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Slam Selection Processes / Re: Salt City Slam - Salt Lake City, UT
« on: April 28, 2015, 12:35:00 PM »
2015 Team Selection Finals were held on March 31, 2015 at The Off Broadway Theater in Salt Lake City.  Competing were the 10 highest score earners from our 2014-2015 slam season who were able to compete and commit to performing on the team.

Results were as follows:

1. Gray - Team member, slam champ
2. Kari Lindsey - Team member
3. Rebeca Mae - Team member
4. Hannah Irene - Team member
5. Jose Soto - Team member

6. Austin
7. Tanesha Nicole
8. Selina Foster
9. Ashley Finley
10. Benjamin Barker


Slam Selection Processes / Re: Salt City Slam - Salt Lake City, UT
« on: April 28, 2015, 12:30:24 PM »
Salt City Slam
Last Monday of every month
Weller Book Works
607 Trolley Square
Salt Lake City, UT 84102

The last Monday of the month at 8pm, we will hold a poetry slam, which is a three round competition to determine who is able to curry the most favor from the crowd.

We have a point system for participation in and placing in slams. At poetry slams, held once a month at Weller Book Works on the last Monday of the month, 10 people will be allowed to participate. 27 points will be awarded for winning a slam, 14 for second, 9 for 3rd, 5 for 4th and 2 points are awarded for everyone else. In addition, the host will be be awarded 4 points.

These points will determine the top 10 contenders for our finals that will vie for our team slots and the opportunity to participate in the 2011 National Poetry Slam. If one of the qualifiers after this selection is completed cannot attend NPS, we will select a replacement based on where individuals finished in finals.

The iWPS representative will be chosen from the winner of an open slam competition

The WOWPS representative will be chosen from the winner of an open slam competition.


General Discussion / Re: RULE HELP
« on: March 25, 2014, 07:59:55 PM »
Gag Rule! That's what I was trying to remember. Thanks, Simone!

One final question, and I will use a NPS example just because it's the only cross reference I can think of that fits.

In a indie or team based slam environment, was there ever any ruling regarding teams/ groups of people/etc all calling out a phrase just prior to a poet performing?
Like- Poet (be it a poet on a team or an indie event) gets called to stage. Just prior to poem, ten people scream, "We scream for Ice Cream" and ten other people reply "We Ice Cream for scream" referring to the poet on stage who is from the famed Ice Cream area of the country.
Is that just considered moral support these days and lumped into the 'go in poet' randomness of a crowd, or does the orchestrated play and effect have some ruling here in file-land?

Thanks again folks, I just want to be more edumacated (like educated, but you know, not)

Slam NUBA has a pretty well known call and response "Slam NUBA" "We cut heads!"

Their youth scene, Minor Disturbance, also respond to their team name with "No bedtime!"

Again, these could arguably fall into the Influencing the Crowd rule, but no one has ever tried to protest it

General Discussion / Re: RULE HELP
« on: March 25, 2014, 10:46:08 AM »
The most current rulebook is here :,1803.msg90338.html#msg90338

1) Here is the only thing we have on props

Quote from: PSI Handbook - Pages 35-36
Generally, poets are allowed to use their given environment and the accoutrements
it offers - microphones, mic stands, the stage itself, chairs on stage, a
table or bar top, the aisle - as long as these accoutrements are available to other
competitors as well. The rule concerning props is not intended to squelch
the spontaneity, unpredictability, or on-the-fly choreography that people love
about the slam; its intent is to keep the focus on the words rather than objects.
Refer to Section V (Definitions) for further clarification on what is and is not
a prop. Teams or individuals who inadvertently use a prop (for example, a
timely yet unwitting grab at a necklace) can be immediately penalized two
points if the MC of the bout deems the effect of the violation to have been
appreciable, but sufficiently lacking in specific intent. A formal protest need
not be lodged before the MC can penalize a poet or team in this way, however,
the decision of the MC can be appealed after the bout. Teams or individuals
whose use of props in a poem appears to be more calculating and the result of
a specific intent to enhance, illustrate, underscore, or otherwise augment the
words of the poem will be given a retroactive score for the poem equal to two
points less than the lowest scoring poem in that bout. This deduction, which
can only be applied after a formal protest has been lodged against the offending
team, will not be made by the MC, but by a special committee assembled
for this purpose.

and under definitions:

Quote from: PSI Handbook - Page 40
Prop: an object or article of clothing introduced into a performance with the
effect of enhancing, illustrating, underscoring, or otherwise augmenting the
words of the poem.

2) For Cheerleading, this COULD apply:

Quote from: PSI Handbook - Page 37
Influencing the crowd before the bout begins.
Poets are allowed to talk casually with anyone in the crowd before the bout
begins (except the judges, if they have already been chosen). They are not,
however, allowed to give anything to the audience or have anyone do this for
them. Furthermore, inside the venue (in the presence or within earshot of the
audience) they must not act in any way that would make more of an impression
than another competitor waiting for the competition to begin. Poets who
violate this rule will be given one warning by the MC, Bout Manager,
or house manager. Further violation will result in a two-point penalty for
that poet’s score (or his team).

3) I seem to recall Steve Marsh once talking about how the crowd can't try and do the poem with the person. I forget what he called it. Basically it's like doing a group piece. As far as the call and response some teams have, that does indeed seem to fit into the cheerleading question you asked.

Hope that helps,

General Discussion / Re: QUESTION: Free Speech vs An Audience's Rights
« on: September 28, 2013, 01:08:58 PM »
Also understand that there are protections at our tournament around the Code of Honor. Folks can definitely want to have a conversation, but bad sportsmanship that includes telling someone "fuck you" or getting physical about someone's poem are not protected and would be a violation.

Back to your initial point, I have definitely counselled people on problematic poems or offensive subject matter. This has spanned from the use of rape in a poem about writing, to the N-word in a white apologist poem, to poems that were unnecessarily triggering. Most of those have been "you may not realize what you are doing to audience members, but let me tell you why that is a problem." For the most part, they recognize the power of their words and the problem, but if they insist on still doing it I let them know there may be consequences (confrontations with audience members, hurt feelings, etc) but I won't stop them from saying their poem.

If they go over 5 minutes, though, I kick their asses off stage ;)


General Discussion / Re: QUESTION: Free Speech vs An Audience Rights
« on: September 25, 2013, 11:01:28 AM »
Again, the question is not about Offending the Audience.

The question specifically I would like addressed is whether venues, slammasters, poets, are encouraging the censoring of certain words or ideas.

The sense we got in Boston was that yes, the stuff said in our poems would not have been allowed in certain venues- slam venues.  Was that hyperbole?  Is this really happening?

Is there a Free Speech Code of Conduct being pursued in this community?

Again, there will always be people pushing the art in a certain direction. If you're asking if it's ok to say "bitch" then you are going to have a varied response, probably mostly on the, "please don't say that" or "you can't say that". Some folks might want to "have a conversation" that mostly consists of talking at you.

But when folks say "that would never fly on stage at my venue" most are saying "your ass would get booed off stage and you probably wouldn't make a lot of friends." I've never kicked a poet out of my venue for something said on stage, but I have kicked out audience members for crazy shit said from the audience. And conversations have certainly happened, most of the time with the poet not realizing someone was offended and opting to change material or not do certain poems. And we do say "free speech/hate free", so if we have something up that sounds like blatant hate speech, we will definitely have some more intense talks.

It's your right not to listen to them, just like it's their right not like it when you choose words they view as offensive. But if ENOUGH people find it offensive, maybe it's time to take a hard look at why you use that word and if it's really that necessary. There will always be morality police and folks speaking out when some genuinely fucked up shit happens on stage. Being part of a community is dealing with offensive people, sensitive people, and all the colors in between.

You really have two avenues to take (well, three, but let's just say getting out of slam is simply not an acceptable option)

1) Fuck em. Everyone has an opinion, it doesn't mean you have to listen to them. Just ride on the high of the folks that are in your corner and love your work. You can't please everyone. Hopefully you pleased someone.
2) Listen and Change. Recognize that there will be words or concepts that might not be great ideas, or might be offensive in ways you just never thought of. I watched a crazy poem with a poet playing both halves of his character's psyche, stating that being crippled was a fate worse than death, while sitting next to two friends with disabilities. That poet probably thought it was super creative and powerful and never once considered how hurtful this was. Maybe, just maybe, there's something to this criticism.


General Discussion / Re: QUESTION: Free Speech vs An Audience Rights
« on: September 24, 2013, 03:30:13 PM »
I am a big proponent of free speech. I think that unless there is some content restriction, you should say whatever you want.

I'm also a big fan of being ready to defend your speech. The audience, other poets, your grandma has every right to call you out for something you said. That's their free speech.

Now, you may get advice from folks who are also interested in progressing the art and not letting a poetry slam get a bad rep for anyone with a microphone to shout unpleasant shit at them. After all, slam was created to reach out, not to be insular and get pretentious. The audience reaction, scores, etc let you know if that's something they like. Unfortunately, so does walking out of a venue and telling their friends they saw a shit show.

When it comes right down to it, do what you want and say what you want. Our constitution covers it, and so does our own Code of Conduct to a certain extent (just be a good sport!). But by the same token if you want the respect of your audience and peers, you need to listen, adjust, and still own your own voice.

But remember, free speech is not a free pass. Don't expect high fives and free drinks just because you said a poem, not all art earns respect.

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. " - Voltaire


General Discussion / Re: NPS Scores
« on: June 10, 2013, 02:32:20 PM »
Thanks! Sadly that is the future... Looking for the past.

Good start though!

Hah! Sorry - I meant to say 2012


General Discussion / Re: NPS Scores
« on: June 10, 2013, 10:17:19 AM »

General Discussion / Re: Poetry Slam Opening Speech Needed
« on: June 06, 2013, 11:38:10 AM »
Quote from: PSi Handbook - page 33
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a Poetry Slam. My name
is [say your name clearly] and I will be your MC for the
evening. The poetry slam is a competition invented in the
1980s by a Chicago construction worker named Marc
Smith [“So what.”] in which performed poetry is judged
by five members of the audience. Poets have three minutes
to present their original work and may choose to do so
accompanied by other members of their team. The judges
will then score the piece anywhere from 0 to 10, evaluating
such qualities as performance, content, and originality.
The high and low scores of each performance are tossed,
and the middle three are added giving the performer their
score. Points are deducted for violating the three-minute
time limit. We beseech the judges to remain unswayed by
the audience—audience, try to sway the judges—and score
each poet by the same set of criteria, ignoring whatever
boisterous reaction your judgment elicits. Audience: Let
the judges know how you feel about the job that they are
doing, but be respectful in your exuberance; there could
be no show without them. Now let me introduce you to
the judges.

General Discussion / Re: Help a poet out! (How to go about...)
« on: April 24, 2013, 01:31:32 PM »
So my Questions:
-How do you go about finding individual Slams?
-How do you go about finding features/Venues, so you can travel, and make money at least just to get there and back?
-How do you spread your work here? Is there a section?


I can help assuage your fears because I SAW you win at the Green Mill and you are indeed talented. Here's some answers to your specicif questions:

1) There is a slam map on this site at
It may not be 100% up to date, but it should help you get started. For big regional events, you are right in the middle of the Rustbelt Poetry Slam. So you should check that out, too.

2) That's a tricky question because so much of that is networking. Again, refer to the slam map to get started, start making connections, and get good video/press of your performances. Some venues take unsolicited offers, others want a vetting process, and still more are invite only

3) This is not a great place to post work and get feedback. Other places like and even facebook (tagging people in notes) are more effective

Good luck and I hope that helps!


General Discussion / Re: Boogers and Turds (and other rules questions)
« on: April 16, 2013, 01:43:56 AM »
Plus they're available to everyone...

General Discussion / Re: 2013 NPS rules
« on: April 15, 2013, 01:14:35 AM »

General Discussion / Re: Newly elected EC officers
« on: April 11, 2013, 04:47:40 PM »
I'm honored to continue to serve as secretary. Thank you for your trust.

If you could all stop calling me "Cassie," though, that'd be nice... ;)


Slam Selection Processes / Re: Salt City Slam - Salt Lake City, UT
« on: March 26, 2013, 12:14:39 PM »
2013 Team Selection Finals were held on March 25, 2013 at The Off Broadway Theater in Salt Lake City.  Competing were the 10 highest score earners from our 2012-2013 slam season who were able to compete and commit to performing on the team.

Results were as follows:

1. Jesse Parent - Team member, slam champ, and iWPS rep
2. Willy Palomo - Team member
3. Benjamin Barker - Team member
4. RJ Walker - Team member
5. David Alberti - Team member

6. Organick Consciousness
7. Kari Lindsey
8. Olivia Vessel
9. DeAnn Emett
10. JoKyR


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