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In Azerbaijan, Meykhana Poets Battle in Pubs and at Parties

Mehman Ahmadli is a master of meykhana. It’s a form of freestyle poetry sometimes set to the beat of a Persian drum. Poets compete against each other, and there is no room for hesitation—you have to be ready to speak the second your opponent stops. Break the flow, and you’re done. We join Ahmadli and his friends at a pub in the Azerbaijan capital of Baku to see how a faceoff goes down.

This Great Big Story was made possible by Azerbaijan Tourism.

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Baku, Azerbaijan

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