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The Rules

Poetry slams take the poem from the page and onto the stage, where your work is judged by an audience and by a panel of judges. In order to do well, like in all things, you have to know the rules. So here goes:

  1. Each poem must be the writer's OWN WORK.
  2. Each writer gets five minutes (plus a 10-second grace period) to read one poem.
  3. If the writer goes over time, points will be deducted from the total score.
  4. The writer may not use props, costumes or musical instruments.
  5. Poems will be judged based on their literary merit, but realize a good performance may capture a judge’s attention.
  6. Of the scores the writer receives from the five judges, the high and low scores are dropped, and the middle three are added, giving the poet a total score of 0 to 30.

Poetry Slam!


We're hatching an idea for a poetry grand slam.

Check back soon.


Sign up starts at 7 PM

Slam starts at 7:30 PM


$2 cover



During the poetry slam, participants read self-written work in order to determine who will be crowned the slam champion.  The slam rules are as follows: The poem must be the writer’s own work.  Each writer is allowed five (5) minutes to read his/her poem.  A ten-second grace period is allowed, but any additional time after that will result in point deduction.  Finally, writers may not use props, musical instruments, etc.  Be reminded that although poems will be judged based on literary merit, an outstanding performance may also capture the judges’ attention. 

The slam is open to participants ages 18 and older, and the cost for attendance and participation is $2.  This covers the cash prizes awarded to the first, second, and third place winners.

For more information about the poetry slam, please email or call (301) 687-4340.