WHAT IS SLAM POETRY?
Pictured above is the 2018 NJ Slam team that placed Top 16 in the world at the International Brave New Voices Festival hosted in Houston, Texas.
Slam Poetry is one of the most engaging ways to help young people discover how powerful their voices are. Spoken word allows students to freely speak their mind, challenge the status quo, and break free from the power struggles that affect self identity, self esteem, community unification, and self-empowerment. Blending literacy with performance, slam culture has created an outlet where students can make the stage and each other a safe supportive place to express themselves. Slam culture extends beyond poetic performance, it is a community that encourages inclusiveness, collaboration, critical thinking, and self awareness.
Slam Poetry Benefits Everyone
Even if you’re not a writer, Slam Poetry benefits all students. There is no such thing as bad writing. In a world that suppresses our stories, slam provides a place to give voice to these narratives of struggle, joy, pain, healing, reflection, and activism. Students that partake in writing and performance workshops work on public speaking, self confidence, reading, writing, as well as increase their awareness on social issues and injustices in their neighborhood and worldwide. Beyond writing, Slam Poetry teaches kids how to be leaders, create community mindedness, and create a space to learn and honor each other’s differences.
How it Works
A poetry slam is a competition in which individuals or teams perform their own personal poetry before an audience. Randomly selected judges score the poems from 1-10. The poet or team with the highest score at the end of the slam wins. Poetry slams are often held on college campuses, artist venues, or coffee houses.