The Oakland Poetry Slam was founded in 1999 by a small group of Bay Area poets set on bringing Slam to the sunny side of The Bay. These visionaries included Sonia Whittle, Charles Ellik, Nisa Ahmad & Nazelah Jamison. In that very first year the rookie team Oakland reached Finals stage at The National Poetry Slam, finishing the tourney as the 4th ranked team (of 64). After the teams triumphant return the Slam soon took of and took on a life of it's own.
Over the years The Oakland Slam has been held at a variety of venues around the city of trees. The city doesn't always make it easy for the arts or the artists. Our venues have included Mambo-Mambo, The Black/Oakland Box Theater, The Oakland Metro, Oaklandish Gallery, The Uptown Theater, KTOP Studios and currently The Oasis Restaurant & Bar.
Since 2005 the Slam has been organized & promoted by the dynamic duo of Dahled & Nazelah Jeffries. In that time D has also managed to make the team each year and Naz has hosted the show and coached the squad. While the team hasn't quite made it back to the Finals stage since 2003 they have performed consistently well in competition. Locally Oakland is the defending champ in both the 5 team Battle of The Bay (B.o.B.) series and the 8 team New Word Series. Nationally they were the top ranked team going into semi-finals in 2008, where they were sidetracked by the ultimate winner.