Slam Poetry Rules
- Poems must be original work that was composed by the speaker. You may repeat poems at subsequent slams, though we encourage you to write often and present fresh material.
- Two-poem requirement; a different poem for each round.
- Time limit of 3 minutes for each poem, plus a 10-second grace period. Poets will be docked points if they go over time.
- No costumes (a costume is anything you wouldn’t normally wear).
- No props (considered something you bring on stage that could be seen to enhance your performance. This could be reading your own work out of a published book, or bringing in a seashell to display as you recite your poem about the beach).
- No instruments (you can beat box, sing, slap your legs or chest but you can’t us a guitar or harmonica or kazoo, for example).
- No nudity.
- No group performances unless we call for a group-theme slam.
- Sign-up is between 7:30 and 8 the evening of the slam, and is first-come-first-serve. If the list exceeds 12 slammers, priority will be given to poets who have not participated before.
- In the event of a tie, the slam master will devise a tie-breaking lightning round where poets will have to perform on the spot. (ie: freestyle compliment battle, haiku off).
Rules for Judges:
- Judges chosen will have the least amount of connection with the poets competing that evening.
- Judges will be chosen to represent a diversity of ethnicity, gender expression, age, experience, etc.
- All judges must simultaneously present their scores.
- Judges are encouraged to consider a range of criteria when scoring (content, use of creative language, performance style, ability to arouse feelings, etc), and apply their criteria consistently throughout the event.
Rules for all those in attendance:
- Discriminatory language is not accepted. Any one who makes offensive comments based on ethnicity, sex and gender, or sexual orientation will be asked to leave immediately.
- Talking / carrying on a loud conversation during a poets piece may prompt a slam master to ask you to leave.
- When arriving late or returning from the bathroom, we kindly ask you to wait until between poems to enter into the room.