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Updated January 21, 2008
(reposted from SlamRichmond's Myspace.com blog, Jan. 11, 2008)

SlamRichmond 2008 competition updates (for poets)

As you may have noticed, we'll be at ArtSpace every Saturday now. We might take some holiday weekends off, but for the most part, the mic will be set up for your enjoyment.

We are alternating between two events: The Open Minds Open Mic, starting this Saturday and every other week until eternity; and SlamRichmond, opposite Saturdays (check in with www.myspace.com/slamrichmond to know what's happening when), including the qualifying season, comprised of nine events, to determine the four-member Team Richmond 2008.

A complete set of rules is available to all who would like one. Email slamrichmond@gmail.com or request a hard copy at the event, and one copy of the rules are yours.

But, for an easier read, here's a breakdown and some highlights of the SlamRichmond changes for 2008:

Six qualifiers: All Saturdays, all at ArtSpace Gallery, Zero E. Fourth St., Richmond, VA 23224 (go to www.artspacegallery.org/aboutus.htm for a map). The dates: January 19; February 2 (Women of the World Poetry Slam, women only in slam, open mic for all); February 3; March 1; March 15; and March 29.

Strict on the list: For slam nights, the first eight poets to sign up are in the slam. The list closes at 8:30 or immediately after the eighth poet signs up. If you 30 seconds late, too bad. No exceptions this year. The event begins at 8:30 with an open mic. Featured performers get on the mic promptly at 9:30. The slam starts at 10:00.

New match format: No changes in format during the six qualifiers. Eight poets. Three rounds, cumulative scoring. First round = 8 poets; Second round = top 4 scores (allows for ties); Final round = Top 2 scores. This will change in semifinals and finals.

New Points System: First place = 3 Series Points; Second place = 2 Series Points; Third place = 1 Series point. That's it. Only ties for first place will be broken via slam-off. No bonus points.

No-repeat rule: Any poem performed in a final round of a qualifier cannot be used in competition again until semifinals, even if it doesn't win. Any poem performed in the final round of semifinals is not available to the poet for finals.

Making Semifinals: After six events, the top 16 poets in terms of Series Points qualify for semifinals. They must be present at the April 4 Open Minds Open Mic to draw their order for the semifinals. Chips 1-8 = Semifinal (April 12); Chips 9-16 = Semifinal 2 (April 19).

Semifinal matches: A four-round slam, cumulative scoring: Round 1 = 8 poets; Round 2 = 8 poets; Round 3 = Top 4 scores; Round 4 = Top 2 scores. The top four poets (ties will have to be broken if necessary) from each semifinal advance to the Championship on April 26, 2008.

Championship match: A five-round slam, cumulative scoring. Top four poets are named to Team Richmond. First round = 8 poets; Second round = 8 poets; Third round = top 4 scores; Fourth round = top 4 scores; Final round = top 2 scores. One Grand Slam Champion and three team members will be named. Four alternates determined by score.

Four instead of five: For 2008, the National Poetry Slam returns to the 4x4x4 format (4 teams of 4 poets in 4 rounds of competition).

Team Planning Meeting: Save the date Sunday, April 27, 2008. That is the day after the Championship, when Team Richmond meets, signs their Team Agreement and agrees upon a schedule. Unless you had a baby (or someone had your baby) and are still in the delivery room, you may not miss this meeting.

Alternates get into the mix too: History has proven that alternates often compete in bouts on Team Richmond. In 2007, an alternate was promoted to the team on the first day of the National Poetry Slam.

iWPS also: The top 16 poets who qualified for semifinals are also eligible to compete to become SlamRichmond's representative for the Individual World Poetry Slam (iWPS), which is in Ohio this October.

Get in the mix: This year, we are sharing the roles. The curators have all agreed to do different pitch in, and so should you. Three curators plan to compete in the series, but also will take turns hosting, time-keeping, scoring, cashbox, etc.

Workshops every Saturday at 5PM: Starting January 19, 2007 NYC Louder Arts poet (3rd place at the National Poetry Slam) John "Survivor" Blake, or that evening's featured poet, will conduct a workshop for poets who want to develop their gifts. The cost is $10, but you do get in free to that evening's event. After two years of growing pains, we as poets are finally getting the chance to G-R-O-W.

Now you're up to speed. One format throughout the qualifying season, then maybe we'll play around with haiku, 1-2-3 and other formats as Team Richmond 2008 prepares for the National Poetry Slam.

Keep checking in with www.myspace.com/slamrichmond for details. We'll see you at ArtSpace!

Bring your words of inspiration, your healthy desire for competition to make one another better poets and please leave your hatoration at the door. It's a new year. SlamRichmond Season III: We are family.


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