The Golden Rule of Poetry Slam

The points are not the point. The point is poetry!

Basic Poetry Slam Rules

1. Each poem must be of the poet’s own construction.

2. The poet may choose to bring a sheet of paper or chapbook to the stage to read their poem.

3. Each poet gets three minutes (plus a ten-second grace period) to read one poem. If the poet goes over time, points will be deducted from the total score by the scorekeeper.

4. The poet may not use props, costumes, taped music, or musical instruments.

5. The poem may NOT include sexist, racist, homophobic, or transphobic comments. Basically, use your common sense and don’t be a jerk, and leave your hate at the gate.

6. The poet receives scores out of 10 from five randomly-selected judges. The high and low scores are dropped and the middle three are added together, giving the poet a total score out of 30.

Code of Honour

As a participant in the Hullabaloo, I agree:

1. To revel in an environment in which freedom of speech, self-determination, and pursuit of creative excellence are inalienable rights.

2. To participate in all Hullabaloo events in a way that encourages, illuminates and supports established standards of good sportsmanship. To refuse to allow the competitive challenge of the game to lead me to violence, interference, or direct threats. To allow all participants to pursue their craft peacefully and without censure, regardless of present associations or past personal history.

3. To comply with local, provincial and federal laws pertaining to individual civil rights and physical or sexual harassment.

4. To abide by competition rules as defined by Hullabaloo, knowing that the consequences for breaking the rules exist and are upheld. Penalties will be determined by the severity of the infraction, and the ruling of the presiding emcee and, where applicable, the presiding protest committee.

5. To be a fair poet, one who in competition is fair and generous, one who in any connection has recourse to nothing illegitimate; a poet who in defeat demonstrates grace and in victory magnanimity.

(In other words, play nice!)