Mike Guinn www.mikeguinn.com is the founder of Fort Worth Poetry Slams and The DFW National Youth Poetry Slam Team. This year’s Poetry Slam will feature local poets and spoken word artists from all over, including members of the D/FW Brave New Voices Youth Poetry Slam www.bravenewvoices.org
Cash Prize for this year’s Annual Wordfest/Poetry Slam Champion!
Official Poetry Slam Sponsor:
Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce
WORDFEST is expanding to two days for 2013! Watch our Facebook page for details!
How to sign up:
Please send a sample of your work for review by deadline to Mike Guinn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a Poetry Slam?
Poetry Slam is competitive spoken word performance poetry created in the late ’80s by a Chicago construction worker by the name of Marc Smith. It puts a dual emphasis on both writing and performance. Though rules vary from slam to slam, the basic rules are:
- Competing poets have 3 minutes (plus a 10 second grace period) to perform one poem of their own construction.
- They may not use props, costumes or musical accompaniment.
- Each poem/performance is then given a score (on a scale of 0.0 to 10.0) by five “judges” who are audience members randomly selected by the emcee at the beginning of the Slam.
- The high and low scores are dropped, giving the poet a score ranging between 0 and 30.
Most Slams have two or three elimination rounds so bring at least 2 of your best poems.
The highest scoring poets at the end of the Slam win prizes and the title of Waco Cultural Arts Festivals Poetry Slam Champion!
What Slam is Not
Slam is not a serious academic critique on literary skill. It is a game, a show, and a means for poets to share their work with an engaged audience.
Slam is not an insult filled hip hop battle. Slam is not rap. Though some poets use elements of hip hop in their writing, Slam is a literary art form, not music.
Slam is not poets making things up as they go along. Weeks, and sometimes months, are spent writing, memorizing and even choreographing a performance.
Slam is not a bunch of angry performers yelling about social issues. Slams bring an incredibly diverse array of demographics, voices, styles, topics and points of view.