(In)Frequently Asked Questions: UrbSLAM

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(In)Frequently Asked Questions: UrbSLAM

I sometimes get hit with questions about UrbSLAM among other things so I thought that I should post my answers in a public space. Yes, it is in 3rd person but I try not to say my own name too often. If you have questions, feel free to comment for next month’s post.

Question: Who won the July 2012 slam?

Answer: Louis Conphliction. EmCee won the June 2012 slam.

Question: How is Louis Conphliction allowed to slam when he hosts UrbPoetry at Legacy?

Answer: That’s how MK Stallings set it up. MK has hosted poetry nights for a while so he has the ability to host. Also, he wants the best poets to compete for a chance to represent St. Louis at various slams outside of the city. Louis is one of the best poets in the city. The competition is audience judged. So if Louis wins, blame it on his ability to impress and the audience-judges giving him 10s.

Question:  Why is Jay Luvve’s picture permanently attached to the UAACD front page?

Answer: Because he is the 2012 UrbSLAM champ. It’s not up permanently but it will be up until the new UrbSLAM champ is crowned in May 2013.

Question: Is UrbSLAM a part of Saint Louis Poetry SLAM?

Answer: No. We are a separate slam operated by Urban Artist Alliance for Child Development (UAACD).  We added the slam to our Legacy poetry night in fall 2009, and finally gained traction in December 2011. While we aren’t the oldest slam in town, we are likely the most popular.

Question: Why isn’t first prize $500?

Answer: Because it’s $50.

Question: Are there 2nd and 3rd place prizes?

Answer: It depends on the audience turnout and level of participation from poets. The poetry night and slam are fundraisers for UAACD so our primary goal is to use revenue to fund operations and programs. If enough people support then we give $20 and $5. Otherwise, we give our attention and appreciation.

Question: Last season, poets couldn’t compete after they qualified for the final. Is that the rule for this year?

Answer: This season, there are fewer restrictions to competition after a poet qualifies for the final. Poets can continue to slam once they qualify but they are not allowed to use winning poems. Whatever poems they qualified with cannot be used again until the UrbSLAM final in April 2013.

Question: Are there other benefits from winning?

Answer: Yes. Poets who qualify for the UrbSLAM final are asked to feature at an UrbPoetry set. We also ask them to perform at other events and opportunities that pop up. UAACD administers a program called VerbQuake that uses UrbSLAM poets to facilitate youth workshops…which is a paid gig for the poets.  We want to promote excellence in poetry so we will send out a pic of our slam winners every month to the UAACD listserv, which could bring about more opportunities?

Question: Um…I think there is one more questi…

Answer: Stop. We’re done.

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