Slam poetry and storytelling competition scores big in Tel Aviv

Walking into the crowded bar, one wonders if they have been transported to a different era. Are these people really taking time out of their busy schedules to listen to poetry?

The answer is yes and you‘ve only been transported to Tel Aviv‘s first English-language slam poetry and storytelling series, now in its fourth season.

Be the first to know –

The Stage Slam Series was founded by Karen Lerman, who made aliyah in 2014 from New York. Shortly after coming to Israel, Lerman began volunteering with The Stage, an English-language performance arts organization based in Tel Aviv, and the Slam Series was born.

"I first discovered slam when I was 16 and was immediately hooked," Lerman told The Jerusalem Post. "Ever since, it’s been a life passion and a culture I try to find and grow wherever I live.”

The Stage Slam Series is now a set part of the Anglo culture in Tel Aviv, with loyal fans attending every competition. Perhaps the secret of success lies in its simplicity.

A series is made up of six themed competitions, where poets and storytellers from all over Israel and beyond perform their original pieces in front of a live audience. Judges in the audience score the performances and the top two performers from each event go on to compete in The Stage Slam Series‘ Grand Slam.

Past themes have included "Take me home, I‘m drunk," "Bad Habits" and "Mama Always Said."

As for Lerman, she couldn‘t be happier with how the Tel Aviv audience has judged the Slam Series itself.

"Seeing more and more people come out to appreciate the art form, and work to establish an English-language option through The Stage Slam Series, has been one of the best things about moving here," Lerman said. "I could see there was a thirst for the art form, and I’m honored to have played a part in quenching it."

The Stage Slam Series is holding its fourth annual Grand Slam on Tuesday, May 29th at Abraham Hostel in Tel Aviv at 7:30pm. Tickets are available through or can purchased at the door.