2017 Wordsmiths of Berlin Poetry Slam

Poetry Slam


What:  Poetry performance competition

When:  Saturday, Nov. 18th, 2017 at 7 p.m.

Where:  Berlin High School Auditorium


  • Poem format is open (rhyming, free verse, etc.).
  • Poems must be the poet’s own original work.
  • Performance must be under 3 minutes.
  • Please avoid obscenities.
  • No graphic sexual content
  • No musical accompaniment or technical enhancements
  • Performers, please submit a written copy of your pieces to the Wordsmiths’ advisor, Mr. Reise, at areise@berlin.k12.wi.us at least 2 days prior to the contest (Poets retain full rights to all of their poems).
  • Please have 2 poetry pieces prepared; there will be a second round for each performer.
  • 5 judges will be selected from the audience.

For more information contact us @ areise@berlin.k12.wi.us

Poet participation is not limited to Berlin High School students.  Adult and high-school-age  poets from the surrounding area are welcome.  Trophies will be awarded to the top two poets
Additional Information                               

     Berlin High School’s writing club, the Wordsmiths of Berlin, will be hosting its 3rd annual POETRY SLAM on Saturday, November 18th, at 7 p.m. in the Berlin High School auditorium.  The Poetry Slam is a poetry performance competition in which contestants either read or recite  their original poetry to the audience.  Each poem must be no more than three minutes in length, and each contestant will need two poems, as there will be two rounds.

     Poetry is a wonderful means of expression...of giving creative voice to ideas, emotions, and any number of thematic narratives or descriptions. The Poetry Slam provides a venue for local poets to share their poetry with an audience.

     Poetry Slam is, at its core, a competition.  Contestants will be vying for the first- and second-place trophies and to get their names on the Poetry Slam Winners’ plaque in the Wordsmith’s display case at BHS.  Five judges for the event will be selected on the night of competition from among the audience members.  Judges do not need to be poetry experts to be effective judges in determining good poetry.  The guidelines for “good poetry” that I give students in my classes are that it: (1) looks like poetry, (2) sounds like poetry, and (3) has something to say.  As the slam is a performance of poetry, the poems’ “look” is irrelevant.  Therefore, judges basically ask themselves: (1) “Did it sound like poetry?” and (2) “Did I react to what it had to say?”  The way in which the poetry is presented will certainly impact the audience’s and judges’ reactions.

     Poetry submissions must be shared electronically with me, Mr. Reise, at areise@berlin.k12.wi.us at least two days prior to the contest.  Please include a message with the submission that clearly identifies it as a submission for the Poetry Slam.  Contestants will receive email confirmation of their entry to the contest.  Please avoid obscenities or graphic sexual content.  No musical accompaniment or technical enhancements are allowed during the performances.

     This contest is not limited to Berlin High School students.  Adult poets from the area are also welcome to compete.  As of now, it looks like we may have some students from a creative writing class in Ripon entering as well.  We are hoping for a good turn out, so whether you plan to be a poet participant or not, we encourage you all to come out and become part of our audience.  You may even end up as one of our judges.

  • Andy Reise, Wordsmiths of Berlin advisor

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