Slam Dunk

When you think of poetry and basketball, images of a sweet layup or an at-the-buzzer, tie-breaking jump shot probably come to mind. That might change now that Urban Word NYC and the New York Knicks have collaborated to create a series of workshops and poetry slams. Now in its third year, the Knicks Poetry Slam Series is geared towards teens and offers a competitive, but fun venue for kids 13-19 to express themselves and to embrace creative writing and literacy.

The finals will take place February 1st at Madison Square Garden where you can join the Knicks’ Stephon Marbury and watch the top 12 poets vie for a spot on the NY Knicks Slam Team. All events are free and open to the public. You can find more information on the Urban Word calendar. I’m not generally a Knicks fan, but I have to applaud any organization that throws support behind a great youth in poetry project such as this one.

3 Responses

  1. distant scenarioThis is
    distant scenario

    This is great.

    Here is my fictional scenario in a topsy-turvy world where poetry is more popular than basketball:

    COACH: We’ve got trouble. They want to cut Bill Ectric from the Slam Team.

    DEAN: Cut Ectric? He’s our most valuable player! What’s the problem?

    COACH: The word leaked out that he didn’t do his own pull-ups.

    DEAN: Oh, no . . .

    COACH: Yeah, he should have received in D in phys-ed, but I bumped him up to a B so he could stay on the team. Little bastard can’t do three pull-ups.

    DEAN: Wow. With Wireman on probation for testing positive for espresso, and now THIS . . .

  2. Jim CarrollPoetry and
    Jim Carroll

    Poetry and basketball: I thought this was going to be a Jim Carroll post!

  3. Speaking of Jim Carroll, I
    Speaking of Jim Carroll, I recently read that he met Kerouac a couple of times and that Kerouac and Burroughs wrote “blurbs” for The Basketball Diaries. I didn’t realize that. It’s been a long time since I read The Basketball Diaries, so I guess it’s possible that one of those blurbs was on the copy I had and I just forgot.

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!