Our friends over at CapCity Slam recently rebooted – changed their name from Nitty Gritty Slam – and set off on a new course at the Albany Barn.

The Times Union attended one of the slams and talked to organizer Liv McKee and some of the spoken word artists and writers taking the stage.

The CapCity Slam began in September 2011 as Nitty Gritty Slam at Valentines on New Scotland Ave., in Albany. Nitty Gritty Slam was the brainchild of Daniel Nester, Dain Brammage, and Mojavi as a way to bring a fresh and vibrant poetry slam to the area. One of the goals the founders of NGS had was to make a greater community by bringing together all types of poets and writers to participate – be it perform, judge, or just be part of the audience.

After sending teams to regional and national competitions, Amani took the reigns of hosting and organizing in 2015, eventually moving the slam to the Albany Barn in 2018. The name was later changed to CapCity Slam in 2019 to better reflect the evolving mission and vision of the slam.

From the CapCity Slam Facebook page:

We share pieces of our souls and inadvertently win slams. We elevate queer femmes. We bring honesty, softness, and fire all at once. Our community is truth bearing. Raw. Original. Live. And like no other. Come leave it on the stage. Or receive it in the sea of audience dopeness you co-create. Either way we wouldn’t want to spend such a momentous event with anyone other than YOU! All poetry and art that is not racist, queerphobic, sexist, ableist, or otherwise offensive is enthusiastically welcome to be shared! We aim to create a loving community that fosters dialogue and safe space surrounding difficult topics. We aim for radical accessibility and are going to be in continuous dialogue and examination around how to do so.

CapCity Slam takes place on the first Wednesday of every month at the Albany Barn (56 2nd Street, Albany, NY 12210). Sign up starts at 6:30 with the poetry beginning at 7:00 p.m.