About the SO WHAT SLAM

What: The SO WHAT SLAM is a monthly slam poetry event held in Lincoln, Nebraska. This is a fun format, bringing friendly competition and audience participation to the sharing of poetry.

Where: Joyo Theatre in Historic Havelock

When: 4th Saturday of each month at 7:00pm, unless changed due to holidays.

The next slam will take place on October 22, 2016 at 7:00pm.

Upcoming events and features are listed below.

Who: These are all ages events (although the subject matter of some performances may not be considered appropriate for young children).

How Much: $5 admission, cash only. Concessions are also available.


The aim of the SO WHAT SLAM is to create an exciting community event that brings the camp, fun, and inclusiveness that the creator of slam poetry intended for slams. Everyone has a story to tell and the SO WHAT SLAM welcomes you to come tell yours. If you aren't ready to perform your own pieces in front of everyone yet, or just want to come out and hear some great poetry and have some fun, we welcome you to participate as a judge or simply come be entertained. We would love for you to become a part of our slam family.

Slam Photo Galleries

Upcoming Features and Events

  • October 22, 2016
    • 7pm: SO WHAT SLAM Featuring Malcolm Kenyon
  • December 3, 2016
    • 7pm: SO WHAT SLAM Featuring Nicolas Bell

What is slam poetry?

Slam poetry was invented by a construction worker named Marc Smith who was looking to breathe life into an open mic poetry format. He put an emphasis on performance, threw in rounds and audience judges, and a new art form was born. But the point of the slam was not "the points". The point was to show audiences that poetry could be fun, entertaining, and something they should enjoy. In order to move on to the next round, your poems had to reach the audience. They had to impress people that might not know or care that your sonnet had the correct number of couplets. The audience was there to be entertained. Poetry was not about showing off as much as it was about making connections.

Slam Master

Heather Barnes graduated from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln with majors in English and Film Studies. She is a writer, poet, Louder than a Bomb coach, and lover of slam poetry in general. She lives in Lincoln, NE, and is excited to be the slam master for the SO WHAT SLAM.

More Info:

Feature Performer

Malcolm Kenyon has been a machinist, welder, tech writer, gunsmith, toolmaker, Chief Engineer of a 2250-ton destroyer, manufacturing engineer, vocational instructor, university professor and an ESL teacher after "retiring". Published in Bicycling!, Research Center for the Arts Review, Manzanita Quarterly, Jeopardy plus Padilla Bay Poets, Poetrynight, Poetry Walk, and Noise Water anthologies.

Slam Venue

Joyo Theatre
6102 Havelock Ave.
Lincoln, NE 68507

Opened around 1928 as the Lyric Theatre, it was renamed Joyo Theatre in 1937. Bought in 1998 by Dwight Carter, this old theater hosts a variety of events, including movies (both old and new), live bands, birthday parties, school matinees, church services, and more.

More Info:
Joyo Theatre Facebook Page