Poetry SlamMN! is the longest running poetry slam in Minnesota.
Poetry slams typically happen the 4th Tuesday of each month at Kieran’s Irish Pub at 8:00 pm. Check the calendar for the schedule and other bonus dates and events! Join our facebook page to get event invites, updates, and other great information.
WHAT IS POETRY SLAM?
Slam poetry is the art of competitive poetry. During our regular season (September-April) poets compete with original poetry trying to place high enough to earn a spot in our National Team Selection Slam in May. Winners are decided Olympic Style by 5 random audience members who score each poem from 0-10.
The top 4 poets at the National Team Selection Slam make up the national team and will spend the summer working hard to earn money at our summer shows and practicing to compete against 80 other teams from across the world at the National Poetry Slam. More information about national can be found at Poetry Slam, Inc.
RULES FOR POETRY SlamMN!
Each Poet (or duet) is given 3 minutes (for some events this time limit is changed) to perform an original piece of work in the name of poetry. The host will announce bout structure and explain any special rules for the evening at the beginning of the bout. Be sure to listen carefully!
Most slams have an open sign-up, these are called Qualifying Slams, if you place in the top 3 (or 4 for head-to-head bouts) at a Qualifying slam you are qualified to advance to one of the Semi-Finals Slams.
SlamMN! slams are run in multiple rounds of competition and with the highest scoring poets from each round advancing. Qualifying slams are open to 12 poets. In instances of tied scores (within 0.1 points of one another), tied poets will advance. Some nights instead of scores, bouts are run head-to-head style where the selection is based on judges’ preferences.
ORIGINAL WORK: Poets must perform original work.
NO-REPEAT RULE: In the first round of every slam, you are required to perform a piece that has not been previously performed during a poetry slam at Kieran’s during that season. For those poets that have been on a SlamMN! slam team, you cannot use any poem that has been used in a SlamMN! team chapbook or on a SlamMN! team CD during the time you were on the team.
NO REPEAT SHEET: At each slam, competitors will be given a form to fill out listing the poems they competed with that evening. List only the poems that you used and turn the sheet in at the end of the show. You are not eligible to compete in another slam until the turned in form is received. You may reuse poem in first round only if has been significantly edited (80% different or more).
SAMPLING: using a part of another person’s poem within your own poem is allowed. For example, if you quote a line from Robert Frost, you can still use that poem. If Robert Frost wrote the poem and you include a quote from you cannot use the poem.
LENGTH: You have three minutes to perform one poem in each round, unless otherwise informed of a special time limit. Poems written in parts (i.e. eight haiku about winter) are allowed if they are performed as one piece. For certain competitions the time limit is changed; this will be announced in advance.
TIME PENALTY: After three minutes (or whatever the allotted time may be) and a ten second grace period, your overall score will be penalized. Time penalties are half a point for every ten second you go over. For example: if your performance is 3:09:29, you are in the clear. If it is 3:10:01, 0.5 points will be subtracted from your score. If it is 3:42:05, then you will have 2.0 points deducted, etc.
PROPS: You cannot use props, costumes or musical accompaniment. You can beat box, make arm pit noises, whistle, or sing. You cannot break out the kazoo or bring a beat loop.
JUDGES: Your poem and performance will be judged by three to five judges selected before the show. Every effort is made to select a diverse group of judges that preferably do not have any connections to any of the competing poets. SlamMN! is limited by who is at the venue, and who is willing to judge. If a poet has a problem with any of the judges selected, they should notify the host before the competition begins.
SCORING: The judges will score each performance from 0.0 to 10.0. Zero is very bad, ten is very good. If we have five judges the high and low scores are dropped and the three scores in the middle are added together. This sum is your score for the round. On Head-to-Head nights the slam is based on judges’ preferences.
PERFORMING AS A DUET: SlamMN allows duets to compete. They take up a single slot in competition and in three round competitions must use at least two duo pieces. Each performer is still required to fill out a No-Repeat sheet individually. A poem that has been used as a duet is not eligible to be a solo first round piece. A poem that has been used as a solo is not eligible as a first round duet piece. At a qualifying slam a duet fills one slot in the top 3. If a duet qualifies for the team they occupy two team slots. Each poet in the duo must be able to claim primary authorship on at least one poem used in the bout.
MAKING A TEAM and QUALIFYING for other EVENTS:
Rustbelt team: Some years SlamMN! will send a team to the Rustbelt Regional Slam. Look for details about how to be on the team.
National team: The top 3 competitors from qualifying slams will qualify for the semi-final bout in either December or April. (Summer-November enter the December semi, Jan.-March enter the April Semi). If you place in the top 6 at a semi you are qualified for the team selection slam in May. The top 4 poets will form the SlamMN! that will go to the PSI National Poetry Slam in Boston in August. There may be a possibility of using the 5th place person as an alternate based on available funds and other qualifying factors.
The Team Selection Finals will have a minimum of 9 competitors. If less than 9 qualified competitors are present and able to compete at a Finals show contestants shall be moved up based on the total number of points (this is different than scores) earned throughout the season. The point structure works as follows:
1st place = 4 points
2nd place = 3 points
3rd place = 2 points
Competing at a slam without placing = 1 point
IWPS: The top 5 poets at the team selection slam will earn a slot in our IWPS (Individual World Poetry Slam) bout. This slam will occur after the May Team Selections Slam.
WOWPS: (Women of the World Poetry Slam) Any woman (anyone who lives their life as a woman) who places in the top 3 at a regular slam before the WOWPS bout will earn a place in the Minneapolis WOWPS bout. This slam will have a minimum of 7 competitors and if there are not enough women placed in the top three we will pull competitors up using the same point system we use to pull additional people into finals. The WOWPS bout is not affected by the No-Repeat rule. The WOWPS bout generally happens in January.
SlamMN! does not guarantee any funding for these slams. If a team selection bout occurs and poets decide to not be a part of either the Minneapolis Rustbelt or NPS teams SlamMN! is not obligated to pull up poets to form a team. SlamMN! does not guarantee participation in any other slams but will do its best to provide these opportunities to poets.