Poetry Slam Rules


8 poets sign up at the beginning of the night, except for during the team competitions where 12 people sign up. Slams are filled on a first come first serve basis. We put the list out at 6:00pm sharp. If you wish to participate, arrive early!

  1. Poets must perform their own original work – no covers. If a poet breaks this rule, they will be disqualified.

  2. No props, musical instruments or costumes. If a poet breaks this rule, they will be disqualified.

  3. Poems are to be timed beginning the moment the poet first speaks. Poems are to last no more than three minutes. For every ten seconds a poet goes over three minutes, .5 will be deducted from their score.

  4. If the poet hits 4 minutes, the timer is to notify the host and the poet will be cut off. The poem will be disqualified.

  5. Five judges chosen at random will score each poem on a scale of 0.0 to 10. Scores are only to be given out to one decimal point. The high and low scores will be dropped, and the middle three scores will be added together to give the poet his or her final score for that round.

  6. If 8 poets participate in the first round, the two lowest scores will be dropped each round, to leave 4 poets in the final round.

  7. Scores are cumulative, meaning first round score gets added to the second round to determine who moves on, and the third round score is added to that to determine a winner.

  8. The first round will play out in the order the poets are drawn. Second and third rounds, poets perform in order from highest to lowest score.

  9. The winning poet will receive a $10 roll of quarters courtesy of our sponsor, Karma Rags