Slam That

Saturday, February 17
7 pm
Australian College of Kuwait
Auditorium (Gate 1)

What is a Slam?

A slam is a poetry/spoken word competition. The first slam was put together in Chicago in 1984, and since then, slams have been organized around the world. SLAM THAT is the first monthly slam in Kuwait.

A slam features 8 poets, performing in 3 rounds, with 5 judges scoring their performances. After each round, half of the poets are eliminated, and in the final round, one poet is declared the winner.

How does it go?

SLAM THAT begins with the MC choosing five judges from the audience. These judges are not chosen beforehand, they are randomly picked. They are brought to the stage.

Each judge will be asked to give the poets a score from 0.0 to 10.0 after their performance (shown to all using large cards). The highest score and the lowest score given by the judges are dropped, and the middle three are averaged to get the poet’s final score. This is to avoid unfair judging.
Example: Mariam performs her poem, and receives a 3.8, 7.8, 8.0, 8.2, and a 9.9 from the judges. The 3.8 and 9.9 are dropped, and the scores of 7.8, 8.0, and 8.2 are averaged, giving her a final score of 8.0.

Once judges are settled on stage, a “sacrificial” poet performs. This poet is not part of the competition – she performs to take the pressure off of the first performing poet, and to help judges calibrate their scoring. The judges share their scores, and we move on to the first round.

The 8 poets perform in the order they were drawn. After each performance, the judges show their scores. At the end of the first round, the top 4 poets are announced, and we take a short break.

In the second round, the top 4 poets perform their second poems in the order they were drawn. Again, after each performance, the judges show their scores. At the end of the second round, the top 2 poets are announced, and we take another short break.

In the final round, the 2 poets perform their third poems in the order they were drawn. The judges share their final scores. They are averaged, and the final winner is announced, brought to the stage, and crowned (well, medallioned) the winner.

The winner receives a prize, which will be announced on social media and at the SLAM THAT night.

How can I perform?

Each SLAM THAT night will feature performances by 8 poets only. Each poet must have 3 poems prepared, as you cannot repeat performances.

Poems will NOT be checked beforehand, it is up to you to bring your best and more appropriate work. Music, props, and costumes are strictly not allowed.


Performances must be 3 minutes maximum, with a 10 second grace period. Going over 3:10 will result in a deduction from your average (read more below). The timer begins as soon as you say your first word into the microphone (except for soundcheck or issues with sound). Introducing yourself, saying hello to the audience, or otherwise, will be considered part of your performance and the clock will have begun.


You will receive a 0.5 point deduction from your round average for each of the following:
– for each 30 seconds over 3 minutes and 10 seconds (i.e. if you go over for 60 seconds, you will receive a 1.0 deduction)
– for using a phone, piece of paper, or other device to read or remember your poem


The registration period is between 6:00-6:30 pm. Poets are asked to arrive during this time and enter their name into a draw.
8 names are drawn at 6:35 pm. Poets must be in the auditorium at that time in order to confirm their presence in the slam.
There is no benefit to arriving earlier or later. Names are drawn entirely by luck.


All poets will be asked to sign an agreement slip stating that they agree to the following:
□ I understand that I cannot express views against Kuwaiti politics or the government
□ I understand that I cannot express views that are anti-religion, anti-religious figures, or blasphemous
□ I understand that I cannot express views that are religiously extremist in nature
□ I understand that I cannot express hatred or prejudice towards a minority group of people, including views that are racist, sexist, or anti-LGBT
□ I understand that I cannot express explicit sexual content (anything above PG-13)

Failure to follow this agreement will result in the poet’s disqualification.


Each slam winner will receive a cash prize, a bag of KPS Poetics merchandise, and a medallion!



Want to see more photos?

Check out the Gallery for photos from our past events.