The F Word Live

Ashley Peel

If you’ve ever felt the urge, the need, the desire to scream the F word in front of a live audience, now is your chance. And by the F word, I do mean, of course, Feminism. The 2nd Annual “The F Word Live”Poetry Slam will be held on November 12, 2013 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the Borah Theater, located in the Student Union Building at the University of Idaho.


Funded by generous donors, this performance is completely free to UI Students (with valid student ID) and only five dollars for the general public. Once again, Dr. Traci Craig will MC the slam.

A poetry slam is a young tradition that began in Chicago in the early 80s. A construction worker by the name of Marc Smith is credited for starting the first poetry slam in a Chicago jazz club, Get Me High Lounge, on Monday nights. After the slam’s popularity increased, he began a slam at The Green Mill Jazz Club to boost the lull of Sunday evenings. This location became permanent. The first National Poetry Slam was held in San Francisco in 1990 involving only three teams. Today, approximately eighty teams battle for first place over a five-day competition and the tradition has spread world-wide.

Although the tradition of poetry slams is competitive, The F Word Live is not a competition, but a celebration of individual feminism and the future. However, participants are encouraged to the use “all of the tricks of storytelling, songwriting, theater, stand-up comedy, and cold hard poetry” as the tradition is described by the National Poetry Slam’s website. The Women’s Center web site describes November’s slam as a performance of spoken word, only, which “is a form of performance poetry that often uses alliterated prose or verse and occasionally, metered verse, to express social commentary. Traditionally, it is in the first person, is from the poet’s point of view, and is themed in current events.”

Applications are still open for a performance spot in the poetry slam. Poets and performers of all levels are welcome, novice to professionals. Applications are due by October 25 at 5:00 p.m. and applicants will by notified on Tuesday, November 5. You can find the online application here. For more information check out the UI Women’s Center website or contact The F Word Live coordinator, Colleen Kulesza, at


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