What’s a Poetry Slam?
Poetry slams are energetic poetry competitions where the emphasis is on the connection between speaker and audience. Poems are judged on content AND delivery. That said, the points aren’t the point–the poetry is.
The London Slam events will consist of 2 rounds, starting with up to 10 poets (2nd round half the number of poets from the first round, or half minus one). Five judges randomly selected from the audience will give scores out of 10; the highest and lowest scores are dropped and the highest scoring poets move on to the next round. In the event that more than 10 poets register, performers’ names will be drawn randomly. Please note that this means that if you plan to slam, you should have 2 poems prepared in the event that you make it to the 2nd round.
Audience members are encouraged to be vocal, enthusiastic, and engaged. They’re also encouraged to influence the judges with applause or heckling. Poets are likewise encouraged to influence the judges by buying them drinks.
How do I slam?
If you’d like to perform, just show up when the doors open and sign up at the door. Just don’t be late! Once the show starts, it’s too late.
Rules & Regulations
All styles of poetry are welcome: a capella hip hop, rants, classical/literary, dub, sound poetry, theatrical monologues, haikus, power rap, you name it! The only limits are:
- Poems should be no longer than 3 minutes (you’ll get a 10 second grace period, after which points will be deducted).
- No props, instruments, etc. allowed. Just you and your voice (or voices—team pieces are also welcome).
- The poems must be your original work. No covers.
- Memorization is optional.
- You are being judged on content/style and performance.
- Hate speech is not tolerated
Always $5 Cover
Wondering where your $5 goes? The cover charges go towards a prize for the winner, remuneration for our feature poets, our free monthly workshops, our venue rentals, and if extra funds allow, prizes for the other finalists. The cash also covers incidental costs like photocopies, etc.
The London Poetry Slam is a local community art’s event that is supported by local artists, businesses, councils and individuals. Without the community’s full support the London Poetry Slam would not be able to reach as wide an audience that it does.
For a list of the key supporters of the London Poetry Slam please head over to the Supporters Page.