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Poetry SLAM @ OLP   Tags: art, library, library events, library programming, poems, poetry  

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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SLAM Poetry Entry Form


5 Tips for SLAM Poetry

To take your SLAM poetry to the next level, read these 4 tips of advice from the website Power Poetry!

  1. Choose a subject and have attitude. No attitude, no poem! Feelings and opinions give poetry its “richness.” Each poet has a unique perspective and view of the world that no one else has. It is important that a spoken word poem embodies the courage necessary to share one’s self with the rest of the world. The key here is to build confidence. We must acknowledge ourselves as writers and understand what we have to say is important. Practice. Practice. Practice. 
  2. Pick your poetic devices. Poems that get attention are ones that incorporate simple, but powerful poetic elements. Repetition is a device that can help a writer generate exciting poems with just repeating a key phrase or image. Rhyming can enrich your diction and performance. (Check out other poetic devices while you’re at it.)
  3. Performance. Spoken word poems are written to be performed. After your poem is written, practice performing the poem with the elements of good stage presence in mind.  It is important to maintain Eye Contact – Don’t stare at the floor, or hide behind a piece of paper/phone. From time to time, look into the eyes of people in the audience to capture their attention. Projection  is also crucial, so remember to speak loudly and clearly so that your voice can be heard from a distance. Enunciation helps the listeners to hear exactly what you say. Don’t mumble. Speak clearly and distinctly so that the audience can understand what you are saying. Facial Expressions  help animate your poem. You’re not a statue: smile if you’re reading something happy. Look angry if your poem is about anger. This might sound silly, but using the appropriate facial expressions help express various emotions in your performance. Gestures such as hand motions and body movements emphasize different elements of your performance. Choose the right gestures for your poem.
  4. Memorization. Once you’ve memorized your spoken word piece, you can devote more time to your performance. Memorization allows you to be truly in touch with the meaning and the emotional content of your poem, even if you forget a word or a line you can improvise (freestyle), which is one of the most important elements of spoken word.

What is a "Poetry Slam"?

What is SLAM Poetry?

   Defined as the "art of performance poetry", SLAM poetry equally emphasizes the writing and performing of a poem.  Unlike traditional poetry that is meant to be read, SLAM poetry is created to share aloud before an audience.  It serves to move people toward action or to feel emotion.  A common theme is social justice or the unjustices within society.  Please watch the videos on this page to see examples of this type of poetry.

How will this SLAM Poetry event work here at OLP?

   All students are invited to enter their Spoken Word poetry along with an entry form by April 25th.  Even if you do not enter, please join us in the Library on April 28th at CC through lunch.  We will have treats and take in the performances of fellow students!

Rules for Entering:

  1. All participants must submit their final work along with an entry form by April 25th.  Submissions can be made in person at the Library or via email to
  2. No props, costumes or music is allowed while performing your poem.
  3. You may read your poem, but it should be rehearsed.
  4. Your poem should be under 2 minutes.

How to Enter or Attend the SLAM Poetry event:

   If you would like to attend but are not interested in performing, we'd love to have you!  Just make sure to sign up for the Library on April 28th.  If you would like to particpate in the event, enter your work by April 25th and sign up for the Library on April 28th.


Sarah Kay- The Type


Jeremyah Payne- The perfect Note


Bianca Phipps - Almost


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