A is a competitive event where poets perform their own poetry on stage. Performances are judged on how much the poem moves the audience.
During open slams, poets perform one piece of original work that will be scored 1-10 by five different judges, dropping the lowest and highest score. Before the first competing poet, there is a ‘sacrificial poet’, who performs to warm up the judges scoring. After the first round, low scores are eliminated and the top few poets slam again. Eventually, two poets are left in the finals.
Slam poets pour their hearts and souls on stage while communicating their deepest thoughts. Some slams are powerful enough to change perspectives and they never fail to include a line or two that gives you goosebumps.
There are many styles of slam poets ranging from “ranting hipsters, freestyle rappers, bohemian drifters, proto-comedians, mystical shamans to gothy punks” as described by Slam master, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz. You never hear the same poem twice or the same side of an issue.
So, what does it take to be a slam poet? One thing and one thing only: honest expression. Express your emotions, express your thoughts, and express the glimpses of your life your willing to share.
Helpful Slam Tips
· You don’t need to rhyme words as much. In a slam poetry the pauses and pronunciations of your words create the rhythm and that rhythm creates poetry.
· Be fully honest with yourself. Get down to the core of your emotions, even the little things you might not want to except. Poetry is a strong catalyst for self-awareness.
· Some slams are more like raps while others are more like speeches; it’s all how you feel and what your mind, heart, and body is artfully expressing.
A Slam Poem
A poet leaks part of his soul into a book, words brimming with life,
Vibrant and alive,
Trying to speak but sealed between pages never to depart
But still waiting to arrive
Waiting to be told , because every time we write these words
we hear how they want to be spoken,
And when we speak them,
They create a symphony of expression
Our souls compose and ours lyrics are our lessons
See when you slam,
Your mind becomes a storyteller,
Your body a dancer,
And your heart a jazz musician,
All trying to communicate the messages of your soul
Sharing that symphony with someone is something to behold.
By Michael O'Connell
Watch these two Amazing Slam Poems at the recent War Of Words (Slam Poetry Competition).
Saint Rhymes performing a piece titled "Purpose" at War Of Words - Slam Poetry Competition.
Kemistry doing a poem on "Life" at War Of Words - Slam Poetry Competition
i2X Media, the conveners of Word Up (a quarterly Spoken Word Poetry and Soul Music Event),
held the maiden edition of War Of Words (WOW) on June 30, 2013 in Bogobiri.
WOW is a spoken word poetry competition which was organized with the aim of discovering and showcasing young and up-coming spoken word poets.
War Of Words Season 2 will kick off in September 2013.
Stay tuned to this site for more details.