Snaps & Taps hosts poetry slams
Published: Thursday, April 18, 2002
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2012 23:06
Spoken word and poetry slams find a home in the art lounge Snaps & Taps. Every Wednesday, the performance area swells with fresh ideas and original work. Artists of varied mediums, philosophies and perspectives have the opportunity to showcase their talent before numerous artistically hungry patrons.
"Snaps & Taps is the only poetry slam venue in town, which is a good thing because of the focus of energy," said Scott Wood, who runs the open mic and poetry slam nights at Snaps & Taps.
Located at 44 S. Washington Ave., Snaps & Taps has an easily accessible downtown location, just west of I-71. The crowd is amiable and eclectic, drawing a crowd representative of many races, ages and styles.
Poetry slamming started in Chicago in the late 1980s. The style of spoken word remains out of the mainstream, but has steadily gained momentum across the country.
Slam is a more aggressive and competitive form of poetry. Not only do the artists read their poetry, but they act out their poems through passionate narration and inflection.
Wood said Columbus' slam scene is unique because it is somewhat sheltered from other cities' influences. Local artists focus on their work more than they do the national scene, which results in more original creations that avoid imitation.
"Local artists find their own voice," Wood said. He admitted that in large national competitions being out of the loop can create a negative stigma. He said that other cities' slam scenes create ideas of what Columbus' slam scene is all about.
Overall, Columbus' slam scene is still in its infant stage, but is extremely nurturing to young artists. "Columbus' scene is very young and is still trying to find its legs," Wood said.
Snaps & Taps is an open-minded lounge that is open to artists of all mediums. All of the art on the walls is by aspiring artists and is for sale.
"My goal was to create an atmosphere conducive to artistic expression and comfort. I didn't want a bar feel, but one more of a relaxing place to think and be exposed to new things," said Todd Tuney, proprietor of Snaps & Taps. For now African coffees, African teas and juices are available, but Tuney is looking to expand into sandwiches and wine.
Wood expressed a common misconception about slam. "Slam doesn't represent if you're a good poet. Different rooms, different crowds and judges all impact a given night's performance," Wood said. Poets slam because they want to have fun with their work, or they want to gain experience with public speaking.
Slam is about many different things, often politics, sex and religion are common topics, but random subject matter arises as well. Artists express vastly different messages, stories and dreams.
Sidney Jones came to Columbus for his teaching job; his involvement with open mic and slamming has evolved into weekly performances at Snaps & Taps and national poetry slam competitions. Last week Jones performed "Full Circle Part 1 (My Niggas)," his examination of the different uses of the controversial word.
"My goal was to create a satire on the use of the word," Jones said.
Jones has been slamming for a couple of years. His next major literary project includes a book of poetry.
Snaps & Taps hosts an open mic night every Wednesday, and a slam night on the third Wednesday of the month. Other nights vary in entertainment, but a quick trip to www.snapsandtaps.com is sure to clear up any questions about an evening's agenda.