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This show is archived

Simply Sherri returns to host a competition of the best spoken-word poets in the region bringing their A-game to our stage. Audience members will also be able to vote for their favorite local poet. Those who attended our Olney Outdoors Sip ‘n’ Slams know they’re in for a treat.

2021-2022 Season
Part of the 2021-2022 Season


  • Known as Javonna
  • Kenneth Something
  • Poetic Soul
  • StefMarie
  • Maya Write
  • Slangston Hughes
  • Javon Rustin
  • Mecca Morphosis
  • Carlynn Newhouse
  • Lady Brion
  • little pi
  • Sanova
  • Black Chakra
  • Liv
  • Shayla Nytasha
  • Pierre

What is a Poetry Slam?

A poetry slam is a competition arts event in which poets perform spoken word poetry before a live audience and a panel of judges.


Winner:  $750.00

2nd Place: $325.00

3rd Place: $125.00


  • There are 16 poets in this slam and two rounds.
  • Round one (Friday 04/22/2022) will consist of 16 poets each competing in 2 rounds of poems; there will be two bouts of 8 competitors each. 
  • Round two (Saturday 04/23/2022) will consist of 8 poets each competing in 2 rounds of poems. 
  • Round two is clean slate (scores from the previous round do NOT carry over to Round 2).

In case of a tie (depending upon time –) tied poets may be asked to present a 3rd poem or the previous score will be added to break the tie.

Poems & Performance

  • Poets should prepare 3 poems.
  • Poems can be on any subject and in any style.
  • Each poet must perform original work that they have created.
  • No props or costumes (poets are allowed to use the environment and the objects it offers - the stage itself, chairs on the stage, the aisle – as long as these objects are available to other competitors as well).
  • Automatic disqualification for using either props or costumes.
  • No musical instruments or pre-recorded music.

Time Rules

  • For this slam, round 1 will be ONE- and TWO-minute poems. Poets should be prepared with BOTH. For the one-minute round, you will have 60 secs with a 10 second grace period. After the ten second grace period.
  • Same rules apply for the two-minute round—Two minutes with a ten second grace period…
  • The bout managers will calculate time and final score after the judges score the poem.
  • Round 2 (Saturday)- poets will have 3 minutes (with the ten second grace period). Poets should prepare TWO poems, no longer than 3 minutes each. 
  • The performer is allowed a ten second grace period. After ten seconds, 0.5 points are deducted from the poet’s overall score for every part of 10 seconds over time.
  • After four minutes, the host will stop the poet from continuing to perform.

Judging & Scoring

  • Five judges selected from the audience
  • Each of the judges will give each poem a score from 0 to 10, using decimals (ex: 7.1), with 10 being the highest or “perfect” score. Only ONE decimal point is allowed.
  • The judges and the audience should be given an official introduction, which will review the rules, and be instructed to consider the writing and performance of each poem when judging.
  • A sacrificial or calibration poet begins the slam to warm up the judges and audience to scoring.
  • The highest and the lowest scores are dropped, and the three middle-range scores are added to give a score out of a possible 30.
  • The judges cannot intimately know any of the competing poets.

Health and Safety

We ask that if you are experiencing symptoms, please stay home. Use this CDC symptom checklist to see if you need to quarantine or get tested.


Masks and proof of COVID vaccination are required to attend for all patrons. Exemptions may be made for those who are not vaccinated, such as children under 5, people with certain medical conditions preventing vaccination, or those with closely held religious beliefs. These patrons must provide proof of a timely negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours or a rapid antigen test taken within six hours of showtime. Feel free to email with questions. 

Along with a photo ID, please be prepared to show one of the following proofs of vaccination:

  • You may present either your original vaccine card, a legible digital or hard copy
  • You may present one of the commonly used vaccine passport apps that verify both your vaccination status and i.d. such as Health PassBindleVaxYes
  • Digital vaccination cards through your home Health Department (check with your state/county’s Health Department if not listed here): MarylandDCVirginia

Visit our Health and Safety page for our latest policies to keep you safe as we return to the stage!

Poetry Slam

April 22 - April 23 2022

Box Office: 301.924.3400

Open Wednesday - Sunday: 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM

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