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Poetry Slam: The Competitive Art of Performance Poetry

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Poetry slams—the Olympics of poetry—have become a cultural phenomenon. This groundbreaking anthology documents 10 years of poetry slams, with 100 poems from national slam champions and a dozen essays on how to run a slam, winning strategies, tips for memorizing poems, and more.


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Poetry slams—the Olympics of poetry—have become a cultural phenomenon. This groundbreaking anthology documents 10 years of poetry slams, with 100 poems from national slam champions and a dozen essays on how to run a slam, winning strategies, tips for memorizing poems, and more.

30 review for Poetry Slam: The Competitive Art of Performance Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Scott Whitney

    I read this because the creative writing club has decided to host a poetry slam. This has some great ideas for the slam, but it also has a lot of rough language in the poetry which is featured in the book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carro Herdegen

    Language: R (103 swears, 64 "f"); Mature Content: PG13 (some of the poems talk about drugs, alcohol, sex, masturbation, and other sexual pleasures); Violence: PG I liked most of the essay content that explains the history and format of slam poetry; I learned a lot of cool things. However, a couple of the essays were random and didn't make sense, and it felt like more than half of the poems were filled with crude language that I didn't want to read. Language: R (103 swears, 64 "f"); Mature Content: PG13 (some of the poems talk about drugs, alcohol, sex, masturbation, and other sexual pleasures); Violence: PG I liked most of the essay content that explains the history and format of slam poetry; I learned a lot of cool things. However, a couple of the essays were random and didn't make sense, and it felt like more than half of the poems were filled with crude language that I didn't want to read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I really liked the fact that the poems where broken up by information/advice from other poets. To have suggestions, stories and advice in print like this makes it a very useful tool when trying to develop your own poetic voice or to coach a slam team. Some of the poems are mediocre. Some are blatantly ignorant, but there are some stars in there. It's definitely worth the read if you're a poet trying to get exposed to other voices and styles of writing. I really liked the fact that the poems where broken up by information/advice from other poets. To have suggestions, stories and advice in print like this makes it a very useful tool when trying to develop your own poetic voice or to coach a slam team. Some of the poems are mediocre. Some are blatantly ignorant, but there are some stars in there. It's definitely worth the read if you're a poet trying to get exposed to other voices and styles of writing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Goins

    Every single poet in this volume is more experienced and a better writer than myself. By inclusion in this book they all are, by definition, published poets. Still, I think the writing was really weak. Can I do better? In time. But this is not the volume I'll turn to for inspiration. Perhaps I would give this book a 3 if I heard the poems recited. Reading out loud only improved some of these. I liked only a few poems in this book. The essays on the various aspects of the slam were probably the mos Every single poet in this volume is more experienced and a better writer than myself. By inclusion in this book they all are, by definition, published poets. Still, I think the writing was really weak. Can I do better? In time. But this is not the volume I'll turn to for inspiration. Perhaps I would give this book a 3 if I heard the poems recited. Reading out loud only improved some of these. I liked only a few poems in this book. The essays on the various aspects of the slam were probably the most beneficial to me. But the best part of the book was an interview on the group piece (the last non-poem). It is the only thing in this book that I would give a 5/5.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kino McFarland

    I agree with others that have said the slam poetry (at least that which is in this book) is not very good in written form. I even tried reading the poems aloud, but I don't know the rhythm that is intended, so the effect is lost on me. In this case, I would say that this book needs a supplemental audio or video piece. The informational aspect of the book served its purpose, but I didn't like how after the first few sections of it, it gets divided between poetry. Structurally, this book does not I agree with others that have said the slam poetry (at least that which is in this book) is not very good in written form. I even tried reading the poems aloud, but I don't know the rhythm that is intended, so the effect is lost on me. In this case, I would say that this book needs a supplemental audio or video piece. The informational aspect of the book served its purpose, but I didn't like how after the first few sections of it, it gets divided between poetry. Structurally, this book does not make sense to me even with the table of contents.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristine Marie

    This was my first "Spoken Word" Anthology that I ever read and inspired my interest in the art form. To this day, this collection still feels like my basic foundation and starting point. I was lucky to meet Alix Olsen and Saul Williams shortly after it was published and I'll never forget those experiences! I highly recommend this anthology. It does not disappoint. Of course the words are better performed, but if you're lucky enough to see the performance, reading the words over and over will def This was my first "Spoken Word" Anthology that I ever read and inspired my interest in the art form. To this day, this collection still feels like my basic foundation and starting point. I was lucky to meet Alix Olsen and Saul Williams shortly after it was published and I'll never forget those experiences! I highly recommend this anthology. It does not disappoint. Of course the words are better performed, but if you're lucky enough to see the performance, reading the words over and over will definitely take you back to those times.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This was a combination of poetry anthology and performance art strategies. The poetry is more fresh than polished; and the diversity of style stands out. Would highly recommend if you are going to participate in a slam. Or if you are just curious about what slams are all about.

  8. 5 out of 5

    emma

    Okay, the prose info on slam poetry was awesome, 5/5 stars the poetry itself WOULD be 5/5 if I could HEAR it, but reading slam is just weird. so the rating has nothing to do with the contents actually.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    The poems are interesting, but it's hard to fully appreciate slam poetry when it's in a book. Even reading them out loud doesn't do them justice, as I don't know how they're meant to be performed. The group poems at the end were especially difficult to follow. The poems are interesting, but it's hard to fully appreciate slam poetry when it's in a book. Even reading them out loud doesn't do them justice, as I don't know how they're meant to be performed. The group poems at the end were especially difficult to follow.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Terri Miles

    I love poetry in most forms. I don't always understand it, but do enjoy it. I love the the imagination and vibe this book gives off. Some of the poetry in here is amazing (to me)and I would suggest this book to friends, family and strangers! I love poetry in most forms. I don't always understand it, but do enjoy it. I love the the imagination and vibe this book gives off. Some of the poetry in here is amazing (to me)and I would suggest this book to friends, family and strangers!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Keybrat

    The more I try to work my way through this, the more I realize that some Slam Poetry simply isn't that good in written form, something its taken me years to admit to. The more I try to work my way through this, the more I realize that some Slam Poetry simply isn't that good in written form, something its taken me years to admit to.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Satia

    For the month of April (National Poetry Month), I have been posting a poem a day. Today I posted a poem with a book review. http://satia.blogspot.com/2008/04/apr... For the month of April (National Poetry Month), I have been posting a poem a day. Today I posted a poem with a book review. http://satia.blogspot.com/2008/04/apr...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Darlene House

    Variety of poetry included along with enlightening insights about slams. Read the poems out loud for full effect.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Thea Lemaster

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brock Yap

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ed

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Baker-Siroty

  18. 4 out of 5

    Libby

  19. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Richards

  20. 4 out of 5

    Girl Underground

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chelle

  22. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Yakura

  23. 5 out of 5

    ma lee

  24. 5 out of 5

    Fiamma Curti

  25. 4 out of 5

    Terrance Coleman

  26. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nicki

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marie Pascale Geist

  29. 5 out of 5

    zeninezzie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Scott

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