Poet, Sebastian 23 tells Shake the Dust about the Slam Poetry Scene in Germany :
“When I came into the German Poetry Slam scene in 2002, people told me that I was putting energy into a thing that was way beyond it’s climax. Until then Poetry Slam in Germany had been growing for eight or nine years since the first slam was started in Berlin. There were about 25 slams across the country and to some it obviously seemed that the movement began to slow down. Little did I know how wrong those people were.
Back then I was just a young student trying to read my first poems from shivering pages. It’s 2012 now, and I not only still enjoy performing at slam
s, but for the last six years it’s actually become my day job! At present there are more than 200 slams in Germany and way more slam-related shows such as theatre slams, science slams, reading stages and slam revues. There is a regular slam show on national television now, and last year Nora Gomriger, a slam poet from Bavaria, won one of the most important prizes in German literature.
Poems by slam poets are printed in school books and I know of several literature and cultural museums that featured Poetry Slam in their exhibitions. Last summer I walked down a road in Berlin and I saw a small coffee shop with a sign saying “In here: No WiFi, No Coffee-to-go, No Poetry Slam”. That made me laugh at first, just like the clown in Stephen Kings “It”, but then I realised that maybe by now the slam scene has grown out of proportion. Maybe Poetry Slam is way beyond it’s climax!
At least this is what I tell young students that are trying to read their first poems from shivering pages.”