Debate/Speech/Poetry 2021

Ashley School Poetry Slam 

This year we begin a new revolution with our school poetry competition - moving with the times! We will be having a Poetry Slam on TBA in the school hall, following a runoff in each of the class areas during the previous week. Three students from each class level will be asked to present their poems in the final slam.

A Poetry Slam is a competition in which poets perform spoken word poetry. Poetry slams began in Chicago in 1984 as a way for audiences to become more involved and poets to display high levels of passion and engagement for their poems and the subject matter. For many, it is an opportunity to raise issues that are foremost in their minds. Here is a great New Zealand example of a young man presenting his slam:

Orators may read or recite their poems, but the emphasis should be on the connection which that person has for their poem, and we should see and hear this through their entire performance.

The performances at a poetry slam are judged by the audience, who will have the judging criteria outlined and available to them. Sections of the audience work together to give a score between 1 and 10 for each poem, with allowance to have half numbers such as 7.5 as scores as well.


Our hall will be divided into 10 roughly equal sections of the audience, each of which has one scorecard, and all people must work quickly to allocate a score - no more than a minute will be allowed. The score is held up for counting with the highest and lowest scores being dropped so that each performer receives a score out of 80. 

Scores can be seen on the whiteboard as the competition progresses.