THE PEOPLE POETRY SLAM
The People Poetry Slam is Twelve Literary Arts' series of poetry slam events for adults hosted every second and fourth Thursday of the month at The Happy Dog at Euclid Tavern (11625 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, 44106). The People season begins in January and closes in November.
As Cleveland's official poetry slam series recognized by Poetry Slam, Inc The People series hosts all qualifying slams and sends Cleveland-area poets to all Poetry Slam, Inc. events, including:
- The Women of the World Poetry Slam (March 14-17, Dallas, TX)
- The National Poetry Slam (August 13 - 18, Chicago, IL)
- The Individual World Poetry Slam (October 10-13, San Diego, CA)
The People and Twelve Literary Arts shoulder the financial responsibility of sending poets to the above national competitions each year, including travel and lodging.
For more information about The People, call Twelve Literary Arts at (216) 350-6333 or email:
Ephraim Nehemiah: [email protected]
Damien McClendon: [email protected]
The 5 most frequently asked questions and answers about Poetry Slam
Q1: What is poetry slam?
Simply put, poetry slam is the competitive art of performance poetry. It puts a dual emphasis on writing and performance, encouraging poets to focus on what they’re saying and how they’re saying it. In competition, the poets are judged by members of the audience. Typically, the host or another organizer selects the judges, who are instructed to give numerical scores (on a zero to 10 or one to 10 scale) based on the poets’ content and performance.
Q2: Who gets to participate in Poetry Slam?
The vast majority of slam series registered by Poetry Slam, Inc. are open to everyone who wishes to sign up and can get into the venue. Though everyone who signs up has the opportunity to read in the first round, the lineup for subsequent rounds is determined by the judges’ scores. In other words, the judges vote for which poets they want to see more work from.
Q3: What are the rules?
Though rules vary from slam to slam, the basic rules are:
- Each poem must be of the poet’s own construction;
- Each poet gets three minutes (plus a ten-second grace period) to read one poem. If the poet goes over time, points will be deducted from the total score.
- The poet may not use props, costumes or musical instruments;
- Of the scores the poet received from the five judges, the high and low scores are dropped and the middle three are added together, giving the poet a total score of 0-30.
Q4: What is the difference between slam poetry and poetry?
Q5: How do I win a poetry slam?
Winning a poetry slam requires some measure of skill and a huge dose of luck. The judges’ tastes, the audience’s reactions, and the poets’ performances all shape a slam event, and what wins one week might not get a poet into the second round the next week. There’s no formula for winning a slam, although you become a better poet and performer the same way you get to Carnegie Hall – practice, practice, practice.