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The Nest

Before our monthly poetry slams there is a poetry workshop that is included in the price of admission. Our poetry workshops are welcome to writers of all abilities. Typically the workshops are lead by our featured poet for the night, giving writers an opportunity to practice with a skilled and seasoned poet.

7pm - 8pm

Slam Rules

Sign Up to Slam! 

We recommend poets who have never slammed before to watch a slam first. We recommend new writers/performers perform their work at local open mics before signing up to slam. 


Poets wishing to slam should arrive before 8:40pm to put their name in the hat to slam.  BRING A HAIKU THAT YOU WROTE. If more than 13 poets put their name in the hat we'll have a Haiku slam off at 8:45pm to determine who gets to slam. 

Some poets may be pre-selected by participating in a 1 on 1 slam or by other means as announced. Up to 13 poets will be selected to slam. All poets who put their name in the hat get 50% ($5) off the the $10 admission. At our April Slam, the final slam before Grand Slam Finals, priority will be given to slammers who already have participated in one or more regular season slams.


The Poems

It's Friday night, audience members are dressed up, they paid money to get in, maybe hired a babysitter for the night, honor them by bringing work that has been edited, practiced and performed before it hits The Philly Pigeon's stage.


  • Each poem must be of the poet's own construction

  • Each poet gets three minutes (plus a ten-second grace period) to read one poem. If the poet goes over time, points will be deducted from the total score. Time starts at first contact with the audience. A poet will be cut off if they go over 3:30 and an extra point will be deducted.

  • The poet may not use props, costumes or musical instruments

  • Poems may not be repeated during a slam

  • Of the scores the poet received from the five judges, the high and low scores are dropped and the middle three are added together, giving the poet a total score of 0-30

  • Poems performed ONCE during the regular season cannot be repeated again until finals. We're keeping track and encourage you to do the same.


The Slam

The 1st round will include 7-14 poets

The 2nd round will include top 4 poets from 1st round

It is a clean slate slam. 2nd round scores determine the winner                                                                                      

Ties are not broken during the regular season


Grand Slam Finals

The top 11 poets with the most points at the end of the regular season will compete in our Grand Slam Finals.


Points are earned by placing first (12 points), second (8 points), third (4 points), and fourth (2 points) in a regular season slam. Or earn 1 point by participating in a workshop. Ties will be broken using poets' cumulative scores from each round they performed during the regular season. 

You must compete in at least 2 slams and earn at least 4 points to qualify for grand slam finals. 

The format for finals is 4 rounds:


  • Round One 3 minutes

  • Round Two Haiku (Scores range from 0.0 – 1.0)

  • Round Three 1 Minute


Each round has a ten second grace period and 20 seconds over time cut off. The haiku may be said up to two times.


The order is random for each round.

The top 5 poets from Grand Slam Finals will get an all expense paid trip to our annual  artists' retreat.

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