The OM Center Poetry Slam

Home of the 2003 and 2006 National Poetry Slam semi-finalist Omaha team and 2007 iWPS Finalist Dan Leamen

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(image © Omaha Healing Arts Center)

2nd Saturday of every month

7:30pm at 1216 Howard in the Old Market

more great events at the Healing Arts Center

The OM Center has been a place for great poetry and performance since January of 2002. Doors open at 7, with an open mic (you have up to 3 minutes to read whatever you'd like) starting at 7:30pm and the poetry slam (competition poetry (see below) 3 rounds (meaning you need 3 poems, none longer than 3 minutes)) beginning afterward. Emceed by Matt Mason and Zedeka and featuring many of the nation's finest poets, it's guaranteed better than a night at the movies for only a $7 suggested donation.

Sign up is limited, so to read you must sign up before 7:30. Sign ups will only be allowed after 7:30 if there are less than 6 on the open mic list or 8 on the slam list.

I've never felt more loved or confident than on Omaha's stage
-Sierra DeMulder, after her January, 2014 feature.

Oh my God what a great audience and slam community in Omaha. A reunion with old friends and many new friends. It was one of the most perfect nights of my life as slam papa. Matt & Sarah and their group nurtured one the best slam family tribes to date... The old man was holding back tears of joy all night. I'll be back, Omaha!
–Marc Smith (from his March, 2010 Facebook status (used with Slam Papi permission))

See some video from Marc's show in Omaha at:

Upcoming Schedule:

  • Slam Team Qualifying runs December-March! Top 3 over-18 performers earn a spot in the April Poetry Slam Team Finals!

  • March features internationally known poet and National Individual Poetry Slam Champion Sonya Renee.

The OM Slam thanks The Nebraska Writers Collective for help booking our features.

Qualify for National Events:

To qualify for the OM Center Poetry Slam Team, Individual World Poetry Slam, or World of Women Poetry Slam (the 3 annual Poetry Slam, Inc. events) see the Omaha Tournament Page.

Get Disqualified:

The OM Center Poetry Slam encourages creative disqualifications (especially in the 3rd round where last place in this round gets you Ted & Wally's Place, earning you a free Ted & Wally's ice cream). The current record-holder for most reasons being DQed is Sean Patrick Mulroy with six (December, 2011). For all the known ways you can be DQed, Click Here.

Help us out!

Help the OM Center Poetry Slam bring in great features and send poets to events like the National Poetry Slam by donating: click here to donate.

2014 Slam Season Champions

January 11, 2014
April Team Finals Qualifiers:
1st: Ben Wenzl
2nd: Greg Harries
3rd: Matt Mason(Declined slot)
4th: Gina Keplinger
February 8, 2014
April Team Finals Qualifiers:
1st: Dan Leamen (already qualified)
2nd: Devel Crisp (Declined spot)
3rd: Mary Beth Becker (Declined spot)
4th: Trac Schacht
5th: Steven Evans
6th: Allen Stevenson
March 8, 2014
April Team Finals Qualifiers:
1st: Brok "Tryst" Kerbrat
2nd: Elaine Samsel
3rd: John Ratz

2013 Slam Season Champions

January 12, 2013

April Team Finals Qualifiers:
1st: Justin
2nd: Greg Harries
3rd: Tryst
February 9, 2013

April Team Finals Qualifiers:
1st: Zedeka Poindexter
2nd: Maribel Navarette
3rd: Mary Beth Becker
March 9, 2013

April Team Finals Qualifiers:
1st: Ben Wenzl (already qualified)
2nd: Kayla Thomas
3rd: Steven Evans
4th (Tie): Shukura Huggins
Gina Keplinger
April 13, 2013

Poetry Slam Team Finals:
1st: Brok "Tryst" Kerbrat
2nd: Greg Harries
3rd: Ben Wenzl
4th: Maribel Navarette
5th: Justin Gilbreath
6th: Shukura Huggins
May 10, 2013

No Rules Poetry Slam:
1st: Ben Wenzl
2nd: Reagan Myers
3rd: Justin Gilbreath
June 8, 2013

1st: Ariana Di Bernardo
2nd: Sam Stecher
3rd: Dave Ice
July 13, 2013

1st: Steven Evans
2nd: Jarvis
3rd: Margie Davey
August 10, 2013

1st: Justin Gilbreath
2nd: Cameron Logsdon
3rd: Ben Wenzl
September 14, 2013

1st: Ben Wenzl
2nd: Chris August
3rd: Dan Leamen
October 13, 2013
1st: Reagan Myers
2nd: Elaine Samsel
3rd: Katie F-S
November 9, 2013
1st: Ben Wenzl
2nd: Ruth Kohtz
3rd: Steven Mildenstein
December 14, 2013
April Team Finals Qualifiers:
1st: Nicholas Bell
2nd: Reagan Myers
3rd: Dan Leamen

Click for the 2002-11 Slam Season Champions

What's a poetry slam? It's competition poetry; meaning humor, politics, sex, entertainment masquerading as literature, literature masquerading as entertainment. Poets will read, then judges will flash Olympic-style scoring (ranging from 1 to 10) based on the poet's poem as well as performance of the poem to determine who goes on to the next round until there's just one poet left standing as the champion, and only the champion can leave with the Golden Monkey.

The OM Center Poetry Slam uses the rules listed at

We're proud to have hosted slam founder Marc Smith, Marty McConnell, Rachel McKibbens, Roger Bonair-Agard, Buddy Wakefield, Anis Mojgani, Yusef Komunyakaa, Big Poppa E, Ken Arkind, Panama Soweto, Mike McGee, Shane Koyczan, Mindy Nettifee, Sam Cook, Sean Conlon, Andrea Gibson, Gary Mex Glazner, Dessa Darling, Jonathan Bryant, Craig Arnold, Luke Warmwater, Charlie Rossiter; slam teams from Denver Merc, Denver Nuba, Normal, Albuquerque, Des Moines, Milwaukee, and more.

For more information, email mtmason at or go to for other info.

the Poetry Menu

Omaha Healing Arts Center
SlamNation on DVD

Links: Matt Mason and Sarah McKinstry-Brown

Last update: March 11, 2014