How to Write Slam Poetry in 5 Steps


A poetry slam is a competitive event in which performers recite their original work and are judged on a numerical scale by members of the audience. The first slam took place in 1984, Chicago and was well received among young artist with various backgrounds. In 1990 Fort Mansion hosted the first National Poetry Slam with two teams from Chicago and San Franciso, completed by an individual poet from New York. In 2010 the number of participate teams grew to approximately 80. The slam poets demanded a more daring democratized poetry type instead of the strict academic one.

Some of the subjects the spoken poetry treats involve economic, racial, gender injustices that the audience can relate to. The poems are recited with passion to sensitize the audience and do not need a specific rhyme as much as a flowing rhythm. Repetition is an important aspect of this poetry with a cause because it emphasizes the message. If you are curios about how to write slam poetry, here are five steps you should follow:

Step 1 – Choose your topic
If you don’t know how to write slam poetry and where to begin, the first step is to find a cause that you relate to. Your slam will seem more genuine if you write about something you are passionate about. You can carry a notebook and write ideas as they come along.

Step 2 – Research
Listen to other slams so you get an idea about how it should sound like. It is important to know what other people are doing and connect to the community. Beau Sia, Georgia Me and Saul William have very good slams.

Step 3 – Let the rhythm flow
You don’t have to know how to write slam poetry or be an expert in literature to write a good piece. Just let the rhythm flow and fill the pages with passionate lyrics about the topic you have chosen. The slam poetry is powerful and blunt. Use repetition to emphasize an idea by returning to the same phrase or key word.

Step 4 – Replace words
Re-read your poem and replace simple words with more bold, strong ones that will give your poetry depth.

Step 5 – Read it out loud
Read your slam out loud and imagine you’re in the audience. Did it make an impact or affect you in any way? Is the message clear and the lyrics passionate? You can also read it to a friend and ask him for feedback. Good luck!