The Writer's Den RVA

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The Writer's Den Poetry Slam

Last Thursday of the month

at Addis Ethiopian Restaurant

9 N. 17th Street, Richmond, VA 23219

Doors open/Signup starts at 8pm, show begins at 9pm

$10 admission at the door

What is a poetry slam?
A poetry slam is a spoken-word competition in which poets perform their original work; telling their story of pain, triumph, adversity, joy, humor, their passionate opinions on politics, socio-economics, cultures, hilarious poems, or poems about nothing at all, and are THEN scored by 5 judges. Every round judges score the poets on a scale of 0.0 to 10.0 scoring the poets on the writing , the performance, and originality of the poem. The top scores move forward in the competition that night.
The rules at a "normal poetry slam" are a little different, but here are the  rules #intheden :
-3 elimination rounds
-original work only (no covers and no plagiarism)
-poets get 3 MINUTES AND 10 SECONDS to perform. Any poem longer than that (3:11 and higher) is an automatic disqualification
- no props of any kind including but not limited to: clothing, jewelry, items brought on stage, etc. you may bring paper or device to read from, but do not reference it, because then it becomes a prop.
-time starts when you engage the audience, most of the time that means when you start the poem but any movement or word that insinuates you've begun performing will start the clock (so don't speak or engage the audience until you're ready to begin your poem)
-every round is random, we literally draw your name from a bowl every round
-every round is clean slate. we do not tally all the scores at the end.

Slam Season

Our slam season officially begins in September (but we have known to do a special qualifier in August from time to time) and ends in February. Each month we have a competition and the top two are deemed winners for that month and receive a monetary prize. The champions of the qualifiers return in March to compete against other finalists to see what top 4 will make the team that will represent RVA that year at Southern Fried Poetry Festival and the National Poetry Slam. 

Our off season/fundraising season begins promptly in April. We do a hosts of fun and specialized competitions: 

  • Page Poet Slam, where you read everything from paper and are encouraged to bring in new work that is untested,
  • Head to Head Haiku Battle, poets skilled with the art of 17 syllable poems go toe-to-toe in an intense battle of pen and wit. 
  • All Scores Matter Slam. in  normal poetry slam out of the 5 judges, the lowest and highest scores are not counted. At THIS slam... ALL THE SCORES MATTER. See a poet get a 50!
  • Not-So-Sad SLam, sometimes poetry can be very heavy. This slam NO SAD POEMS ALLOWED! It's all about triumph, resilience, joy, happiness, and fun!

And we are always coming up with new ideas all the time during our off season. During this part (April through August), prize money is given to the winner, there is no 2nd place prize, and the winner(s) do not qualify to be at our grand slam in March.