"What are "slam," "academic," and "underground" poems...how are you defining these terms? I'm going to make the argument that there are some craft techniques that are universal to all of these styles of poetry, or make all of these styles of poetry stronger or weaker through their use or lack thereof."
Ah, I love categorizing things. It's a game you can just keep on playing.
Of these, slam poetry is the easiest one to nail down-- it's the poetry you get in a poetry slam. A slam poem isn't really about the poem in itself-- it's all about the performance. And, more to the point: a slam poem has to get its reaction immediately. It's not one where, hours later, you wake up in the middle of the night realizing you can't stop thinking about that one image, or working through some train of thought the poem had kicked off. A slam poem kicks you in the gut fast.
"Academic" poems (I think he means what I would call "page" poems-- poems that are meant to be read on the page, not necessarily performed), can work slow. They can layer on imagery, can take multiple readings. Many page poems, of course, read very well-- the rhythm and poetry of language can work in readings as well as on the page.
"Underground" poems, I guess, are the ones that don't fit either category-- the true underground poems are edgy, want to make you think or react or feel, want to break rules just for the sake of getting a rise.
You want to see slam-- here's the place to find it!
Poets who will be competing in the GRAND SLAM are:
Eris Zion Venia