Slam Info

Our monthly slam allows 12 poets to compete for a spot on the Houston VIP National Poetry Slam Team. The top 12 ranking poets at the end of the slam season will compete in the Grand Slam. The top 5 placed poets in the Grand Slam will move on to represent Houston at the National Poetry Slam for that year. Our rules are fairly simple:

  • Competing poets sign up the night of the event. The list is first come first serve and cannot be held for you if you are not at the venue in time to sign up.


  • Each poet will have 3 minutes to perform their poem. After 3 minutes, there is a 10 second grace period. At 3 minutes and 11 seconds, the poet will lose .5 points for each 10 seconds that they go over time. Time penalty will be deducted from their total score from the judges. Your time starts the moment you engage the audience in word or action.


  • Mic is not censored, however, poets cannot use props, animal acts, or music other than the sound that can be made with their own body.

  • After performing, poets will receive a score from five* judges. Judges will be selected if they know none of the poets or if they know all of the poets equally.  Judges will score the poet on a scale from 0.0 to 10.0. The high score and low score will be eliminated and the remaining three scores will be used for the poet’s total score. *Three judges may be used in the event that five judges cannot be found, in accordance with PSi national rules of governance.

  • There are 2 rounds; depending on the number of poets, there will be an elimination after the first round. Poets with the highest score will advance to the second round. Once the second round is done, the poet with the highest cumulative score (combination of round 1 + round 2) will win. First place will be awarded 4 points, Second place will be awarded 3 points, third place will be awarded 2 points. All poets who participate will be awarded one point. These points will go towards the Grand Slam, and can be checked every month here on the VIP website.​

  • You must sign off on your poems at the end of the slam to verify name of your poem and score. If you do not sign off in the venue, your points will not be counted for that slam.


  • There is no repeating poems during the slam season (Mar-Feb), with the exception of the Grand Slam and specialty slams (IE: You can repeat for WOWPs & IWPS Qualifier Slams). If you repeat a poem in a prohibited slam, you will receive a score of a zero for that poem.


  • All poets must be over 18 years old to qualify for the National Team.

Current Slam Standings

These standings are updated every month, for any discrepancies with your score, email us.