Basic Poetry Slam Rules
Each individual poem must be of the poet’s own creation.
Poets may choose to bring a sheet of paper, chapbook, or phone to read from.
Each poet gets three minutes to read one poem. Each round is allowed a 10 second grace period at which point the poet is stopped from continuing–there will be no time penalties.
All poets receive scores out of 10.0 from five randomly-selected judges. The high and low scores are dropped and the middle three are added together, giving the poet a total score out of 30.
Poets may not wear any costumes, use props, pre-recorded/taped music, musical instruments, nor animal acts. Poets may sing, beatbox, or make sounds only using their body.
● Judges are to be selected at random.
● Judges will be vetted for fairness (ie. not having arrived with or being close friends with a
competitor, no family members of competitors, etc.) and to stay for the duration of the
● Poets will get a chance to see the judges.
● If a poet has an issue with any judge, the complaint will be heard and, depending on the
nature of the complaint, the judge may be replaced. Judge replacement will be at the
discretion of the bout manager.