The Boston Poetry Slam was founded in 1991 by Michael Brown and Patricia Smith. Michael and Patricia imported the poetry slam directly from its birthplace, the Green Mill in Chicago. In 2004, Simone Beaubien became the sole SlamMaster of the venue.

The core Boston Poetry Slam show runs at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, Mass. every Wednesday night, giving poets a chance to share their work in the open mic or slam and featuring a headlining poet or theme slam.

The Boston Poetry Slam has also produced outside shows at other coffeehouses, bars, theaters, and schools across New England, including The Encyclopedia Show: Somerville (2012-2016), Moonlighting (2013-2016), and New and Improved (2012-2013). The organization hosted the National Poetry Slam in 1992, 2011, and 2013.

The show and its community are curated entirely by unpaid volunteers. The Boston Poetry Slam is a certified member of Poetry Slam, Inc., the 501(c)3 organization that operates as the governing body of poetry slam.