Slam poetry, a celebration of the spoken word, has taken the city by storm. Michelle Ann James, a music data analyst and one of the founders of Mocking Birds, a forum to promote the spoken word, said that their monthly meetings have seen a steady increase in participation. “Earlier, it was just a few of us but the last meeting on March 5 saw close to 25 people, from all walks of life. We meet at cafés or people’s terraces and share our poetry. In Chennai, there was hardly any place for the spoken form of poetry, where there will be no competition or judgement. It is pretty much like an open mic session, where we have a theme and people can read their work. We also have a brief musical interlude. For many, who are not necessarily performers, reading out their poems can be a very emotional experience, as they share their personal stories through their verse,” she said, adding that the theme of their last session was ‘Celebrating Half the Sky’, an ode to women.