The word "slam poetry" merely refers to poems recited during slams. Spoken Word Poetry (sometimes known as performance poetry) is simply poetry designed to be spoken out... Although all slam poetry is spoken word, not all spoken word poetry is written for slams. There are many different forms of spoken word poetry, including rap, freestyle, graffiti, audio drama, voice-overs, and more.
Slam poetry was first introduced at the University of Houston's Deep End Poetry Slam in 1995. The event was created by David Meddour who was looking for a way to include students from across the university spectrum--including some who were not traditionally interested in poetry--without having them read actual poems. He decided that a format that would allow for impromptu expression would be most effective, and thus was born the slam poem.
Spoken word artists often write their own material, but sometimes poets will invite individuals to speak on topics related to poetry or the arts. These speakers are called slam champions and they deliver monologues at the slams they attend. Champions are chosen by the host club of the slam; typically these are student clubs at universities around the country. They usually have no affiliation with any specific organization and are free to choose their opponents however they see fit. Some clubs may have a vote to decide which contestants should advance to the next round.
Slam poetry is a type of performance poetry that mixes performance, writing, competition, and audience engagement. Poetry slams, or just slams, are events where it is performed. The term "slam" came about in New York City in the 1980s when young poets would perform their work at local clubs. Today, slams are held throughout the world, featuring both amateur and professional poets.
Slams are usually open to all types of poetry, but most often focus on free verse, with rules regarding length, form, and content being enforced by the judges. Prizes are commonly given out for best overall poem and/or best first-time performer.
Slams can be held in public venues or within specific groups such as schools or communities. Often, organizers will select some of the poems before the event and others during, depending on what kind of scene they expect to find at the slam. Some slams have categories (such as youth, women, veterans, etc.) to which participants must belong. Others have no such restrictions. Generally speaking, if you're over 18 you should be able to enter a slam regardless of gender, race, religion, or experience level.
Some poets may choose not to compete, but rather to engage with the audience after the main performance. These poets are called "the guests".
The term "slam" derives from the audience's ability to applaud or, at times, trash a poem, as well as the poets' high-energy performance style. Audience participation is an important part of slam poetry events, with participants often invited to join in on specific lines or throughout a piece.
Slam poetry was born in New York City during the early 1990s as a reaction against traditional poetry which many performers felt was not relevant to today's world. They wanted to create something more current that would get people involved again in art and entertainment. As well as being a way for artists to express themselves, slam poetry events are also a great opportunity for new and established poets to be seen by the industry.
There are several different types of slams. There are open slams where anyone can enter the contest, but only one person will be awarded the prize. Private slams allow only two entrants who are paired up by a judge or guest curator. These pairs then compete against each other with their poems over two consecutive nights. The winner of the private slam is awarded $1000 and a feature spot at the next year's National Poetry Slam in Chicago. Semi-private slams are similar to private slams except that three instead of two entries are allowed. A semi-private slam could be called by a guest judge or host who will select the winners.
A poetry slam is an arts competition in which poets perform spoken word poetry in front of a live audience and a panel of judges. Poetry slam performances are assessed on excitement and flair as well as content, and poets may participate as individuals or in teams. Individual winners are determined by vote of the audience members.
Poetry slams were pioneered by James Leflar in Detroit in 1980. He was looking for a way to get young people interested in poetry, so he decided to write about everyday topics, make them fun, and read them in a competitive environment before an audience who could vote for their favorite poem.
Leflar wrote later that year, "I wanted to create a place where poets could feel comfortable taking risks and trying new things, a place where the best poetry could win out over good poetry." And win they did! From that first competition in 1980 until now (2016), more than 1,000 events have been held across the world, with nearly every major city having hosted one at some point.
In addition to being fun, sams also challenge participants to produce something original within a limited time frame. In fact, the majority of poems performed at these events are never published elsewhere. The top poets at each event become eligible to compete again the following year, while the rest leave with nothing but experience and inspiration behind them.
Poets often use improvisational techniques during slams.
During these events, three judges score the poems based on creativity, expression, and content. The winner is determined by vote of the audience members after the closing speech. Prizes are sometimes given out for first through third place.
Poetry slams are held throughout the world in schools, universities, community centers, and churches. Some examples include: The Berkeley Slam, which has been held annually since 1990; The Dallas Poetry Slam, which started in 1993; and The Detroit Hip-Hop Poetry Slam, which began in 1996.
In addition to winning prizes, the winners also gain exposure that can lead to future success as writers. Many famous musicians, actors, and authors have won slams before becoming popular; some of them include Levar Burton (slammed when he was a student at Howard University), Tupac Shakur (when he was a member of 2Pacalypse Now), and Denzel Washington (when he was attending school in California).
The concept of the slam originated with Keith Joseph in London in 1986.
What Distinguishes Slam Poetry From Traditional Poetry? The distinction is simple: one is written to be performed or read out, whilst the other is written particularly for the page. Slam poetry is intended to be performed. It uses language that is colloquial and often vulgar - although not always - with the aim of getting a reaction from the audience who will then vote on which poems they like best.
Traditional poetry is written for the page and read silently. It can include profanity but is usually family friendly. Gender bias and racism are common in traditional poetry too but these elements are generally included for aesthetic purposes rather than being fundamental parts of the poem itself.
Slam poetry was first developed in New York City at underground poetry readings in the early 1980s. These events were held in empty churches or other large rooms and featured both male and female poets reading their work for an audience who would then vote on which poems they liked best. The event became so popular that it now takes place in cities all over the world every year on April Fools' Day (which is why this article appeared on 1st April).
People usually think that slam poetry is just another word for swearing but this is not true at all. Swearing is used in slam poetry to make certain points or express emotions that regular poetry cannot.