Slam Information and Rules
What is a Poetry Slam?

Poetry Slam is basically a poetry competition where people read their poems without props, costumes, or music. Performers speak about topics that they are passionate about -- a message that they want to share with the world. The poetry should have a sense of rhythm and connect with the audience through a compelling performance.

As the Teen Poet Laureate of Pleasanton, I'm very excited to present the very first ( virtual ) poetry slam of this city, which gives teenagers the chance to express themselves. Due to the current public health crisis, this event will be virtual to ensure everyones' safety.

Who Can Perform: 13-18 year olds from the Tri-Valley Area.
The performers may present their work individually, or in teams of 2-4 members.

Judging Criteria: Skill, Creativity, and Stage Presence/Performative Ability

1) Original Poetry: when teens read and perform their OWN work
2) Interpretive Poetry: when teens read and perform the work of other(s) as a respectful tribute to that artist
* note: these two categories will be judged separately, with separate awards and honors

- Poems can be on ANY subject and in any style.
- You can submit as many entries as you like!
- No props or costumes -- keep it simple!
- No musical instruments or pre-recorded music.
- No graphic overlay (visual transitions or content)

The Three-Minute Rule:
- No performance should last longer than three minutes.
- After four minutes, the content will no longer be evaluated or taken into consideration by the judges.

Submission Information:
Please email videos of EACH POEM SEPARATELY to These submissions HAVE to be sent as Youtube videos. The videos themselves don't have to be public (you can use private settings while sharing it), but the format has to be via Youtube. Google Drive and all else will not be permitted.

Just Remember:
- Take care of the audience. Make sure your content exists to tell a story and evoke true emotion and not just to serve your need to shock or swear .
- Understand that The City reserves the right to decide what is appropriate given our position as public servants and custodians of the vision of The City.
- We are here to protect your art, the expectation of our audience, and The City of Pleasanton.

*Note: There will be prizes in both categories for first place and runner up!

Got any more questions?
Contact Julie Eseltine, Librarian, by email ( or phone ( 925-9313400x4)
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