Hot Sauce Poetry Provides A Space For Poets And Spoken Word Artists

Hot Sauce Poetry Provides A Space For Poets And Spoken Word Artists

By Tia Carol Jones
Heartbreak led Tiffany McCaskill to start writing poetry. In high school, she was an emcee. She had dreams of leaving college and becoming a rapper. Her parents weren’t going for that, so she stayed at her HBCU. But, in the back of her mind she was always thinking of rhymes and lyrics, putting pen to paper to express herself.

Fast forward years later and she was going through a breakup and wanted to express herself. She started writing poetry and reciting it. People encouraged her to write more poems about relationships and that’s what she did. Hot Sauce Poetry started in 2009.

When it comes to the name Hot Sauce Poetry, she said it came to her because the poetry set brings the heat. The inspirational, family-friendly poetry set takes place every second Friday at 3953 S. King Drive. There are two shows each night at 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

McCaskill said there is a difference between a poet and a spoken word artist. Every spoken word artist is a poet, but not every poet is a spoken word artist. A spoken word artist performs their poetry theatrically, while a poet reads their poetry without being theatrical.

The number of spoken word artists who perform in a night varies depending on how many people sign-up. After the open mic, there is a feature artist who performs. Newcomers are always encouraged to perform. Hot Sauce Poetry is open to all ages.

In addition to poets and spoken word artists, emcees, singers, comedians, dancers and other entertainers are also welcome to perform. The mission of Hot Sauce Poetry is to share God’s love, inspire and bless people through the arts and spoken word poetry.

“It’s a good place to test out material. Even if you’re randomly saying something, the audience will give you love,” McCaskill said.

McCaskill’s first foray into performing her poetry was at Ear Candy at the South Side Community Art Center, located at 3831 S. Michigan, years ago. Hot Sauce Poetry started on the West side of Chicago. McCaskill was performing and Mama Brenda suggested that she have a poetry set there.

Hot Sauce Poetry has featured some very well-known artists from Ta’Rhonda Jones to J. Ivy to Lisa McClendon, Just Nesh and Preston Perry, as well as some Def Poetry Poets. There was also a television sitcom that aired on WCIU-26.2 in 2014.

Hot Sauce Poetry has also expanded to hosting every 3rd Saturday in Columbus, Ohio; every 4th Friday in Milwaukee. McCaskill is also working on hosting a Hot Sauce Poetry in Nashville.

For more information about Hot Sauce Poetry, visit

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