Slam Clubs

How can my school be part of Hullabaloo?

1. Start a Poetry Slam Club

If you’re a student, talk to your loudmouth friends, talk to your word-nerd friends, talk to your secretly-writing-poetry-in-the-back-of-their-binder friends. Show them some YouTube videos of slam poetry. Form a club, open to everyone at the school, and start having meetings to share your words. If you can get a teacher on board, even better!

If you’re a teacher, organize a poetry open mic in the library at lunch for students to read their work. Show your students videos of slam poets. Encourage collaboration and make it open to all. This is a chance for your students to tell their stories.


2. WriteWriteWrite, PracticePracticePractice

Get inspired and let your imagination run wild. Tell stories that matter to you. Rewriting and editing is crucial to making your poem the best it can possibly be. Memorizing your poem can make for a more dramatic, engaging performance. All your practicing will shine through when it comes time to get in front of the microphone.

Once you feel comfortable reading at your club, you could organize a poetry café at school to present your work, or perform at assemblies. You could also practice your poems at the Youth Slam which happens on the 4th Monday of each month at Café Deux Soleils – or at the Dewey Decibel Workshop and Poetry Slam on the 1st Wednesday of each month at Vancouver Public Library Central Branch.


3. Hold a Slam to Choose Your Team & Register

Slam teams consist of four poets (and potentially one alternate). If your slam club has more than four eager students, you’ll need to figure out how to choose a team. Make sure that your process is fair and accessible. Holding a slam – open to all interested students. We can facilitate, host, feature at, or bout manage any preliminary slams that you might want to hold at your school. Slam teams can have 3–6 students on them, but all students must be 18 years or younger as of April.

Registration for Hullabaloo 2016 opens February 1, 2016.


4. Perform!

Ok, it’s four steps, but this step is so much fun, it barely counts. We promise to create a super-positive and supportive atmosphere for you to display your poetic awesomeness. There will be group cheers for the whole audience. We will boo the judges (we always do, then we remind everyone that we can’t have a slam without them). We will emphasize camaraderie over competition. There’ll be t-shirts, stickers, serious prizes, silly prizes, surprises and festival spirit galore! It’s going to be something you tell your grandkids about.

Whether you come as a performer or a spectator, this is one poetry show you won’t want to miss!


Have more questions?

Totally understandable. Hey, it’s the first full tournament this year, and new projects always require a little extra explaining. Just contact our Youth Education Coordinator, Johnny MacRae ( for more information.