Marc Kelly's Open Road
MARC KELLY SMITH
Poetry Slam Movement
You feel that destiny, and you don't know what it's all about, but believe in that destiny.
- Grew up feeling like he was a sensitive kid, but was raised in an environment that didn't encourage artistry or emotion.
- At the age of 19, he knew he wanted to be a famous poet, but he also knew he didn't want to follow any traditional routes.
- He married at a young age, and his wife worked full-time so that he could focus on his writing.
- After receiving hundreds of rejection slips, he decided to get a full-time construction job and push poetry to the back burner.
- He still sought out poetry readings whenever he could, but was always dismayed in the lack of emotion in the performances.
- Developed his own open-mic poetry night, where he'd passionately bring his words to life on the stage.
- Says there was initially some resistance to this new form; some of the traditional poets felt like he was making a mockery of the art.
- But his emotional performances, which he called "poetry slams," grew in popularity; today, he is credited with founding the poetry slam movement.