The rules for the Anti-Slam!

With the Anti-Slam coming up this Sunday night at Yellow Cab Tavern, I thought that it would be a great idea to lay out the ground rules and give you some ideas as to what really consitutes a bad poem.


Three rounds of bad poems.  Poets will have three minutes and ten seconds to perform a poem of their own creation.  Costumes are allowed (and encouraged) as are minor props; however, the time limit will add points to the score for infractions.  The poet with the lowest scores move on to the next round.  The winner will receive something special for their troubles!


The best bad poet/poem is not a shocking one.  You're not trying to rile the audience want to make them cringe with your horrible metaphors, flawed similes, and nonsensical list poems.  The best approach is to parody yourself!  For example, taken from an article written by Claire Trevein of Sabotage Reviews:

"What makes for a truly awful poem? As was the case with the Bullshit conference, a fruitful route was for the poets to either parody themselves or the ‘field’ with which they were associated. Danny Chivers for instance, well-known as an environmental activist, turned up dressed in a crown of leaves and a hi-vis jacket, issuing hippy-tastic lines of this ilk:

‘I didn’t write this poem
it found me
and it made love to my mind’

‘every time you dry your hair
you kill another polar bear’

George Chopping, well-known in Oxford for his whimsical poetry, also came as a parody of himself, dressed in a ‘Gone Fishing’ manner embodying perfectly the part of a muddled over-reaching poet.

Different genres were mercilessly brought to the stage, from Kate Byard’s cringeworthy diary entries ‘Dear diary, life is pain. Aged 12’, to James Webster’s list poem ’10 ways in which my love for you is like the Pokemon Bulbasaur’. Repetitions, a common bugbear in slam poetry, were teased by Pete the Temp’s ‘I need you’, and A. F. Harrold’s more absurdist ‘fish are better than cats’. Love poems of course, were de rigueur, brilliantly executed by Sophia Blackwell in particular, who loves you ‘like super tampons love heavy flow’, leading judge Sally Outen to declare that the poem had not only destroyed her liking for Sophia, but also ‘for the concept of love itself’."

So have fun with it!  Remember, you don't have to be shocking and offensive...just write like you're a teenager feeling the pains of the drive-thru Starbucks Barista who is ignoring their obvious and totally subliminal attempts to enter the throws of passion!