JOEL CHMARA

Despite initially feeling daunted by the poetry of his good friend Derrick Brown, Joel Chmara first started slamming in 1997 at the legendary Green Mill in Chicago. Since then, he has toured throughout Europe and America; he placed in the top ten at the 2002 National Poetry Slam; he was featured on the 2003 season of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam; he was a member of the Uptown Poetry Slam Troupe (a traveling poetry group created by poetry slam founder Marc Smith); he wrote and performed poetry and comedy on The Loop (97.9 FM), and parody songs for the Harry and Spike Show on WMVP (1000 AM); he co-hosted the Mental Graffiti open mic and poetry slam in Chicago; and he has been a regular contributor to The Encyclopedia Show, a live variety show that is now in its sixth season. He is currently a professor of Communication at The College of Lake County.

Presenter: 2014, 2015