s About Time'', and ''Quarters in the Juke Box''.He has also written and produced two stage plays: ''Flea Market, a night of monologues'', and A'' House Party For Henry'', an interactive play, and co-wrote, produced, and performed in the Zeitgeist Theater’s ''The Psychic Café''. He just recently debuted his highly acclaimed ''Sandburg to Smith'', a musical adaptation of Carl Sandburg’s poems and stories performed in concert with the Rootabaga Band.


Primary Audience(s): Adult readers; Young adult readers

Marc Kelly Smith on WorldCat :

Selected Titles

Crowdpleaser /
ISBN: 0965152200 OCLC: 35273149

Collage Press, Chicago : ©1996.

Stage a poetry slam :
ISBN: 9781402218989 OCLC: 310224893

Sourcebooks MediaFusion, Naperville, Ill. : 2009.

Offers advice, tips, and technical information for organizing and promoting poetry slams and spoken word events.

Take the mic :
ISBN: 9781402218996 OCLC: 310224884

Sourcebooks MediaFusion, Naperville, Ill. : ©2009.

For anyone who has ever enjoyed a slam or two and thought, I could do this, but felt apprehensive staring at the empty mic, or worse, climbing onstage and froze. Smith explains how to become a confident performer and more.

The complete idiot's guide to slam poetry /
ISBN: 1592572464 OCLC: 56024725

Alpha Books, Indianapolis, IN : ©2004.

According to the PBS television series The United States of Poetry, a "strand of new poetry began at Chicago's Green Mill Tavern in 1986 when Marc Smith found a home for the Poetry Slam." Since then, performance poetry has spread throughout the United States. Now, the father of the poetry slam presents the most comprehensive book on spoken-word poetry performances.