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Step Up and Slam!

Words are our most powerful weapons. Spoken word can be  even more powerful than the written word, which is why slamming is an important part of poetry.

  1. What is a Poetry Slam? A poetry slam is a way for poets to perform poetry together. At a slam, the stage is yours and everyone is all ears for what you have to say. Some poetry slams offer prizes for the poets who give the best performance.
  2. Why Should You Slam? Your words can inspire action. If you feel strongly about a certain cause, you can let others know by writing and performing your poem.
  3. You Get to Use YOUR Voice. When you read what you’ve written in your own voice, it has a much bigger impact. At a poetry slam, you have a direct connection to the poets around you in a space where you are free to speak your mind.
  4. Nervous About Performing at a Poetry Slam? Don’t be! Everyone at a slam is supportive of one another, because they’re all poets who want to make their voices heard, just like you. If you’re still nervous, pretend you’re speaking directly to the person whom the poem is about (we're not sure whether this works, but it's worth a try).
  5. Throw in a Little Practice. Before the slam, practice reading your poem out loud a few times in front of the mirror or with a few close friends. Still unsure? Remember there is no right or wrong in poetry and that once you get up there, it’s your turn to shine and tell everyone how you really feel!
  6. Wondering Where You Can Slam? A lot of restaurants and cafes like the Nuyorican Poet’s Café have their own weekly slams. Don’t think that a slam needs to be planned or official, though. Spur-of-the-moment slams are fun too: grab a bunch of friends and start your own poetry slam. You can even start a poetry slam club at your school.
  7. We Want to Know What You Slam About. No matter where you slam, it’s a great idea to record your performances to improve your delivery or share them with friends and family (and Power Poetry, of course). So, what are you waiting for?

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