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It’s Olney: a Slam


Winner              $ 750.00

2nd Place           $ 325.00

3rd Place            $ 125.00


  • There are 16 poets in this slam and two rounds

  • Round one (Friday 04/22/2022) will consist of 16 poets each competing in 2 rounds of poems; there will be two bouts of 8 competitors each. The top 4 competitors from each bout will advance to final stage. 

  • Round two (Saturday 04/23/2022) will consist of 8 poets competing in 2 rounds of poems. 

  • Round two is a clean slate (scores from the previous round do NOT carry over to Round 2)

  • In case of a tie (depending upon time), tied poets may be asked to present a 3rd poem.  

Poems & Performance

  • Poets should prepare 3 poems

  • Poems can be on any subject and in any style.

  • Each poet must perform original work that they have created.

  • No props or costumes (poets are allowed to use the environment and the objects it offers - the stage itself, chairs on the stage, the aisle – as long as these objects are available to other competitors as well).

  • Automatic disqualification for using either props or costumes.

  • No musical instruments or pre-recorded music.

Time Rules:​

  • Qualifier Bouts will be two minutes than one minute with a cut from 8 to 6 after round 1. Poets should be prepared with BOTH.

    •  two-minute round, the poem should be two minutes

    •  one-minute round, you will have 60 seconds

  • The bout managers will calculate the time and final score after the judges score the poem

  • Saturday night finals- poets will have 3 minutes. Poets should prepare TWO poems, no longer than 3 minutes each.

  • The performer is allowed a ten-second grace period in each round. After ten seconds, 0.5 points are deducted from the poet’s overall score for every part of 10 seconds over time.

  • After four minutes, the host will stop the poet from continuing to perform.

Judging & Scoring

  • Five judges selected from the audience

  • Each of the judges will give each poem a score from 0 to 10, using decimals (ex: 7.1), with 10 being the highest or “perfect” score. Only ONE decimal point is allowed.

  • The judges and the audience should be given an official introduction, which will review the rules, and be instructed to consider the writing and performance of each poem when judging.

  • A sacrificial or calibration poet begins the slam to warm up the judges and audience to scoring.

  • The highest and the lowest scores are dropped, and the three middle-range scores are added to give a score out of a possible 30.

  • The judges cannot intimately know any of the competing poets

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