Today’s Poll

Nelson Poetry Slam hammers down this Sunday

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
June 9th, 2011

Nelson Poetry Slam

@ Self Design High, Sunday, June 12, 7 pm

Check them out at:

Second Sunday of every month.

Here are the Nelson Slam Rules for Competition:

  • All pieces must be original work of the performer
  • All pieces must be 3:00 minutes or less in length (see Time, below)
  • No Props and No Costumes allowed
  • Unless otherwise noted, all Nelson Poetry Slams are “Open Slam” meaning that anyone may sign up for the event. In an “Invitational Slam,” only those invited to do so may compete. Scores from Invitational Slams will not affect team standings (see National and International Competitions).
  • Unless otherwise noted, signups begin 30 minutes before a slam is scheduled to begin and signups end 5 minutes before the slam is scheduled to begin.
  • Performance order for the first round is chosen by random selection. You must be present to select your order. If you sign up, but are not present at the order selection, the slam-master will either strike your name from the competition or, with consent of the eligible slammers that night, you may be given the opportunity to perform in the first position as a sacrifice.
  • No more than 12 poets may sign up to slam. Sign ups are “first come, first served.”
  • Except during tournament conditions or special cases, the winner of one slam will be invited to perform at the next slam as a feature sacrifice poet, but not to compete. This is to encourage variety as well as to offer slam champs an opportunity to perform longer pieces without the pressures of competition.


Judges will be selected at random from the audience. Slammers and judges will be asked to reveal any conflict of interest that would create a perception of conflict of interest.

Judges will be instructed to rate each performance on a scale of 0 to 10, taking advantage of a single decimal place and with 10 being the best poem ever and 0 being the worst.

Additionally, judges will be instructed to take into account various factors in scoring, including: overall strength of performance, use of imagery, effective delivery, emotional resonance, and good old fashioned gut reaction. Judges scores are final.

Five judges will be selected. If five judges cannot be found, the slammers will be notified. A minimum of three judges must be selected for an official scored slam event.

The Slammaster will instruct each judge that they must remain for the entire competition.

If a judge leaves before completion of a round, the slam is over and no scores are recorded for the slam that night except for points for participation or slammaster.

If a judge leaves between the completion of one round and the next, the slammaster will inform the remaining slammers of the following options and get approval to either

  • find a replacement judge for the next round
  • move on to the next round with one less judge
  • call off the next rounds and give no points out for first, second and third place finishers.

The highest and lowest score will always be dropped and the remaining scores added together to give a composite score of 0 to 30. If for any reason there are fewer than five judges and the slammers have still agreed to compete, the slam will continue with three judges and no scores will be dropped.

Order of Performance

Unless otherwise noted, all slams are elimination style. Generally, but not always, the cuts will be as follows (first round, second round, final round): 12:8:4, 11:7:4, 10:7:4, 9:6:4, 8:6:4, 7:5:3, with no cumulative scores taken and 6:6:3 with cumulative score for the first two rounds determining the final round.

In the case of five or fewer slammers signing up, the slam master may decide to run all slammers in all three rounds, keeping a cumulative score to reach a final decision of the top three places.

Order in the second round will start with the highest scoring poet from the first round and moving on to the lowest. Order for the third round will start with the lowest scoring poet from the second round and move to the highest.

Censorship Policy

No subject matter is censored at Nelson Poetry Slam events. Events are all-ages, however, and the audience will not be discouraged from censoring with whatever means it possesses if they are offended. If the slam venue host is offended, we may not be invited to return.


Deductions for time: You must keep your piece to less than 3:00 minutes, however, you are granted a 10 second grace period.

After 3:10 you will be deducted .5 point from your overall score for that piece for every additional 10 seconds you spend.

For example, if you scored a 26.4 but you took 3:23 to deliver your piece, you would receive a 1 point deduction and only score a 25.4.

Four minute time limit – the host may pull you off stage at any point after four minutes have elapsed. They might let you finish, they might not. Who knows?

Categories: Arts and Culture

Other News Stories