Which Sentence Describes A Characteristic Of A Poetry Slam

What is a poetry slam?

Poetry slams are competitive events in which poets – or performers who recite or perform their own original poetry – are judged by random members of the audience for one to three minute performances. It is a spoken word event where performers are each given a set amount of time to present their original works which may be either improvised or carefully rehearsed, although all pieces must be original works. Poetry slams often take forms such as hip hop, spoken word and stand up comedy, although all must contain elements of performance poetry, with strong voice projection, energy, enthusiasm and emotion.

How do Poetry Slams Work?

At the beginning of a poetry slam, the judges and the audience will be brought together to an agreed upon format. Generally, five audience members are selected to act as judges and they are typically picked at random. They will be provided scorecards to assess the performances with scores ranging from 0-10.
At the end of the performance, the judges will decide and discreetly pass their scores back to the host. Scores are then tallied up by the host and released to the audience. The poet whose piece had the highest average score is then announced as the winner. Prize money, if offered, will be given to the winners.

What are the Rules for Poetry Slams?

Although rules vary from slam to slam, all slams must adhere to certain guidelines and set standards. Generally, only original works should be performed and no instrumentation is allowed. Each round allows for poets to perform one to three minute sets and any time constraints must be kept, so performers must practice carefully to time their sets.
Also performers must abide by the rules of respect and courtesy. If a poet shows disrespect to any other poet or judge, they may be subject to expulsion from the slam.

Characteristics of a Poetry Slam

A key characteristic of a successful poetry slam is an audience. Poetry slams must appeal to an audience as the success or failure of a poet in a poetry slam largely depends on audience reception and engagement. The audience should be encouraged to be vocal, supportive and enthusiastic to create a enthralling atmosphere.
Poets should also create stories within their poem and create a mesmerizing performance to engage their audience. While the words and tales created should be captivating and powerful, the performer should also project the poem through their non-verbal communication such as gestures and facial expressions. Emphasis should be placed on their performance style as theatre dynamics will help to emphasize the message of the poem and keep the energy alive in the room.
The use of imagery is another important characteristic. Poets must create a vivid picture to help the audience visualise the scene they are trying to portray. Using humour to lighten difficult topics is also appreciated. Poets should not be afraid to take risks and provoke thought through their words and performance.

Qualities of a Successful Poet

To become a successful poet in a poetry slam, a poet needs to possess certain qualities. Apart from writing a high quality poem, a successful poet must be passionate and confident with their words. They must be articulate speakers with a clear speaking style, emphasize points of interests and use pauses to create suspense.
More importantly, a successful poet in a poetry slam must possess the ability to connect with their audience. Being personable and making eye contact with individual members of the audience as well as reacting to the crowd’s reactions will help to create an instant bond and connection to the poem.

Who Can Participate?

Poetry slams are inclusive open events and anyone can participate. The aim of a poetry slam is to create a safe space where those with a share passion for words, language and spoken word can come together and share their work. Participants from all backgrounds and experiences are welcomed and encouraged to apply.
Poetry slams are a great platform for those beginning to explore their poetry or those that want to test out the waters and gain experience in public speaking. Each slam varies in where the emphasis is placed – some focus on education, art or pure entertainment, so there is something for everyone.

Objectives of a Poetry Slam

One of the main objectives of a poetry slam is to provide a space where people can come together and share their stories and explore their creativity and talents. They can be a powerful platform to inspire, entertain and educate audiences. Poets can share personal tales, provoke thought and discuss important topics.
Furthermore, poetry slams apart from providing an entertaining evening, can help to create a sense of community amongst those that share a passion for literature and the spoken word. They bring together individuals from all backgrounds and help to form a strong and supportive environment.


Poetry slams are competitive events in which poets and performers share their original works to an audience. There are no instrumentation or use of covers allowed and each presenter is given 1-3 minutes to perform.
Charactertistics of a successful poetry slam include an enthusiastic and supportive audience, the ability to engage the audience, a high quality poem and performance. Poets should also possess qualities such as confidence, a passion for words and an ability to connect with their audience in order to be successful.
As well as providing a thrilling evening, poetry slams can also provide a platform to inspire, educate and create a sense of community amongst those that share a love of literature and the spoken word.

Dannah Hannah is an established poet and author who loves to write about the beauty and power of poetry. She has published several collections of her own works, as well as articles and reviews on poets she admires. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a specialization in poetics, from the University of Toronto. Hannah was also a panelist for the 2017 Futurepoem book Poetry + Social Justice, which aimed to bring attention to activism through poetry. She lives in Toronto, Canada, where she continues to write and explore the depths of poetry and its influence on our lives.

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