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Rouge Poetry Slam

NOTE: There are two different types of slams. The following description explains our General Slam Competition that runs throughout the year. See 3-2-1 Summer Slam for information about our individual poetry slam.

Up to 10 poets will compete each night in the hopes of being crowned the champion and securing a spot on the Edmonton Slam Team that will go on to represent Edmonton at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.

Come out to cheer on your favorites and see Edmonton poets at their best! It is going to be amazing!

What is a Poetry Slam?

Simply put, poetry slam is the competitive art of performance poetry. It puts a dual emphasis on writing and performance, encouraging poets to focus on what they’re saying and how they’re saying it.

Who can Slam?

Anyone who has original works of poetry is invited to Slam! Poets are to have 2 poems prepared; each poem should be no more than 3 minutes long. Sign up for the slam will closed at 6:55pm (Unless prior arrangements were made). Only 10 poets will slam per night. Depending on the amount of poets who sign up, a draw will be made to see who will be competing. Priority will be given to those who have not yet placed. 

What are the rules?

  • 10 poets will compete in a two-round elimination format. In the first round, all 10 poets will share a 3-minute poem. In the second round only the top 5 poets from the previous round will share an additional 3-minute poem.
  • Time is started as soon as the poet engages the audience, whether by body language or speech
  • The poem must be an original written by the poet performing it. If the poem exceeds 3 minutes, a 10 second grace period is given. After that 0.5 points will be deducted from the poet score for every 10 seconds over the time provided.
  • The poets cumulative score at the end of the 2 rounds will determine the winner for the night
  • No props, no music, no costumes and only one poet may read at a time.
  • The highest and lowest scores of the 5 judges will be dropped. The middle 3 will be added together giving a possible score ranging from 0-30.


How Do You Make The Team?

  • Poets must compete and earn 1st and 2nd place to be among the top 12 poets going into the finals.
  • Poets who do not qualify are encouraged to slam as many times as they would like.
  • The top 2 poets of each slams will make the Finals
  • 12 Poets will compete in the finals. The top 5 poets based on their cumulative score for the 2 rounds at Finals will represent the team at The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.


How is it judged?

  • Judges will be chosen at random from the audience members. The rest of the audience is encouraged to influence the judges, by cheering for their favorite poet.
  • Poets are judged based on the quality of their written work, performance and audience reaction. The judges will be using a numeric scale, 0 – being not so good to 10 – being beyond excellent
  • The highest and the lowest scores are dropped and an average of the remaining points is used as that poets final score for the round.
  • The poet with the highest cumulative score for of the 2 rounds wins the slam. Rankings are given to each poet based on a 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finish


When are the qualifying slams?

Check the Event Calendar for Slam dates and other poetry shows in the community. 

* We will be charging $5 at the door on slam nights as part of our fundraising efforts to support the team at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word *