The louderARTS Project


Slam Rules
Slam Rankings


What is a slam?

Slam is a game we play with poetry. Poets perform poems of their own creation without props, costumes, or musical accompaniment. Five random people from the audience members then judge the poems on a scale of 0.0 to 10.0. We drop the high score, drop the low, and add the middle three. Check out more information about the rules here.

Why would you do such a thing?

Because it’s fun. And because it is an excellent way to challenge poets to perform their work in a way that connects with the audience. Too many poets read their work without any consideration for how the poem lives in and through the body. The slam holds a poet accountable not only for the craft of the writing, but the way that the work is then read aloud.

Who can sign up to slam?

Anyone. The list goes out at 7pm on the dot, but people often start lining up as early as 6:30. The only exceptions to this rule are the last two slams of the year (spaces are reserved for people who have slammed at least one other time that season) and our semi-final and final slams.

What do you win?

The poets placing first, second and third receive points towards our semi-final slams.
The four top scoring poets in our final slam become our Slam Team for that year. In alternate years, we take this team to the National Poetry Slam where they compete against teams from all over the world.

But perhaps the best prize for winning our slam season is the chance to work intensively with other poets over the course of the summer to create collaborative pieces and to grow as a writer and performer.
The points are not the point. The point is the poetry.

Please see our Staff Page for details about our Slammasters and other louderARTS staff.

Mondays @ 7:00 pm
13 Bar | Lounge
35 East 13th Street @ University Place
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10003 • 212.979.6677
4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R, W to 14th Street | Union Square
$6 | $5 students