Ohio MeatGrinder Poetry Slam - July 27, 2019

Workshop, bouts, finals, after party. All in one day.

But yes, we added the Tenderizer Open Mic the night before.


We'll put new information up as soon as we have it.

Up to 10 teams. No indies.

  1. Hairbo Star ReMix - Columbus, OH
  2. Team Flatt - Columbus, OH
  3. Team Writers’ Block — Columbus, OH
  4. Dayton Poetry Slam — Dayton, OH
  5. We Duh Bitches, Bruh! - Cleveland, OH
  6. Weezie’s last minute team - Columbus, OH

Previous winners

2018 1st place: Freshwater Wordsmiths: Deonte Osayande, Prostell Thomas, Kevlar Africa, Clarity Levine
2018 2nd place: Dayton Poetry Slam: The Poet Y, Lexie, The Bars Kid, Dillon Allen
2018 3rd place: Sounds Like a Personal Problem: Alexis Mitchell, Ed Plunkett, Andy Anderson, Bill Abbott, Jaison Tremain

2017 1st place: Butter Twerk: Ephraim Nehemiah, Akeemjamal Rollins, Damien McClendon, Christine Howey
2017 2nd place: Black Bars and Battle Scars: Mathias Jackson, Shameaca Moore, Tripp Fontaine, Matthew Vaughn
2017 3rd place: Harriet's Shotgun: Izetta Nicole, Barbara Fant, Tiffani Smith, Chauncey Beaty
2017 4th place: Fuck Your Competitive Bullshit: Su Flatt, Zach Hannah, Nathan Cintax, Ryan Javery

2016 1st place: Team Ratchet - Siaara Freeman, Rachel Wiley, Meaca Moore, Brittany Rodgers
2016 2nd place: Dayton Poetry Slam: Link Schreiber, Johnathan Gallienne, Professor X, Nate Tipton
2016 3rd place: No Means No, Su Flatt, Nathan Cintax, Gray Clark, Sara Trattner

2015 1st place: Writers' Block Slam Team 2015: Nathan Cintax, Mathias Jackson, Betsy Clark, Janel Taylor, Ephraim Nehemiah
2015 2nd place: Slippery Nipple: Su Flatt, Calla Thomas, Sara Trattner, Katrina K.

2014 1st place: Shug Avery's Bath Water: Scott Woods, Izetta Nicole Thomas, Siaara Freeman, Searius Addison
2014 2nd place: Pussy Power: Betsy Clark, Calla Thomas, Louise Robertson, Katrina K.


TEAM registration now open.

Register over here.


  1. Original work only.
    If you didn’t write it, don’t perform it.
  2. Teams of 4 poets only.
    Play ‘em however you want, but you need 4 to show up.
  3. 5 judges scoring from 0-10, may use 1 decimal place.
    We drop the high and low and add the 3 in the middle.
  4. Solos, duets, trios and quartets are allowed.
    Who wrote it? Don’t care.
  5. You got 3 minutes.
    No grace period. If you go over, we take half a point for every 10 seconds. If you go to 4 minutes your whole poem gets a zero.


Note: everything is at Kafe Kerouac (2250 N. High St., Columbus, OH) unless otherwise noted.

Friday night, July 26 - The Tenderizer Open Mic. You want that secret, special sauce? Join us for the Tenderizer Open Mic, a MeatGrinder marinade, if you will. 8pm. Free to poets on teams. Otherwise, this experience is $5.

Saturday all day - The MeatGrinder

Join Ruth Awad -- the astonishingly great writer and workshop leader -- for this year's OMG workshop. Location TBD.
2-2:30 pmTeam Orientation
This is for the teams. You need to be there to get your badges, find out the scoop, ask questions and realize there's no 10 second grace period on the poems. Rules.
3-6 pmPrelim Bouts.
The magic happens here. Joseph Harris, whom you might know as Logic, is our host again this year. So when we say magic, we mean ALL the magic.
6-8 pmDinner Break.
This looks a lot like the lunch break.
8-10 pmFinals.
Continuing magic! These poets have clawed their way through and ascended the five full inches to the finals stage. We salute you!
10 pmAfter Party.
You know what to do.


A Word from the Hosts

The poetry slam is a proud, long-standing poetry tradition. For over 25 years poetry slams the world over have changed the face of the art form all over the planet. The Ohio MeatGrinder Slam operates in the spirit of the roots of Slam, putting a good time had by all above all other considerations. To this end, we’ve opted to install only a handful of rules and to distill the experience of a true roots-based poetry slam into one soul-packing day of poetry … no drama, no fuss.

We will have a morning workshop, registration, preliminary bouts, finals and an after party all in the span of one day (but we did slide in an open mic the night before as a kind of marinade). That’s where the grind comes in. It’s like a Slam festival but without all of the workload, demands and infrastructure that larger festivals require. You come, you enjoy the shows, you go home. Please tip your bartender.

This event is about allowing poets to play with the form of poetry in ways that traditional slam competitions often prohibit. You might see a team with props or in costume or playing instruments during a poem. The goal of the poets is to engage you and we encourage them to do so as they see fit, while still attempting to bring honest and earnest poems to the stage and without turning all of this into an actual competitive agenda. We don’t care about who wins and we’re largely disinterested in creating an environment in which anyone else does either.

Ohio and the rest of the Midwest is home to a great many phenomenal poets and writing traditions. We want to celebrate those artists and legacies. It is our hope that you witness every manner of voice, story, and emotion that we can fit into one day, and that you walk away happy to have been part of a truly unique and profound artistic experience whether you be an audience member or a competing poet.

See you at the slam!

Louise Robertson & Scott Woods
Founders – The Ohio MeatGrinder Slam


When we get some press, we're putting the links here.

  1. Event puts poets through MeatGrinder
  2. 27 things to do the weekend of July 21 [ the Ohio MeatGrinder is one of them ]