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Author Topic: Inspire slammers to write new poems!....?  (Read 2910 times)

puroshaggy

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Inspire slammers to write new poems!....?
« on: July 22, 2010, 09:48:39 AM »
Hey y'all-
 Someone suggested I share this with y'all just because of the success we have had here with it in San Antonio:
  Last year, we had a situation where the same handful of poets were winning every slam using the same handful of poems.  The audience loved em but many of the non-winning poets started getting pissed and started issuing weekly challenges- in the form of new poems and by devoting their three minutes to pure improv- that called for New Poems!!!  After things got pretty heated one week last October, I, as slammaster, accepted the challenge and announced- in hopes of calming the drama AND inspiring new poetry- that I would write a new poem every Tuesday and then read it as a sacrifice poem that same Tuesday.
   That was 35 weeks ago and after having done this for close to 9 months, the results have been awesome.  Those people winning the slam every week with the same old poems? Well they are writing new poems and doing some interesting stuff with their new work.  More new poets have come out of the woodwork and some have personally credited this project as a motivating factor.  The slam is no longer ruled by the same three or four voices and any given week, there is no odds on favorite as to who will win.

I'm not posting this to credit myself but I did want to share something with the community that has had a positive effect on our local slam.  As a poet, it has done wonders for my writing and I recommend this for anyone willing to challenge themselves.  As a slammaster, it has issued a "Show Don't Tell" proclamation that has quelled drama in our scene.

Just wanted to share that with y'all....

inkera

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Re: Inspire slammers to write new poems!....?
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2010, 09:50:26 AM »
I like this a lot. Thank you for sharing.
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Detroitphoenix

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Re: Inspire slammers to write new poems!....?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2010, 10:02:41 AM »
This is amazing!  We will definitely incorporate this into our slam this year!!
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jesster

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Re: Inspire slammers to write new poems!....?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2010, 11:11:54 AM »
Wonderful work!

We had a similar challenge after our championship match. All poets on the team had to perform only new work at the subsequent slams. Even though it's off season, it helped polish a lot of new pieces and inspire more writing.

-Jesse

Billy T

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Re: Inspire slammers to write new poems!....?
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2010, 02:57:11 PM »
I think that's excellent. Talking about pushing without pushing as hard as a 30/30...

I just wish more local slams would institute more stringent "no repeat" rules. At Mental Graffiti (Chgo.), no repeat til the Grand Slam.
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puroshaggy

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Re: Inspire slammers to write new poems!....?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2010, 03:09:18 PM »

I just wish more local slams would institute more stringent "no repeat" rules. At Mental Graffiti (Chgo.), no repeat til the Grand Slam.

In San Antonio, I've considered a "no repeat" rule, but as slam master, I have always put "The Show" above the poets or the competition.  I really never had a problem with the same poets winning every week because these poets put on a great show (3 minutes at a time), and for those audience members who were new or who only came out once a month (we are weekly), having these poets in the mix helped the slam.  My response to the poets who complained about hearing- and losing!- to the same poems every week was, "Heck, you know what they are going  to read- literally, you know the exact poem that is coming!- so write something better."  That didn't work so I resorted to the New Poem Every Week challenge and got results WHILE raising interest in the weekly slam.

My slam philosophy is that Poets Are Like Bands, and there is nothing wrong with pulling out the hits to make the crowd go wild! The poets will always be there- its the audience I worry about.  So I never took the "no repeat" rule step because some of my best poets (who people come to see) are the laziest people I know, and I use them on slow nights (i.e. beg them to slam!) to keep the customer satisfied.

So I was trying something different and non-restrictive that wasn't Authority From Above Declares!!! And it worked....

inkera

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Re: Inspire slammers to write new poems!....?
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2010, 12:30:02 AM »
SlamCharlotte started a no repeat last season. Whatever poem the poets uses in the 3rd round can't be repeated again until Grand Slam finals. It was done to encourage writing.
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Scott Woods

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Re: Inspire slammers to write new poems!....?
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2010, 07:35:09 AM »
At Writers' Block in Columbus I installed a no-repeat rule for the whole season a few years ago.  inthe past poets have talked me in and out of allowing repeats in grand slams, and our 2010 NPS allowed it.  As of 2011 I'll be switching it back to no-repeats all the way through.  This rule is true through all of our slam seasons (WOW and iWPS).  Just as important as craft (here anyway) is the show.  My audience is pretty faithful and supportive year-round, and they don't want to see repeating work more than they have to, and the more competitive folks appreciate that a poet can't rely on old poems in front of a newbie audience judge to get over.

Finally, and most notably, we've been running a show called "First Draft" for about four years now.  It is the only ongoing mic anywhere to my knowledge that ONLY offers never-performed work...demands it, in fact: in the open mic, from the feature....all the way through the show.  We've had notable features for this show and they've embraced the opportunity to come and do work that isn't their typical hits.  That show by itself is pretty priceless (and distinctly ours).

Anyhow, I applaud any show that makes the ongoing pursuit of growth in its artists a priority.  Kudos to your poets, Shaggy!

jason carney

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Re: Inspire slammers to write new poems!....?
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2010, 08:46:22 AM »
in dallas we encourage folks to keep using their old poems why reach for new levels or try to improve your craft. right? just kidding go san anton yall got the right idea.
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Detroitphoenix

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Re: Inspire slammers to write new poems!....?
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2010, 08:49:54 AM »
At Writers' Block in Columbus I installed a no-repeat rule for the whole season a few years ago.  inthe past poets have talked me in and out of allowing repeats in grand slams, and our 2010 NPS allowed it.  As of 2011 I'll be switching it back to no-repeats all the way through.  This rule is true through all of our slam seasons (WOW and iWPS).  Just as important as craft (here anyway) is the show.  My audience is pretty faithful and supportive year-round, and they don't want to see repeating work more than they have to, and the more competitive folks appreciate that a poet can't rely on old poems in front of a newbie audience judge to get over.

Finally, and most notably, we've been running a show called "First Draft" for about four years now.  It is the only ongoing mic anywhere to my knowledge that ONLY offers never-performed work...demands it, in fact: in the open mic, from the feature....all the way through the show.  We've had notable features for this show and they've embraced the opportunity to come and do work that isn't their typical hits.  That show by itself is pretty priceless (and distinctly ours).

Anyhow, I applaud any show that makes the ongoing pursuit of growth in its artists a priority.  Kudos to your poets, Shaggy!

I think my venue is going to ByteTHIS first draft concept if you don't mind.  I'd love to have one night a month where we do only first drafts.  Sounds awesome.  We'll credit you, but we're stealing this...with love of course!
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Scott Woods

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Re: Inspire slammers to write new poems!....?
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2010, 10:19:16 AM »
At Writers' Block in Columbus I installed a no-repeat rule for the whole season a few years ago.  inthe past poets have talked me in and out of allowing repeats in grand slams, and our 2010 NPS allowed it.  As of 2011 I'll be switching it back to no-repeats all the way through.  This rule is true through all of our slam seasons (WOW and iWPS).  Just as important as craft (here anyway) is the show.  My audience is pretty faithful and supportive year-round, and they don't want to see repeating work more than they have to, and the more competitive folks appreciate that a poet can't rely on old poems in front of a newbie audience judge to get over.

Finally, and most notably, we've been running a show called "First Draft" for about four years now.  It is the only ongoing mic anywhere to my knowledge that ONLY offers never-performed work...demands it, in fact: in the open mic, from the feature....all the way through the show.  We've had notable features for this show and they've embraced the opportunity to come and do work that isn't their typical hits.  That show by itself is pretty priceless (and distinctly ours).

Anyhow, I applaud any show that makes the ongoing pursuit of growth in its artists a priority.  Kudos to your poets, Shaggy!

I think my venue is going to ByteTHIS first draft concept if you don't mind.  I'd love to have one night a month where we do only first drafts.  Sounds awesome.  We'll credit you, but we're stealing this...with love of course!

Call it something else and we're good.

MattMason

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Re: Inspire slammers to write new poems!....?
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2010, 04:22:52 PM »
Sweet!
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