The ASL Slam has become a cultural brand for the Deaf poetry movement, attracting performers and audience members from all around the world. Today, the slam is primarily operated through venue shows in NYC and Orlando, museum events, corporate events, and educational collaborations. It's spoken word without spoken words—ASL SLAM is an open space for poets to perform their work in American Sign Language (ASL). As ASL SLAM's executive director Douglas Ridloff explains, ASL poetry doesn't rely on rhyming patterns or meter within auditory or written wordplay; rather, the art is "more about the movement, a visual rhyme versus an audio rhyme." Its performance is a stunning and emotionally potent artistry that connects with all audiences.
Poetry Electric 2023–2024 is made possible by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, the Howard Gilman Foundation, The John Golden Fund, and The Shubert Foundation. Additional funding from the Axe-Houghton Foundation is gratefully acknowledged.
The Poetry Electric fuses music, movement, sound, and dance with the spoken word and presents artists working in a wide range of styles including beatboxing, jazz and hip-hop theatre. This series has presented over 200 emerging poets from diverse cultural backgrounds.