The first stop for any potential National Team member or Finalist is the Wednesday Night Slam Open. The Slam Open happens every Wednesday of the month, except for the first. The folks who have hosted this event provide a crucial link between the first-time Slammer and the Friday Night stage; they are vital to our Slam since they provide a comfortable space to begin the process. Many Wednesday Night Hosts have also hosted the Friday Night event, though their responsibility to Friday Nights was never as demanding and ongoing as the SlamMaster. A few here (Nathan P and Mo Browne) have continued at the Nuyorican as "resident" Friday Night SlamMasters.

The structure of a Wednesday night allows for any poet to come up, sign the book (hopefully legibly!) and read a poem. The winner of any Wednesday night is offered a Friday Night Slam spot; and while some Slammers move quickly to this point, others may take many Wednesdays to get there. The Slam Open also functions as a kind of practice for the Friday Slam...even seasoned Slammers come through to "work out" a piece in front of a live audience. For many, it's been an effective way to sharpen poetic and performance skills.

But you don't have to be a Slammer to participate or enjoy a Wednesday Night Slam Open. All kinds of poets show up, some curious, some hardly competitive at all old, young and everyone in-between. Poets will even cycle in and out over time, but like Poetry Slam in general, Wednesday nights are never predictable.

Our Wednesday Night Hosts have been memorable, entertaining and  dedicated, each with their own style and flavor. All of them have encouraged the poets they've heard and made this night still one of the greatest open mics in New York City.

All the names you'll see here have given selflessly (and for very little financial reward) to the great cause of poetry. The Nuyorican has been fortunate to have had their talents at the helm of the Slam Open. We couldn't have done it withoutcha! -CU