The slam consists of two rounds. Anyone can participate in the first round. Poets perform a poem up to three minutes long. Poems are scored and the top three poets move to the second round. After that round is scored, the winners get their picture on the Rockford Ceritfied Slam Facebook page.
If you’re interested in participating, open mic performers can do anything they want up to five minutes in length. Poets planning to participate in the slam itself should bring three poems of up to three minutes each. The third poem will be used should there need to be a “tie-breaker” round.
Audience members can also be involved. Three members of the audience are given the job as judge – scoring each poet on a one-to-ten scale, similar to the Olympics.
If you’re still not clear as to what a Poetry Slam entails, the event held on February 15th was recorded as an episode of “In Print Radio”. Gwen Carratt spoke to a number of poets participating in the slam, asking about their history as poets, and the poems they brought to the slam. The episode will air on Sunday, April 17 at 7:00am with a rebroadcast on Monday morning, April 18 at 7:00.
After listening to the episode, please come out to the next Poetry Slam at the Nordloff Center on Tuesday, April 19 at 6:00. It is free to attend and free to participate in.