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Slam Poetry Techniques. Slam Poetry Checklist. REQUIRED Beginning, middle, end Rising intensity At least one clear emotion Authenticity -- from your heart? Audience appeal -- can we relate?. Slam Poetry Checklist. MENU of EIGHT OPTIONS

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slam poetry checklist
Slam Poetry Checklist


  • Beginning, middle, end
  • Rising intensity
  • At least one clear emotion
  • Authenticity -- from your heart?
  • Audience appeal -- can we relate?
slam poetry checklist1
Slam Poetry Checklist


  • Repeat an element at least three (up to five) times, with variations
  • Rhyme at least three times at the end of a line (in the space of eight lines)
  • Echo the beginning in the ending
  • Soundplay: stretch the meaning of words by combining them for their sounds (includes alliteration and internal rhyme)
slam poetry checklist2
Slam Poetry Checklist


  • A switcheroo (reversal, inversion, twist)
  • A line so long you can barely say it in one breath
  • Specific imagery (literal, or metaphoric/symbolic)
  • Punchline: strongest emotion in the last line

the grocery store

the post office

the unemployment line

the local train platform at two in the morning

this is where you will find poetry

Jessica Care Moore


when i get the money, i’mgonna pitch the first ball in the world series, andi’mgonna buy the stanley cup, and i’mgonna sit so close to andreagassiat wimbledonthat i’ll be able to stab him over and over again in-between sets (and i’ll get away with it), and i’mgonna make jabba the hutt a quarterback, and i’mgonna be the towel boy for the laker girls, and i’mgonna force pro wrestlers to wrestle, and i’mgonna parachute off of manhattan skyscrapers, because i want to impress the simple of mind.

Beau Sia


On the table you put your feelings

in a box and said they were whole

Wholly mine a moth-eaten sweater

Buried under layers of clothing

even in the strongest winter I'll never wear.

Ava Chin


(Beginning) Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97: Wear sunscreen.If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.


(Ending) But trust me on the sunscreen.

Mary Schmich


I’m a nonbeliever and an overachiever, laid-back but fashion-forward. Upfront, downhome, low rent, high maintenance. Supersized, long lasting, high definition, fast acting, oven ready and built to last! I’m a hands-on, footloose, kneejerk headcase prematurely post-traumatic, and I’ve got a love child that sends me hate mail.

George Carlin


are you the first son

the only son

the last son

the lost son

the sun to my moon

the son who leaves



Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Mary Schmich


my belly flip-flops

belly flip-flops

land of smoke shops

death in hip-hops

black justice

at the hands of

white cops

Willie Perdomo


He reminds the other dinner guests that it’s truewhat they say about teachers:

Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.

I decide to bite my tongue instead of his

and resist the temptation to remind the dinner guests

that it’s also true what they say about lawyers.

Because we’re eating, after all, and this is polite conversation.Taylor Mali


even when Ali needed mo' machismo

he put dopes on the rope with a

butterfly float, flippant wrist

let loose noose's grip

Tracie Morris


Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Mary Schmich