The only “rule” is that performances are limited to 3 minutes (plus a 10 second grace period). At 3 minutes and 11 seconds, time penalties will be handed out at a rate of one-tenth of a point for every 10 seconds over-time. The clock starts once the poet makes his/her first utterance.
Team pieces, cover pieces, musical accompaniment, back-up vocalists, costumes, and props are all allowed.
Of the 5 scores received from the audience judges, the high and low scores are dropped, and the middle three are added together, giving a poet a maximum score of 30.
You will only need one piece to compete, as we will only be doing one round of performances. You do not have to break the rules to get up on the mic, but just know that you can. There will be 3 microphones, a DJ with his/her equipment, a 1/8” aux cord for mp3 players and other audio devices, and one ¼” cord to plug in basic instruments. If you have more sound requirements, bring your own equipment to make it happen (there will be a few unused channels on the mixer board). That being said, you have 30 seconds to set up… do not make us wait for you!! You can be in more than one piece if you are helping someone else out with theirs.
If you need to play a musical track, bring it up to the DJ as soon as you are “Waiting in the Wings” so we can cue it up.
The Poet Selection Process Our two main goals at HawaiiSlam are to throw high-quality poetry shows and to serve the community by creating a forum for free expression. In an effort to make the poet selection process transparent, here is the method that is used to determine who will make it up to the stage tonight (with approximate percentages to indicate how many poets will be chosen through each method):
Random Drawing (60%): there is a letter next to each line on the sign up sheet. These letters have been thrown into a hat, and will determine who gets in through the random drawing.
Poet Rankings (20%): top ranking poets who continue to intrigue the audience will receive a spot in the lineup tonight. Poet rankings have been determined by taking into account performances at First Thursdays over the past 6 months.
Host’s Choice (20%): the host shall choose a few poets who were not selected through the random drawing or the poet rankings. Preference in this category goes to poets who will round out the show and/or who are rookies to the First Thursdays stage.
We try our best to get as many poets up on stage as possible. If you are not chosen to perform tonight, please do not get frustrated. You can always choose to participate in the open mic portion of the show, or come back next month. Also, since this is a slam poetry competition, first preference will be given to the poets who intend to compete in the competition.