• Santa Barbara County Poetry Slam

  • For SBCEO’s first annual Poetry Slam, we are proud to partner with Guelph Spoken Word, a nonprofit organization out of Canada.  SBCEO will provide multiple workshop sessions led by Guelph Artists, in order to prepare students for the Poetry Slam, with the mission of creating an open, diverse community space that will foster spoken word artists within Santa Barbara County, and which will provide quality arts & culture experiences for audiences.

    The Poetry Slam competition is intended for all 9-12th graders in Santa Barbara County attending private or public school. The workshops are open for all teachers and students in grades 7-12 in Santa Barbara County.

  • Information Sessions

    March 16th from 3:30 - 4:00 p.m.
    March 29th from 3:30 - 4:00 p.m.

    To inform teachers, parents, students and administrators what the SBCEO Poetry Slam is all about. Inform potential participants about the other sessions available, as well as registration for the competition or Open Mic.

    Slam Exhibition

    Monday, April 12, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

    Audience - any and all who are interested!

    This is an exhibition of Slam Poetry. Artists will be provided by Guelph Spoken Word, current and/or former Santa Barbara county students, current Santa Barbara county teachers. This event is just an exhibition to familiarize participants with Slam Poetry.

    Workshop #1

    Monday, April 19, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

    Guelph Spoken Word artists will lead this workshop to help prepare students and teachers for a Slam Poetry competition. Participants will be broken up into breakout rooms to get a more individualized instruction from Guelph artists.

    Workshop #2 Friday, April 23, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

    Guelph artists will again break participants into breakout rooms while leading participants through a more interactive creation of slam poetry, while participants will obtain feedback on participant created poetry.

    Slam Practice Exhibition Friday, April 30, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

    Participants will be broken up into groups of 4-6, and then sent out into breakout rooms to perform the slam poetry they have created. Participants will receive peer feedback on their performance. Participants may register for Competition or Open Mic.

    Poetry Slam Competition

    Friday, May 7, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

    Guelph Spoken Word will provide judges for this competition, with first, second and third place winners announced at the end of the competition.

    Click on this registration link to register for the workshop sessions, competition or Open Mic.

    Click on this link to join the Poetry Slam List Serve.


More About Slam Poetry and Spoken Word

  • The concept of slam poetry seems to have originated in the 1980’s in Chicago, Illinois, when a local poet and construction worker, Marc Kelly Smith, feeling that poetry readings and poetry in general had lost their true passion, had an idea to bring poetry back to the people.

    The first thing that needs to be understood is the difference between Slam Poetry and the Spoken Word.  Slam poetry or a Poetry Slam, is a competition arts event in the form of performance poetry, that combines the elements of performance, writing, competition and audience participation.  It is often performed in front of a live audience and a panel of judges.  The performances at a poetry slam are judged as much on enthusiasm and style as content.  Poets may compete as individuals or in teams.  The term slam comes from how the audience has the power to praise or sometimes destroy a poem from the high-energy performance style of the poets.

    Spoken Word Poetry (also known as performance poetry), is simple poetry that is written to be performed.  All slam poetry is spoken word, but not all spoken word poetry is written to be performed at slams.  Spoken word poetry does contain the artist’s thoughts and emotions, and is written in a way that will provoke a reaction from the audience.

  • Santa Barbara Poetry Slam Logo

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