What is a Poetry Slam?
The poetry slam is a competition invented in the 1980s by a Chicago construction worker named Marc Smith [“So what!”] in which performed poetry is judged by five members of the audience. Poets have three minutes to present their original work. The judges will then score the piece anywhere from 0 to 10, evaluating such qualities as performance, content, and originality. The high and low scores of each performance are tossed, and the middle three are added giving the performer their score. Points are deducted for violating the three-minute time limit (or, in certain special slams, a two-minute or four-minute time limit).
Our Mission Statement
The mission of Rain City Slam is provide a headquarters for Seattle Spoken Word Poets of all ages to create, learn, teach and find a poetry community. Our vision is to establish a safe space where poetry can be discovered, inspired, learned and showcased without boundaries. We provide an open mic that allows any voice to be heard; community showcases that promote new work; writing circles to ensure time, space and support for writing; featured poets to inspire our community as well provide a place for reading and engaging the Seattle community, and a slam competition to assist in artistic growth, build confidence and challenge poets to think about the translation of their work to the rest of the world.
Our Safety Statement
Rain City Poetry Slam is committed to safety in our community for all of our members. We ask that anyone entering our community in any capacity treat the audience, poets, venue staff, Rain City community members and featuring artists as equals. We refuse to permit any act of hate, violence or bigotry on or off our stage and will ban any person or persons involved in those acts. Guests will seek and respect the bodily and creative autonomy of other community members; this includes but isn’t limited to unauthorized touching or affection, or unauthorized reproduction or communication of onstage work. Any person whose safety has been threatened in any way should report the occurrence to a member of the Rain City Poetry Slam board. The board will keep information confidential and anonymous and provide any support requested. Absolutely NO ONE is above the rules expressed here, and inappropriate, dangerous, hateful or violent behavior is unacceptable for the entire community.