top of page
About the Slam

In 2005, The Jambalaya Soul Slam started at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham and has been supported by the St. Joseph's Historic Foundation ever since. Each month the slam brings together the best poets in the area to compete for a cash prize and an invitation to Grand Slam Finals where the Bull City Slam Team (BCST) is picked. The Jambalaya Soul Slam also features some of the best poets from across the country each month. The Jambalaya Soul Slam has been highlighted in the News & Observer, Herald Sun, and other media as one of the area's most successful arts programs.

The Jambalaya Soul Slam (and Academy) are graciously supported and presented by the St. Joseph's Historic Foundation/Hayti Heritage Center. 

The project is also supported by the Durham Arts Council and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

The Staff

Dasan Ahanu - founder, director, and curator, BCST co-slammaster

Wendy Jones - slam coordinator, BCST co-slammaster

Ashley Lumpkin - BCST coach

About the Bull City Slam Team

The Bull City Slam Team (BCST) is sponsored by the St. Joseph’s historic foundation and represents the Triangle in regional and national competition each summer. The team has had great success at the Southern Fried poetry slam, an annual festival and competition featuring teams of poets from across the southeast. It is the largest regional poetry slam in the country and is run by Southern Fried Poetry Slam, Incorporated. The team finished second at the 2009 Southern Fried Poetry Slam held in Durham, NC. In 2010 the Bull City Slam Team won the Southern Fried Poetry Slam in Knoxville, TN. In 2014 the team won the Southern Fried Regional Poetry Slam for a second time in Greenville, SC. In 2015 they finished second at the Southern Fried Regional Poetry Slam in Little Rock, AR. In 2018, the BCST finished third at the Southern Fried Poetry Slam in San Antonio, Tx. The team has also had success at the National Poetry Slam (NPS), a national team competition run by Poetry Slam Incorporated and held in cities across the country. The BCST finished 3rd in team finals at the 2010 NPS in St. Paul, MN and second in Group Piece finals at the 2012 NPS in Charlotte, NC. The team has made semi-finals at NPS three times, in 2007, 2010, and 2016. The Team has also had individual representatives make final stage at the Individual World Poetry Slam (IWPS) and Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWPS); both events are also run annually by Poetry Slam Incorporated. 


BCST members are chosen each year through participation in the Jambalaya Soul Slam, a monthly poetry slam series held at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, NC. The members also participate in other creative writing and performance programming at the Hayti Heritage Center throughout the year. They help facilitate community programs with local partners through the foundation. One of the goals of the slam and the team is to not only be a representative for the community but also an active participant in the community.

bottom of page