A poetry slam is an event where various people perform their self-written poems or texts. The participants usually compete against each other in a contest, and the audience judges the performances. The origin of the poetry slam is in the USA, where it originated in the 1980s. Since then, it has spread worldwide and enjoys great popularity.
There are a few things to keep in mind when attending a poetry slam:
Self-written texts: The texts performed at a poetry slam usually must be self-written. The participants must express their ideas and thoughts.
Time limit: Each participant has a limited time for their presentation, usually three to five minutes. It is important to stay within this time, or points may be deducted.
Performance: A poetry slam lives not only from the lyrics but also from how they are performed. Participants should present their texts with expression and passion to engage the audience.
No props: In most poetry slam competitions, props or costumes are prohibited. The focus is on the words and the performance of the participants.
Audience Reaction: In poetry slam, the audience plays an essential role. It is common for the audience to show their reactions, whether by clapping, cheering, or snapping. The audience's reaction can influence the judges' evaluation.
Fair Competition: a poetry slam is a fair competition where participants are judged based on their performance. It is important to respect other participants and maintain the spirit of competition.
Variety of Topics: A poetry slam has no set topics or guidelines. Participants can write and perform about anything they want. This creates a wide variety of topics and styles.
These points are general guidelines that apply to most poetry slams. However, the rules and guidelines may differ depending on the venue or competition. It can be helpful to find out in advance about the rules specific to the poetry slam in which you plan to participate.
Numerous cities in Europe and North America are known for their vibrant poetry slam scene. Here are some of the places where some of the biggest poetry slams take place:
Poetry Events Europe:
Berlin, Germany: Berlin is known for its diverse and vibrant poetry slam scene. The city has many regular poetry slam events and hosts the annual German-language poetry slam championships.
London, United Kingdom: London has a thriving poetry slam scene with many established slam stages and competitions. The famous "Hammer & Tongue Slam" takes place regularly in London.
Paris, France: Paris has a growing poetry slam scene and hosts events like the "Grand Slam National de Poetry Slam".
Stockholm, Sweden: Stockholm is known for its vibrant and experimental literary scene, which includes poetry slams. Poetry slam events and festivals are held here regularly.
Poetry Events in North America:
New York City, USA: New York City is considered the birthplace of poetry slam in the United States. The city hosts many slam events, including the famous "Nuyorican Poets Cafe Slam."
Chicago, USA: Chicago has a long tradition of poetry slams. Among other events, it hosts the "Louder Than a Bomb" event, the largest youth slam championship in the world.
San Francisco, USA: San Francisco has a diverse poetry slam scene with a mix of established slam events and alternative poetry events.
Toronto, Canada: Toronto is known for its diverse arts and culture scene, which includes poetry slams. The city hosts the annual Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship.
Many more cities in Europe and North America host poetry slams and have an active slam culture. The places mentioned above are just a few examples of these regions' larger and better-known slam cities.
Some poets are into online poetry slam, such as Zustand