entry line & sign-up rules

The open mic and slam list at the Boston Poetry Slam’s Wednesday Show fill up quickly. People usually lineup 15-30 minutes before the doors open to get a spot on the list. We recommend you come early if you want to sign up. Each night there are 20 slots on the open mic, 8 slots to slam (if there is a slam that night), plus a limited number of waitlist slots that may or may not get called up to the mic. If your poem is 1 minute or less, there are often a few additional “express lane” slots that can be added to the end of the open mic.

In order to keep things orderly and fair, there are a couple of ground rules we ask patrons to follow.


• Don’t cut in line. We see you.
• The most important rule is first-come, first-served. Some of the below rules include exceptions, but we strongly encourage you to come early if you want to secure a spot on the mic/slam.
• If you are slamming, do not also sign up for the open mic.

If you are in line to read on the Open Mic:

• One person can hold at most ONE other person’s spot in line (assumed that the person holding the spot and the person whose spot is being held have explicitly consented to this beforehand). Both or one of the people can sign up for the mic in this case.

If you are in line to Slam:

• There is NO line-holding or spot-saving for a slam.
• If there is additional demand for the night’s slam, a slam overflow list will be created, and the staff will do our best to accommodate everyone if it is possible timewise.

For days in which there are workshops:

• Workshop attendees get first access to the mic list.
• Workshop attendees also get first access to the slam list if there is a slam that day.

If there is an extremely special circumstance (you’re about to move, your whole family is coming, this is your last chance to qualify for the team, etc.) and something unavoidable happens (such as the train breaks down, your work meeting goes an hour over, you had to take your dog to the hospital, etc.) you can contact a staff member/DM our Insta and we will try our best to get you on that that list.