What is Poetry Slam?

Simply put, poetry slam is the art of competitive performance poetry invented by Chicago construction worker Marc Smith in the mid 1980’s (So what?). The poet is given three minutes to perform a piece of their own original writing, with no props, musical accompaniment, nudity, or animals allowed. Typically, judges are randomly selected audience members with no affiliation to the competing poets who are asked to score the poets’ content and performance from a scale of zero to 10, with zero being the worst poem ever, and 10 being a life-changing experience. The audience is encouraged to respond to the judges’ scores, and to give each poet undivided attention and applause.