How to write a slam poem

+96 votes
asked Jul 27, 2015 in Culture & Society by MichelHampto (250 points)
I stumbled on roundhouse 2013 Poetry Slam yesterday, and to say the least, it blew me off. Their poems were not anything like what I have known so far about poems. I would love to become an effective poet and how to write a slam poem.

1 Answer

+15 votes
answered Aug 6, 2015 by Shoshana9839 (370 points)

I’m a student of English major and I was once so interested in Slam Poem that I read a lot about how to write a slam poem. Would love to share all those with you. :>

Coining your own unique slam poem may not be as hard as most people think. There are several techniques that I employed during a poetry slam. I hope the tips outlined below will equip you with every trick you need to keep every audience awed. ; )

  1. Do your homework well. I used to watch loads poetry slams before I understood what makes it effective. Poetry slams at bookstores or local coffee shops will also be good for you. If you find it hard to find any, visit, and you will be surprised at the quality, quantity, and variety of slam poetry performances you will discover. Write down the slam poems you love the most and why you think they are the best.
  2. Choose a good topic. Discover what brings out the passionate side of you. It could be an individual, a place, an event, or even a trip that altered your conventional thinking pattern. May be you just came out of a bad relationship or got into a sizzling one. It could be your resolve to fight for animal rights. Words and emotions are more likely to come out from you when you are a bit fired up.
  3. Put those words on paper. Create the first draft using your common sense. When you think about your topic, put down what you hear, see, smell, touch or taste whenever you ponder on your topic. When it comes to creating a very realistic picture using slam poem, details are of utmost importance. Always ask yourself this: Is it possible for me to be a bit more specific? Find a way to craft your content into shorter stanzas that form a very natural rhythm and use rhyme is you wish to do so.
  4. Be Your Own Editor. Read out your poem loud when editing. If any section seems too long or clunky, its shows that section should be changed, cut, or entirely moved. If you need some synonyms for the replacement of some words, the online Thesaurus might be a great idea.
  5. Add some drama. Don't forget it is not just about reading out your poem loudly-you are also performing. The main aim is to make the audience react very audibly though laughter, snap, clap, cries, yell, etc. This reaction will give you higher scores. So find ways to increase the drama and excitement. Are there moments you can whisper, shout, speed up, and slow down? Is it possible for you to introduce some facial expressions and body languages to pass your message? Follow these five techniques, then recite your poems and register for any poetry slam in your vicinity. Do not forget that memorizing your poem will enable you focus on the audience instead of a piece of paper for the much needed competitive edge.

Extended information

This is how to write a slam poem. And if you want to perform better in poetry slams, there are still several things you can do. On the basics, you should work on your editing skills, and this will require repeated practices. Below are some more suggestions you could use.

Just like in step 2, you must first of all get your topic and storyline organized. Then figure out the kind of flow you need in your poem once you have figured out your storyline. Keep the story in mind whenever the style you wish to use comes to your mind. Is it upbeat? Is it sad? Or confused? Choose whichever style that tallies with your own tone in order to make the experience a very unique one. Or, you can decide to be sarcastic if you wish to create something very unique-highlight a very tragic event with a happy tone.

Be creative! And make sure you choose a style and flow that will be quite unique to you. Several slam poets out there try so hard to imitate others. Sometimes it works, sometimes it ends if failure. So think it over appropriately. Do you wish to sound like some rapper? Go free-form? Sound like a monologue? Or a written letter? No matter what you choose as your slam poem style, always go back to this very step and test your piece in varied tones using different deliveries.

Be real, perform for your friends, and listen to advice, keeping editing and rewriting until you get the best. When you give it more time, your poem will come out superb.

Yup! Start with reading those famous slam poems now!

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