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            Awarded "Best of Philly 2012" for Literary Activity

Sign Up to Slam! 

We recommend poets who have never slammed before to watch a slam first. We recommend new writers/performers perform their work at local open mics before signing up to slam.

Poets wishing to slam should arrive at 8:30pm to put their name in the hat to slam.  BRING A HAIKU THAT YOU WROTE. If more than 15 poets put their name in the hat we'll have a Haiku slam off at 8:45pm to determine who gets to slam. 

Some poets may be pre-selected by participating in a 1 on 1 slam or by other means as announced. Up to 12 poets will be selected to slam. All poets who put their name in the hat get 50% ($5) off the the $10 admission. At our April Slam the final slam before Grand Slam Finals, priority will be given to slammers who already have participated in one or more regular season slams.

The Poems

It's Friday night, audience members are dressed up, they paid money to get in, maybe hired a babysitter for the night, honor them by bringing work that has been edited, practiced and performed before it hits The Philly Pigeon's stage.

  • Each poem must be of the poet's own construction
  • Each poet gets three minutes (plus a ten-second grace period) to read one poem. If the poet goes over time, points will be deducted from the total score. Time starts at first contact with the audience. A poet will be cut off if they go over 3:30 and an extra point will be deducted.
  • The poet may not use props, costumes or musical instruments
  • Poems may not be repeated during a slam
  • Of the scores the poet received from the five judges, the high and low scores are dropped and the middle three are added together, giving the poet a total score of 0-30
  • Poems performed ONCE during the regular season cannot be repeated again until finals. We're keeping track and encourage you to do the same.

The Slam

The 1st round will include 10-12 poets

The 2nd round will include top 4 poets from 1st round                                                                                      

The 3rd round will include top 2 poets from 2nd round and will be a head to head slam!

This is a clean slate slam. Only your 2nd round scores determine if you make it to the 3rd round.

In the 3rd round, after both poets have performed the judges pick which poem they liked better to determine the winner.

Ties are not broken during the regular season

Qualifying for Grand Slam Finals

The top 11 poets with the most points at the end of the regular season will compete in our Grand Slam Finals.

Points are earned by placing first (12 points), second (8 points), third (4 points), fourth, fifth and sixth (2 points) in a regular season slam. Or earn 1 point by participating in a workshop. Ties will be broken using poets' cumulative scores from each round they performed during the regular season.

You must compete in at least 2 slams and earn at least 4 points to qualify for grand slam finals.

The top 4 poets from Grand Slam Finals will get a free spot in the 2017 writer's retreat.