Poetry Slam Powerpoint - Morehead Writing Project

Creating Passionate Writers
Through Poetry Slam
Allen Ginsberg- “Slam! Into the Mouth of the Dharma!”
D.H. Lawerence- “Be still when you have nothing to say; when
genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say
it hot.”
A (very) Little History
The slam was a vital and energetic movement
in the 1990's – slams helped to revitalize
interest in poetry and the value of spoken
word performance.
The slam honors poetry's oral tradition of
story telling through emotive and concise
Poetry's performance aspect has always been
important and valued. The Beat
History cont.
writers were devoted to the spoken word and
performance aspect of poetry, this devotion
was given to a new generation of writers
and reborn through the slam.
Academia found fault with the movement, but
youth- the young voice of a new Americafound freedom in the slam.
The slam, known for highly political and
critically charged messages does not seek
History cont.
approval- it seeks only to give a voice, to say
what needs to be said, to tell truths.
The slam is written with the purpose to be
performed. It is highly politicized and draws
upon racial, economic and gender
injustices, current events or other things that
serve to disrupt a desired state of harmony
for the poet.
Marc Smith, a construction worker and poet
History cont.
is credited with revitalizing spoken word
performance through his series of slams in
Chicago in 1986.
Slams are staged as competitions where
poets alone or in teams perform spoken
word art with passion and are judged on
enthusiasm, emotion as well as content and
style. However, emotion is key- above all
else the audience judges emotional
Why teach Poetry Slam?
Slams engage general audiences. Even those
who do not “like words” are moved by the
slam's ability to connect emotionally.
Slams promote literacy- writing, reading,
speaking and listening.
Slams teach writers and listeners the power of
poetic device, emotive and concise
language, voice and 4,000 other awesome
Why teach Poetry Slam?
Slams teach students that poetry and all
written words are living art forms, not just
dead words on a page!
Slams free our students from form and
function and allow them to access their true
voice...which leads to authentic
learning...which is so cool!
Websites and Resources
To find lesson plans and more history on the poetry slam check out these
resources and websites
Complete lesson plan with standards and objectives
History http://www.e-poets.net/library/slam/
Competitions and further information http://www.poetryslam.com/
More reasons to teach slams (rationale for the admin)
Let's Watch Some!
Taylor Mali “What Teachers
Sarah Kay “Not Just Another Math
Sarah Kay “Worst Poetry”
“Why I Hate Religion, But Love
George Watsky “Drunk Text
Message to God”
Brave New Voices
Student samples
My Experience
I have used the slam for several years to engage
and excite my students as we begin our poetry
Be cautious. The slam is art- and art evokes
emotion. The good and the bad.
Let's Write
What are you passionate about today? Is it your love of writing
and teaching? Is it your pressing thoughts about the upcoming
election? Your concern about current education mandates?
Or is that too long line at Wal-Mart? Censorship? Some secret
you are keeping? Your body? Sexuality? Loss? Hurt?
Divorce? Gossip? Too much religion? Not enough religion?
Cell phones? The way your children never seem to hear you
until you say the pizza is here?
Tell us about it. Write a list of ten things that get your heart
pounding! GO!
Writing time...
From your list choose the one thing you have
the most to say about, circle it.
Now write for ten minutes. Think of nothing but
the way you feel. Focus on the emotion, free it.
Say everything you need to..say it the way you
meant to...the way you have dreamed of...like
DH said, say it hot cause it is about passion.
Writing time
Continue to write and remember...think only of
emotion...what you feel and let it out on the
page...give it life....
This rant will be the start of your slam. The next
step is to read it aloud and perfect your