Competition Rules

Poets who are competing in the slams from January to May must follow these rules:

  1. Poets must sign up to compete before the competition at the venue.
  2. Poets must bring two poems that are 3-minutes or less in length to compete.
  3. Each poem must be of the poet’s own construction. Sampling is allowed as long as the poem is 80% original.
  4. 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.
  5. No props, costumes or musical instruments are allowed. Poets may use what is available to other competitors: the mic and their own voice. Beat-boxing, stomping, and singing are allowed.
  6. No nudity.
  7. Poets must abide by the WPS Slam Code of Honour

Poets who make it to the semifinal and final rounds of the season must follow these rules:

  1. Poems used in the regular season may be repeated in semifinals and finals, but not both (see directly below).
  2. Poems used in semifinals may not be repeated at finals in the same year/season. They may be used again in future seasons, as well as in future semifinal and final bouts.
  3. Poems used at finals may not be used again in future finals bouts (referred to as “burning a poem”). They may be used again in future regular seasons and semifinal bouts.