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English: Slam Poetry

Resources to support the teaching and learning of English

A short history of Spoken Word Poetry

Kate Tempest ‘People’s Faces’

Shane Koyczan ‘Troll’

Apples and Snakes @HOME

Outloud Secondary Digital Slam 2020


2019 Australian Poetry Slam: Victorian winner

2019 Slam Poetry Semi-Final 9A

MHS WINNERS 2018! Maisur Rahman and Phi-Phi Nguyen - 9H

Emilie Zoe Baker's 7 Steps

1. In teams (2-4 members), on butcher's paper brainstorm ideas and topics

2. Choose one subject and each team member write non-stop for 5 minutes on that subject

3. Teams share the work, read it aloud, pick out the best bits, find a structure. Will this rhyme? maybe it raps? What works, what doesn't?

4. Write it down like a script. Cut the 'fat'. Who is saying what and when? Are you saying some lines together? Will there be a chorus?

5. Record yourselves performing the poem. Is it engaging? Is it affecting? If not, rework it until it is.

6. Rehearse the poem, add movement and rhythm, add some swag.

7. Perform!


How does your poem measure up to Michelle's checklist?

  • Authenticity

  • Celebratory

  • Joyful

  • Making people shaky and teary

  • Insight

  • Focus

  • Personal spiritual; force

  • Creating intimacy

  • Accessibility

  • Connection to breath

  • Memorise into the muscles

  • Commit to the piece, to the word, to the sentence, from beginning to end

  • Emotional transparency

  • Lyrical flow

  • Build (peaks and valleys)

  • Transitions between stanzas

  • Vivid imagery

From the presentation: Popularising poetry for teachers 

MWF Out Loud Competition Finalists

You need to perform as a group of 2, 3 or 4 members to be eligible to represent MHS at the Out Loud Schools Competition in this year's Melbourne Writers' Festival.

How to...

Testament: MC/Rapper Performance Poet

Andy Brooks aka Testament is  an MC/rapper and Guinness World Record holding human beatboxer. 

He has been facilitating workshops since 1998 in the UK and further a field in Europe, Asia and the US. Clients have ranged from Universities, the BBC, The Princes Trust, Education Authorities, Libraries, BAC London, Science museums, YMCA and Young Offender’s institutions as well as in Schools and Community Groups.

BOCA Lit Fest First Citizens National Poetry Slam (FCNPS)

Feel like watching Slam Poetry from the Caribbean - next Monday morning at 9.30 [7.30pm local T&T time] tune in for the first semi-final of the First Citizens National Poetry Slam (FCNPS). Click on the link below and go to the live stream on the TV6 website:


The Word - Omar Musa

Omar Musa

Melanie Manunggurr-Williams

Shane Koyczan ‘To this Day’

Vanessa Kisuule

Dylan Garity

2019 Slam Poetry Grand Final

Watch this

What is Performance Poetry?

Performance poetry is written to be performed and uses poetic devices that hold the ear more than the eye. ​

Here are some general features that many slam poems have in common:

  • Most poems are around 2 minutes long (with a 30 second grace period).

  • Must be an original work.

  • Easy to understand the first time it is heard.

  • Rhythmic, passionate and has a “rise” (climax).

  • With themes + subjects many people can relate to, e.g. Relationships, Politics, Religion, Insecurity, Family or Social issues.

  • Makes a clear statement or point.

  • How the poem is performed is at least as important as the content.

Paraphrased from the presentation: Popularising poetry for teachers.

“What I like about Slam poetry and spoken word performance poetry is it’s all about the noises you can make with your voice and your body… you don’t have any music, you don’t have props.” Mantra

Advice from an expert

In these videos, teaching artist and two-time U.S. National Poetry Slam champion Guante will explore concrete vs. abstract language, turning ideas into poems, performance tips and tricks, going deeper with our ideas, and much more.

Australian Poetry Slam

Some of the Greats


Slam Poetry Final 2017

Subject guide created by

Subject guide created by Suzannah Hawtin


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