Whereas most audiophiles consider the DJ to be the foundation of hip-hop, it's usually the mic-checking frontman who garners the spotlight. Since the early '50s, spoken word has ushered in a revolution of its own, combining beat poetry with a punk-rock spirit and later christening itself "slam." The aggressive wordplay of its authors has allowed slam poetry to breach pop culture with films like Slam and television shows such as HBO's Def Poetry Jam.
From its roots in Chicago -- where Mark Smith started the poetry slam as we know it in 1986 -- to its expansion into San Francisco and New York, slam has influenced a wave of poets to speak their minds with acerbic wit and sharp intellect intact. South Florida has tasted the flavor thanks to Marya Summers' weekly "Poetry Slam Nights" in Delray Beach and the recent annual Hot Air poetry slam competition in West Palm. Every Tuesday, participants battle in a different-themed night. Lucky for you, the fourth Tuesday is "Anything Goes" night, where poets with original material can use props, costumes, or music to get their points across. Other themed nights include the "Marya Is God" slam, in which the slam mistress decides the poets' fate, and the "Sudden Death" slam. Think you have what it takes? Bring it on at DaDa, 52 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. Admission is free. Call 561-330-3232. -- Kiran Aditham
The GLCC kicks off a new round of "Monte Carlo Nights"
Outside of the reservations and cruises to nowhere, it's tough for the South Florida gambler to get his game on. The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida (1717 N. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale) amends this with "Monte Carlo Nights." Admittedly, you won't win real greenbacks at the GLCC's casino, but for a gambler, the action is the juice. Indeed, winners get "casino cash," which is redeemable at a variety of bars and clubs. As for the cash you use to get in, that goes to the GLCC and the Stonewall Library and Archives. The first "Monte Carlo Night" takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. Call 954-463-9005. -- Dan Sweeney