*subject to change for themed slam or special competitions.

Every venue comes with its own set of rules, but here's how things work on a "regular" slam night at DPS:

1. The scores are taken from the five selected judges. The highest and lowest scores are dropped giving the poem its total (highest possible score is a 30).

2. NO PROPS. If the other poets do not have access to it, YOU DON'T EITHER. This will result in an elimination. 

3. 3 MINUTE TIME PENALTY (10 second grace period): after 3 minutes and 10 seconds, we subtract 0.5 points from the poem's total score and another 0.5 for every 10 seconds beyond that.

4. There are usually two rounds. You may or may not get eliminated after the first round (depending on the number of poets). First and second round scores are added to give the poet their total for the competition.


Audience, SWAY THOSE JUDGES! Let the judges know how you feel about the job that they are doing, but be respectful in you exuberance; there could be no show without them.


Perform because you love poetry.
Compete to win.
Perform to be free.
Compete to get qualifiers and make the team.
Perform because it's fun.
Compete to challenge yourself.
Perform. It's all love.
Compete. It's all love.
Enjoy. It's all poetry.


Poetry Slam is a competition invented in the 1980's in which performed poetry is judged by five members of the audience.


Judges score on a scale of

1 (horrible) to 10 (amazeballs) .

DO NOT BE SWAYED BY THE AUDIENCE. Score each poet by the same criteria, ignoring whatever boisterous reaction your judgement elicits.