About Us

Poets are just people. Really, really unpredictable and crazy people.


Who are we?


The Art Amok! Poetry Slam Team was founded in 2006, one of Atlanta’s two poetry slam venues. Every year, Art Amok! sends a team of 4-5 poets to compete at the National Poetry Slam each summer. We also send representatives to the other two major national poetry competitions, the Women of the World (mid-March) and the Individual World Poetry Slam (October-November).


Art Amok! is a consciously populist, socially-engaged artistic organization. We embrace opportunities for multimedia collaboration and experimental art that pulls a steamboat through the heart. One of our goals is to put Atlanta poets on the map as a place of national poetic and experiential consciousness. We believe the artistic community is a place for social critique, constructive dialogue, mutual encouragement, challenging preconceptions, and bringing ourselves back to life. We strive to provide this space at our events.


For more information or to book a feature, you can contact our slamma’am, Karen G, at kgarrab@gmail.com.


What is a poetry slam?


A poetry slam is a competitive poetry reading, first invented by construction worker Mark Smith (so what?) in Chicago in the 198o’s. The goal of a slam is to allow the audience to engage with the poets (and force the poets to engage the audience). A slam is judged by five randomly-chosen audience members, who judge equally on the content and the performance of the poem. As the poets say, “The point is not the points, the point is the poetry!”


What are the rules of slam?


There are three rules and only three rules. Poems need not be memorized, but CANNOT be read from phones in a slam.

1.All poems performed must be original.

2.Poems must be no longer than 3 minutes, with a 10 second grace period (poems longer than this receive a time penalty).

3.No props, costumes, or musical accompaniment is permitted.


How do I join the Art Amok! slam team?


Art Amok! has a bimonthly slam and open mic on the 2nd and 4th Friday of every month. During the slam season (September to April), poets accumulate points for every slam they attend, with the slam winner getting the highest number of points. Sign up for the slam at the venue; of you are late, you will lose your slot! We typically only have space for 8 poets in the slam. The top 10 scorers for the slam season compete in the Grand Slam at the end of April. The top 4 or 5 poets from the Grand Slam become the new Art Amok! team.


Who is Cage the Elephant?


Cage is the official Art Amok! mascot (because elephants run amok). He embodies all that it is true and good and rejuvenating in poetry slam.


What is Poetry Slam Incorporated?


Poetry Slam, Inc. is the official parent organization of the Poetry Slam, who hosts, organizes, and supports the three major national poetry competitions (National Poetry Slam, Women of the World, Individual World Poetry Slam).