Skip to main content


Art Speaks

Hosted by Stella B, Art Speaks is a Poetry Slam!

Sunday, February 11

Bout One, 11AM–12PM | Bout Two, 1–2PM 

What is a poetry slam? Think of a slam as a live poetry competition. Like an open mic, people perform their work to an audience. However, in a slam, there is a competitive element - invited judges (usually people who are not used to seeing a slam) score readers on how well a poem is written and delivered, with the top scorers going through to the next round. In this slam, there will be three rounds: the first round is open to all poets (12-15). However, in the second round, 8 people get through (the top 8 scorers as determined by the judges), and 4 through to the third and final round. Each read a new poem each round to determine who will be Slam Champion!

Bleacher seating will be provided with a special section for our VIPs. No additional ticket cost other than the $5 general admission. 

Rules for the Art Speaks Slam:

Each solo poem must be of the poet’s own creation.

Memorization is not required or necessary. The poet may choose to bring a sheet of paper or chapbook to the stage to read off of or their phone. 

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 by the scorekeeper. The poem/performance will lose .5 (point 5) off of their score for each 10 seconds they go over.

The poet may not use props, costumes, pre-recorded/taped music, or musical instruments while performing. It’s just you and your poem on stage. BUT you are allowed to sing or beat box or make any other sounds with your body in your performance. As far as props go…don’t write a poem about your phone and use your phone in your performance, or a poem about hoodies and point to your hoodie etc. as for costumes, you cannot change clothes during your bout. 

The poem may NOT include sexist, racist, homophobic, or transphobic comments. However anger, upset and frustration are totally legit emotions to express in your poem, just be creative in how you go about doing it. Poems will not be censored, so feel free to day what you please. 

The poet receives scores from 0.0 to 10.0 from five randomly-selected judges. The high and low scores are dropped and the middle three are added together, giving the poet a total score out of 30.