Doane Stuart

The 2nd Annual Capital Region
Slam Poetry Contest


Doane Stuart is pleased to present the 2nd Annual Capital Region Slam Poetry Contest.  

The event will take place at The Doane Stuart School on Thursday, April 11th at 7:00 pm.  

Area students in grades 9-12 are invited to register HERE to perform their original poem.  

A panel of judges, including acclaimed poet and Doane Stuart alum Jason O’Toole, will evaluate performances.  

Prizes will be awarded in the following amounts:  1st place:  $500, 2nd place:  $250, and 3rd place:  $100.

Please register HERE and then email your original poem to:  [email protected].



Poetry Slam Rules
Entrants must agree to abide by the following guidelines as to keep the focus on the fun and expansive nature of poetry and the event as a whole.

  • Poems must be original. All of the work used in the Slam must be original writing by the individuals slamming. Poets and teams that plagiarize will be disqualified. Plagiarism, as defined by Miriam-Webster, is to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own; use (another’s production) without crediting the source; to commit literary theft; present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
  • Memorization is not required or necessary.  The poet may choose to bring a sheet of paper to the stage or to read off of their phone(s).
  • The Slam is about the poet(s) and the mic(s). Props may not be used in the Slam. Props are defined as any non-body piece of equipment. Musical accompaniment (excluding mouth/body percussion) may not be used in the Slam.
  • The poem time limit is 4 minutes for the performance.
  • Judges will be volunteers from the faculty of the Doane Stuart School, additional area schools, and acclaimed poet and Doane Stuart Alum David Yezzi. Poems will be considered for overall originality and performance.
  • A hardcopy of each poem should be presented to the panel of judges on the day of the performance. 
  • The poem may NOT include sexist, racist, homophobic, or transphobic comments. Basically, use your common sense and leave your hate at the gate.  However anger, upset and frustration are totally legit emotions to express in your poem, just be creative in how you go about doing it.
  • The poet receives scores out of 10 from five selected judges. The high and low scores are dropped and the middle three are added together, giving the poet a total score out of 30. Judges will be seated together at a table on stage or in the first row. Their scores will be passed down to the scorekeeper who will tally the scores. In the event that there is a tie in the score individuals will be given a short amount of time to write from a prompt. Participants will perform this piece and the judges will determine the winner based on this performance. Remember at the end of the day the points are not the point, the point is poetry. 
  • All participating students grades 9-12 must submit a signed release form prior to participating in the event as we will be filming/ and or photographing the event.

A note on content: 

  • Doane Stuart has created this platform for young people to speak about the real hopes and challenges in their lives. We want poets to address issues and subjects that they feel need to be addressed. 
  • This event will bring together a wide range of people of all ages and backgrounds. It is an incredible opportunity to expose the region to the magic of spoken word. 
  • Please create your pieces to reach this audience by prioritizing profundity and realizing that part of being heard is understanding your audience and crafting your message accordingly.
  • Individuals should regulate themselves and avoid excessive violence, sexually explicit content and/or language that is degrading to any group of people. Judges will be incorporating this factor into their scoring. Please, do it for the love.