The Steel City Slam will host the slam poetry competition Battle of the Slams on Saturday, Feb. 28, at Union Project in East Liberty, where they will match up against poetry slam teams from Buffalo, N.Y., Columbus, Ohio, and beyond. The event breaks up their usual weekly events and acts as sort of a trial run for their big “Grand Slam” competition in April that determines the final competition team for 2015.
The Steel City Slam has been ground central for Pittsburgh’s slam poetry scene for over 15 years. Up until a couple years ago, the weekly poetry showcase/workshop/safe place was held at the venerable East Liberty performance space the Shadow Lounge, but has since slid over to the Penn Avenue bar and restaurant Capri. Currently, Steel City Slam operates under the banner of the Pittsburgh Poetry Collective, an organization also responsible for Young Steel, a youth slam poetry league, the WordPlay creative writing workshops, and WordUp, which connects performance poets with the community.
The team event starts at 7 p.m., with the individual slam competition following at 9 p.m. The Battle of the Slams is BYOB with limited food and beverages available for free. Tickets are $10 and available at the Pittsburgh Poetry Collective’s website here
. (801 N. Negley Ave., East Liberty, Union Project)