Regional Youth Poetry Slam Competition - ACADEMY OF MUSIC

Regional Youth Poetry Slam Competition

Information for the 2025 Regional Youth Poetry Slam is forthcoming.

The second annual Regional Youth Poetry SLAM  at the Academy of Music Theatre, produced by the Academy of Music and hosted by Lyrical Faith will be staged on April 27th, 2024. This is a slam totaling $400 in cash prizes. We will award $250 to first place, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place. The event will be held at the Academy of Music Theatre, 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED:  Interested students of Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden County high schools need to be recommended by their school teachers. Teachers recommend interested students to the Academy of Music Theatre’s Education Director Kyle Lawrence at [email protected] by submitting the student’s name, school, grade, contact information by December 15, 2023.

Download: Consent to Participate Form – AOM Poetry Slam 2024


  1. Each solo poem must be of the poet’s own creation.
  2. Memorization is not required. The poet may choose to bring a sheet of paper or chapbook to the stage or read off of their phones.
  3. Each poet gets three minutes plus a ten second grace period to read/recite one poem.  If the poet goes over time, pointes will be deducted from the total score by the scorekeeper. The poem/performance will lose .5 (point 5) off their score for each 10 seconds they go over. The time starts upon first interaction with the crowd.
  4. The poet receives scores from 0 to 10 (highly encouraging decimals) from 5 randomly selected judges in the crowd. The high and low scores are dropped and the middle three are added together, giving the poet a total score of maxing out at 30.  The judges are not allowed to know any individual competing in the slam to avoid bias. Upon selecting judges, poets will be asked if there are discrepancies with the judges chosen and given the opportunity to let the host know immediately so we may find a new judge. If poets do not speak out at that time, we will proceed with the judges chosen.
  5. This slam is a 3-round ELIMINATION slam as follows:

20 poets from Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden County high schools are chosen from submissions to the Academy of Music Theatre by school teacher recommendations.10 poets are chosen for round 2 and winners 1st, 2nd, and 3rd are selected.

  1. The poet may not use props, costumes, pre-recorded/taped music, or musical instruments while performing. Poets may sing or beat box or make any other sounds with your body in your performance.
  2. The poem may NOT include sexist, homophobic, or transphobic comments.
  3. The host will give a general trigger warning at the beginning of the slam. However, if you choose to give one before beginning your poem, it will count towards your time.

Any violation of the rules may result in disqualification of said poet. *Rules courtesy of Lyrical Faith


Lyrical Faith is a Black American Educator, Activist and Spoken Word Poet from The Bronx, NY. She is the 3rd ranked Woman Poet in the World as of the 2022 Women of the World Poetry Slam, an inaugural Bronx Poet Laureate finalist, a two-time recipient of the Bronx Council on the Arts BRIO Award, and the 2015 Syracuse University Poet of the Year. She’s a graduate of the Public Relations program at Syracuse University, a Masters degree recipient of the Higher Education & Student Affairs program at NYU, and a current Social Justice Education Doctoral student at UMass Amherst studying the intersections of arts and activism. Through her poetry, Lyrical Faith strives to inspire, educate and advocate for intersectional and institutional issues by merging the arts and activism from a faith-based worldview.