Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Poetry-Slam in German-Speaking Regions

Everyone can take part in a Poetry Slam. The only exception are championships, where competitors must be approved by a qualification procedure. In a fixed time limit, self-written texts of any text form, such as poems, spoken word texts, stories or rap lyrics, may be recited.

Facts & figures

Crucial date: all seasons
Inscription: 2016
Domains: oral traditions and expressions; performing arts
Where to find: nationwide (also abroad)


Tilman Döring

Everything that is possible with language and voice is permitted and is also practiced. Only singing (predominantly) is forbidden and props must not be used.

In the early 90s, Poetry Slam culture was imported to Germany from the United States of America and quickly spread in German cities. Today, the German-speaking Poetry Slam scene is larger and more diverse than in the USA. At present, Poetry Slam events take place in every larger and smaller city, as well as in rural areas throughout the German-speaking countries. Audience numbers range from 50 to 800 spectators.

In this event format, with its special form of literary performance and reception, an independent artistic form with its own aesthetics developed, which has established itself under the terms "slam-poetry" and "spoken word poetry" in the current literature and cabaret canon.

In addition to the traditional Poetry Slam events and related formats, the promotion of youngsters has become a central task of the scene. Poetry Slam workshops at schools, which train the use of language, voice and body, are becoming increasingly popular.


Wissen. Können. Weitergeben..
Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission, 2019