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The Performance Poetry Preservation Project

Preserving our poetic heritage
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Our Mission:


The mission of the Performance Poetry Preservation Project (P4) is to collect, preserve, and provide access to material from the Poetry Slam movement.  Working collaboratively with poets, academics, librarians and the slam community, we will:

  • raise awareness of the bold impact slam poetry has had on American culture and the arts;

  • meet the critical need for long-term preservation; and

  • create a transparent, accessible, sustainable archive in which all of the diverse voices of the Slam are made available to current and future generations of scholars and the public.



P4 is a living, growing, carefully curated performance poetry archive, whose ambition is to collect and catalog a broad representation of the slam poetry movement. 

The P4 website is here to provide information about the project, and will soon become a portal for fans and scholars to search, access, and experience the poetry recordings we collect.

To learn more about P4, who we are and what we do, to submit poetry or donate to our efforts, or simply to drop us a line, just explore the links above.  And thanks for visiting us at the Performance Poetry Preservation Project!

Please support the work of the Performance Poetry Preservation Project, by making a tax deductible donation!

We accept one time donations in any amount, or ongoing monthly donations.

All donations to P4 are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law!

Make a one time donation:

Make a monthly donation:
Join the P4 at your level!

P4 NEWS...


We are seeking volunteers to help us tag a small portion of our massive performance poetry audio archive.  
Before we can launch a searchable public archive chronicling slam’s first 25 years, we need to develop a sample set – and we could use your help!

We are looking for at least 10 people to volunteer just three to five hours of their time over the course of the next month.  Each P4 Poetry Tagger will review about 50 audio poems, tagging each poem from a list of categories (geography, gender, subject matter, etc.), and write a quick one or two sentence description of the recording.

You don’t have to be an expert in the history of slam poetry, but familiarity with the form and community is helpful.

Interested? Email with questions or to volunteer today!  Deadline to volunteer:  May 8, 2015.

4/16/2012: Check out this wonderful post by P4 Collaborator Susan B.A. Somers-WilletShe wrote about National Poetry Month for the Creative Research Center blog this month, and made sure to mention P4 among the potential resources available to the public, with a link.  Read the post here:  Poetry is Dead.  Long Live Poetry!  Some Thoughts on Poetry in the American Public Sphere.Thanks Susan, for them plug, and for the excellent article!

4/14/2012:  If you are in the Salem, Massachusetts area the weekend of April 20-22, be sure to attend the Massachusetts Poetry Festival!  P4 Founder and President Wess Mongo Jolley will be doing a presentation on Saturday on the mission and goals of the Performance Poetry Preservation Project.  Contact Mongo for more information!

he Performance Poetry Preservation Project is an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit, incorporated in the state of Massachusetts. For more information, or to speak with officers of the organization, please visit our P4 Organizers page.

NPS 2011 Photos throughout this site courtesy of Mary Cae Vignolini.