Slam poetry has been a staple at hipster coffee shops since its origin in 1984 Chicago. Artists in New Orleans are taking a new approach to the same concept, by telling stories in a laid-back, intimate and comfortable setting.
Bring Your Own is a “live pop-up storytelling series,” according to founder Liam Daniel Pierce. Before he started Bring Your Own, Pierce worked on a storytelling event that applied the judging aspect of Basic slam poetry to storytelling. However, Pierce felt this form of storytelling was lacking in its intimacy and decided to drop the judging process in order to cultivate a more friendly group atmosphere, the end result being Bring Your Own.
BYO co-founder Nina Feldman describes storytelling as “the heart of all forms of expression” and says she’s always on the lookout for potential storytellers for the next pop-up session. Potential storytellers seeking to display their annecdotal chops can learn more about BYO here.
Kevin Bitter, a film student in the Department of Film and Theatre at the University of New Orleans, produced a short documentary about BYO’s pop-up storytelling history and its rising popularity in NOLA.