Our Supporters

P4's mission of collecting, preserving, and providing access to performance material from the first 25 years of the poetry slam movement would be impossible if not for the support of the incredible poets within the poetry slam community.

Founding Supporters

Gary Glazner

In 1990, working with Poetry Slam founder Marc Smith, Glazner produced the first National Poetry Slam, which was held in San Francisco. He is the editor of Poetry Slam: The Competitive Art of Performance Poetry. Gary is also the founder and Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Poetry Project, (APP). The NEA listed the APP as a “best practice” for their Arts and Aging initiative. The Alzheimer's Poetry Project was awarded the 2012 MetLife Foundation Creativity and Aging in America Leadership Award in the category of Community Engagement.

Bob Holman

Bob Holman ran the infamous poetry slams at the Nuyorican Poets Café from 1988 to 1996. In 1996, the TV series he produced for PBS, The United States of Poetry, won the INPUT (International Public Television) Award. He is Visiting Professor of Writing at Columbia School of the Arts and Founder/Proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club. He is codirector of the Endangered Language Alliance and works to bring attention to the world's endangered languages through their poetry.

Taylor Mali

Formerly president of Poetry Slam, Inc., Taylor is one of the most well-known poets to have emerged from the poetry slam movement. His one man show Teacher! Teacher! won the jury prize for best solo performance at the 2001 Comedy Arts Festival. Mali is the author most recently of Bouquet of Red Flags and is also the author of What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World as well as two other books of poetry. Taylor makes his entire living as a spoken-word and voiceover artist, traveling around the country performing and teaching workshops.

Alix Olson

Alix Olson has published several volumes of poetry, produced three spoken word albums and the award-winning feature documentary Left Lane. Her poetry, essays, interviews and columns have appeared in dozens of anthologies and magazines. Left Lane has been the recipient of five awards for Favorite Audience Feature and Favorite Documentary including from the Paris Feminist Film Festival. The Progressive Magazine calls Alix “an electrifying performer who seduces the audience with wit and energy, spinning tales of life on the road between her fiery poems.”

Marc Smith

The founder and creator of the poetry slam movement. Marc Kelly Smith (So What!) is best known for bringing to the worldwide poetry community a new style of poetic presentation that has spawned one of the most important social/literary arts movements of our time. Smith’s book, Crowdpleaser, celebrates the Green Mill, particularly its audiences who remain at the core of slam’s success. As with slam, the book defies labels and explores new forms. It has been credited by the Chicago Book Review, The Chicago Sun Times, The Chicago Tribune, Illinois Entertainer, New City and The Reader.

Susan B. A. Somers-Willett

Poet, slam scholar, and author of The Cultural Politics of Slam Poetry: Race, Identity, and the Performance of Popular Verse in America. She holds a Ph.D. in American Literature from The University of Texas at Austin. She has taught poetics and creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University, The University of Texas at Austin, Montclair State University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her honors include the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize, a Gracie Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry.

Scott Woods

The author and editor of over nine volumes of poetry and prose, Scott has been featured multiple times in the national press, including multiple appearances on National Public Radio. Scott was the founder of the poetry performance group The Black Air Poets, and was the coach and a member of Columbus's first-ever National Poetry Slam Team. He is a past President of Poetry Slam Inc., which oversees the annual National Poetry Slam and the Individual World Poetry Slam. Woods latest book is We Over Here Now.