The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


Poetry Slam informational meeting prepares participants

Shawnee Mission Northwest’s most creative minds are aflutter as the season for Poetry Slam preparation arrives. 

English teacher Lindsay Kincaid gushed wildly about the excitement for Poetry Slam at the informational meeting last Thursday morning. Kincaid, who has been head of Poetry Slam activities for seven years, explained how the poems are required to be original. This will ensure that no one has the same poem and make the competition more interesting.

Kincaid also explained that the poems are to be performed, not read. The performances can only run three minutes in length. There will be a music stand available if you have not memorized your poem; however, memorizing your poem, using hand gestures and keeping eye contact with the crowd adds to the performance.

The students in the meeting were advised to construct multiple poems, just in case they make it to finals, seeing as the same poem may not be performed twice. The poems do not have to be similar to one another, but should be fully prepared because if a participant makes it to the Top Twelve board by sixth hour on Fri., April 15 (the final day of competition until the top two perform), he or she will be competing in seventh hour.

There are little restrictions on the poems that can be read. However, the poems, which usually range from comedic to dramatic, may not include profanity such as curse words, inappropriate references or anything that would make someone worry for your health. The poems can be performed by a single person or up to as many as four people. The performances may not include props, costumes or instruments; but small costume accessories such as hats may be discussed prior to the performance with Kincaid. The poems will be turned in and looked over by Kincaid and other Poetry Slam directors before the competition.

Five judges will be randomly selected from the crowd for every new reading. The judges’ scores range from zero to ten, and the final score is determined when the highest and lowest scores are dropped, and the middle three are added together.

For questions about entering or to pick up an entry form see Kincaid in Room 153 or email her at

Important Dates: April 6: deadline to declare intent and turn in forms
April 12, hours four and six: day one of Poetry Slam
April 13, hours four, five, six and seven: day two of Poetry Slam and finals
April 20: prom assembly, when the two top performers compete and the Slampion is selected
May 6: the top four performers compete against the other Shawnee Mission High Schools.

Story by Gabby Lorino

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Poetry Slam informational meeting prepares participants