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Studying Slam: Part I:
Whilst it remains a somewhat marginal activity, slam has become arguably the most successful poetry movement of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Its popularity is greatest in its home country, where the annual National Poetry Slam can attract audiences in their thousands and where it has spawned shows on television and Broadway. Slam has not stayed put in the U.S. however. It has spread across the globe to countries as geographically and culturally diverse as Australia, Singapore, Japan, South Africa and Germany. Slam reached England in February 1994, when the first U.K. poetry slam was held in London by Farrago Poetry. Farrago still hold monthly poetry slams today, based in the Rada foyer bar.

Despite the prevalence of slam and the number of intriguing research avenues which this phenomenon presents however, it has received very little attention from academic researchers and practically none at all within the social sciences. It was this neglect which helped to convince me that it would be worth spending four years of my life researching poetry slam.
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