Slam Nuba was conceived by Ashara Ekundayo, Ken Arkind and Panama Soweto. Café Nuba, Denver’s premier monthly poetry showcase, had been a registered Poetry Slam, Inc. venue for several years and had never sent a team to the National Poetry Slam. With the support of the community Slam Nuba was created for the purpose of representing the versatility of Denver’s poetry scene under its parent organization of Café Nuba.
The team has performed in many places outside of poetry slam including an event hosted by Democracy Now, sharing a stage with Amy Goodman, opening for recording artists Les Nubians, sharing a stage with the hip-hop group Dead Prez, and at such local events as Denver’s Black Arts Festival, Freedom of Speech, The Poet As Muse, Café Cultura, & the Historic Mercury Café Poetry Slam.
Nuba is widely known for their voice recall and response “Slam Nuba” responded with “We Cut Heads” the origin of this interaction comes from Spike lee’s first independent film Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads. It in no way connotes violence in a decapitation sense as much as it suggests that the poetry group prides themselves in their ability to present mind blowing & thought provoking work that separates listeners from their senses.