The Sport For Smart People
A competitions for poets.
Rules: poets perform an original creation no longer than three minutes, no costumes, props or pre-recorded music.
Format: judges are randomly selected from the audience. They score a poet on a scale between 1 and 10.
This year's National Poetry Slam will be in Minneapolis.
Poets that slamming made famous: Maggie Estep, Hal Sirowitz, Reg E. Gaines. Poets slamming destroyed: M. Christian Robinson.
Poetry Slams are a questionable thing. I've attended some of them because they came after a regular poetry reading.

The reason I think they are questionable is that the best poems are not chosen, but rather the most gripping or whathaveyou. Quality of the work, thought value, and so on, are often looked at in tie-breaker fashion rather than the primary means of judgment. Spite and angst and anger towards the status-quo, of which a sufficient amount of almost assures victory.

I guess that's just my opinion.

I do know a slew of the people that went to last years national slam in Rhode Island, and they said they had fun. I reckon that's what really matters to them.

I do think poetry readings are good for writers of all sorts, tho, because it gives immediate feedback and lets them see what the audience thinks of the work. Too much, however, and you might "sell-out" (i.e, write for the audience, not onesself).

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