There will be 4-5 teams participating in the NorthBeast slam. There will be 3 slam bouts during the festival, including 2 prelims and the finals. Each bout will consist of 4 rounds and the rotations will be determined by random draw.
Within a bout, each poet on a team may be used only once as the author of a piece. If your team has group pieces (a poem with more than one writer/participant), one poet must be designated the primary author of the group piece. The group piece will count in the primary author’s slot.
Example: Priya, Alanis, Joshua, and Dakari are on a team. Priya and Alanis perform a group piece. Alanis is designated as the primary author. The group piece uses Alanis’ slot, then Priya, Joshua, and Dakari perform solo pieces.
If you have 4 poets, each poet will be used once per bout. If you have 5 poets, all poets may not be used in the same bout. If there is an emergency right before the competition and you can only send 3 team members, please reach out to the NorthBeast team urgently and we will help you navigate the shortage.
A panel of 5 judges will be selected for each bout, comprised partially of pre-selected volunteers and partially of random audience members. Poets have the right to see who their judges are before the bout begins.
Each judge will give a score between 0.0 and 10.0 with no more than one decimal point (ex. 6.5, 7.8) after each poem. The highest and lowest scores will be dropped, and the middle three will be added together to form your final score.
Example: A poet gets a 6.5, 7.2, 7.8, 8.2, 9.5. 6.5 and 9.5 are dropped. The score is 23.2.
Time and Media Information
Poets will have up to 3 minutes to share their work. The moment a poet addresses the audience counts as their time beginning on stage. There is a 10-second grace period, after which half a point is deducted per ten seconds. Time penalties are often the deciding factor of a close slam, so time your poems!
Example: Priya’s poem was 3 minutes and 23 seconds long and gets an initial score of 23.2. Priya gets a 1-point time penalty. Her final score is 22.2.
No props, costumes, or musical accompaniment will be allowed.
As stated in our community guidelines, attendees and volunteers are not allowed to record poems without the prior consent of the performer, unless they have a media pass.