Marc Smith (So What!) is creator/founder of the Poetry Slam movement. As stated in the PBS television series, The United States of Poetry, a “strand of new poetry began at Chicago’s Green Mill Tavern in 1987 when Marc Smith found a home for the Poetry Slam.” Since then, performance poetry has spread throughout the world exported to over 300 cities large and small.
Chalking up more than a 1000 performances in nightclubs, concert halls, libraries, universities, and on tops of hot dog stands, Smith continues to host and perform every Sunday night at Green Mill to standing room only houses. He has staged a multitude of special slam productions including Slam Dunk Poetry Day at Chicago’s Field Museum, The Summer Solstice Poetry Show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and his touring troupe The Uptown Slam Experience.
Marc has been featured on CNN, 60 Minutes, and WGN’s Chicago Tonight. He performs regularly with the Pong Unit Band, an eclectic musical quartet that rocks out, bops out, and Bachs out accompaniment to his spoken verse. In March of 2003 Sourcebooks released Spoken Word Revolution a book/CD anthology narrated by Marc and edited by his friend and protégé Mark Eleveld. Marc’s book Crowdpleaser and his CDs It’s About Time and Love and Politics are available through his website at www.slampapi.com.
Marc’s most recent books include Take the Mic and Stage a Poetry Slam – how-to books penned to spread the Poetry Slam tradition to eager and dedicated performance poets and Slammasters and keep the spoken word alive!