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Poetry slam

A poetry slam is a competition in which poets perform spoken word poetry. Poetry slams began in Chicago in 1984 with its first competition designed to move poetry recitals from academia to a popular audience when American poet Marc Smith began experimenting with existing open microphone venues for poetry readings by making them competitive. The performances at a poetry slam are judged by a panel of judges, typically five, and usually selected from the audience, or sometimes judged by audience response. The judges usually give each poem a score on a scale of 0–10 (zero being the worst and ten being the best). The highest and lowest scores are dropped and the middle three are kept. The highest score one can receive is a 30 and the lowest one is a zero.

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Powerful slam poetry piece on fat shaming. The poet has written an interesting article recently on self-acceptance that goes well with this. Find it at

Contributed by Kathryn Vercillo

from the CUPSI 2013 finals. My all time favorite poem "God is gay"

Contributed by Tayler Catherine Shaindlin

Be confident in you're opinion. Taylor Mali is amazing!

Contributed by Karra Aguilar

This empowers me, encourages me, and inspires me. She's amazing!

Contributed by Karra Aguilar

One of the first poetry slam videos that I have ever watched. This honestly hit home because it reminded me of my brother's situation. It's like every word and raw emotion that she expressed was a mirror of mine. The poet's name is Amjay Jimenez and this is her performance at the Knicks Poetry Slam in 2009.

Contributed by Evelyn Philistin

This makes me look at teachers in a whole new light and appreciate my own very dedicated teachers from the bottom of my heart! What a wonderful slam!

Contributed by Karra Aguilar

At a poetry slam or open mic, whenever someone says the name "Marc Smith" you're supposed to say "So what?" This tradition signals that it doesn't matter who began slam poetry but that poetry continues long after it has begun.

Contributed by Emily Carnevale

Andrea Gibson is a very talented poet.

Contributed by Rebecca Jo Vigoren

Technically this is a rap, but the rhythm and meter, and the structure of this piece highlights the typical sound and form of slam poetry. The pauses highlight significant points, and the diction and tone of his words further contribute to this being an example of slam poetry.

Contributed by Maddie Jewell

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