Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Victoria Indies December 16

So, here's the deal: Vancouver is holding the Canadian Indie Slam as part of their Vancouver International Poetry Festival in April (http://vancouverpoetryhouse.com/vancouver-international-poetry-festival/) and Victoria is sending a representative.

To decide who that representative will be we're holding a very special, pre-season, invitational Slam on December 16 at Cabin 12. And we're inviting all the team members of the 2009 and 2010 teams to compete for the title.

The Poets:
Skawt Jones
Megan Ann Ward
Dave Morris
Jeremy Loveday
Matthew Christopher Davidson
Jane Bee
Steven J. Thompson

Four Rounds of Madness
Just as at the national competition, we're going to be making our poets compete through not 1, not 2 but 4 rounds of madness with 1-2-3-4 minute poems. Every poet, every round. It's more poetry than you can shake a stick at.

So come on down and celebrate the close of 2010 and the start of Slam with this very special event. All proceeds from the show will go directly to the winner to fund their trip to the festival.

Now that's a good prize.

For more info, and to confirm you'll be there cheering in the front row visit our facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=169699893059983&index=1

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

SpoCan Code of Honour

SpoCan has created a new Code of Honour that all poets at the national level are required to abide by.

We liked it so much that we're going to make it part of our Victoria Slam. Competing poets will have to sign that they agree to the following:

As a participant in Vic Slam, a SpoCan event, I understand and agree:

1. To revel in an environment in which freedom of speech, self-determination, and pursuit of creative excellence are inalienable rights.

2. To participate in a way that encourages, illuminates and supports established standards of good sportsmanship.

3. To refuse to allow the competitive challenge of the game to lead me to violence, interference, direct or indirect threats.

4. To allow all participants to pursue their craft peacefully and without censure, regardless of present associations or past personal history.

5. To comply with local, provincial and federal laws pertaining to individual civil rights and physical or sexual harassment.

6. To abide by all SpoCan rules, regulations, procedures and policies, including this Code of Honour, knowing that consequences for breaking the rules/code exist and will be upheld.

Of course, Rule Number One (http://vicpoetryslam.blogspot.com/2010/11/2011-slam-rules.html) will ALWAYS be adhered to. Free speech is an important part of the slam. We just want to encourage good sportsmanship as well.

If you have any questions or comments contact Vic Slam at vicpoetryslam@gmail.com

Pre-Season Meeting Minutes

Ok- I know it sounds boring - but these are the decisions that will shape our community for the next year and make or break the poetic hearts of slammers in Victoria. So, it's important yo.

1) CFSW Update /SpoCan Board
Victoria Slam Team placed 12th (out of 18) at this year's Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.
The 2011 festival will be held in Toronto.

Victoria Broad Reps:
Megan Ann Ward - Tongues of Fire
Missie Peters - Victoria Slam

2) New Slam Master
Missie Peters was confirmed as Slam Master for 2010 by vote of present Tongues of Fire members.
Duties and Responsibilities for the Victoria Slam Master were also confirmed - see the post for full details: http://vicpoetryslam.blogspot.com/2010/11/slam-master-duties-and-responsbilities.html

Missie's stated goals as Slam Master for the 2011 season:
  • Consistent and clear organization over the season
  • Encouraging more/new slammers to participate

3) The Slams
Cabin 12 is our slam venue this year - thank you Cabin 12 (follow them on Twitter @Cabin12Victoria).
Tongues of Fire will be purchasing sound equipment for Vic Slam (Cabin 12 doesn't have any).
Finals Night has been booked at the Victoria Event Centre.

There will be 5 regular season slams - monthly Jan-May with Finals in June.
The slams will happen on the 3rd Thursday of every month.

A slam 'kit' has been created with all the neccessary equipment and paperwork to run the slam. This will hopefully make it easier to run a slam, and provide one place where all the scores and standings and records are kept in hardcopy.

We will only need 1-2 volunteers a night to run the door and help bout manage. Megan Ann Ward, Volunteer Coordinator for Tongues of Fire will ensure volunteers at the slams.

We have decided to offer cash prizes this year as a way to encourage new slammers. Cash prizes will be given to the top 3 poets.

Any earnings from the slam season will go to 1) supporting the slam team to go to Toronto for CFSW 2) ensuring enough funds to support the next slam season.

4) Promotions
Posters and flyers are being created for the entire season prior to January by a volunteer design student. The flyers will be used to distribute to schools, at other shows (like the Emcee Night at Vic High) and to friends.

We will create a Vic Slam Fan Page and Facebook Ads encouraging new slammers. We will try to drive traffic from the Vic Slam Team Pages to the new Vic Slam Page.

We will create special buttons for slammers only, to create a recognition program.

The Nexus has already agreed to do a feature on Vic Slam to help spread the word. We will try to sell the concept to the Martlet as well.

5) Code of Honour
SpoCan has instituted a Code of Honour this year and a discipline policy attached to it for both offending poets and slam scenes. Therefore, and in order to promote good sportsmanship Victoria Slam will require all competing poets to sign the Code at each slam. Check out the post on the Code: http://vicpoetryslam.blogspot.com/2010/11/spocan-code-of-honour.html.

6) The Rules
The rules have been updated and amended from last year, specifically to provide more clarity on how the slam team will be chosen. Updates include:

No repeats (Rule 7)
No team pieces (Rule 13)
Points for standings to determine finalists (Rule 14)

To see the full posting of the rules see this post: http://vicpoetryslam.blogspot.com/2010/11/2011-slam-rules.html

7) Vancouver Indies
Vancouver is holding an individual slam festival April 18-24. Each slam scene may send a representative, and chose that rep any way they want.

Victoria will be holding a by-invitation-only slam on December 16 at Cabin 12 to determine the Victoria Slam City Rep. More details on both the festival and the slam to follow soon.

If you have any questions about these minutes, the slam season, or slam in general, please contact us at vicpoetryslam@gmail.com.

2011 Slam Rules

These rules apply to the Victoria slam season specifically and to slam events generally. Discrepancies can be brought to the attention of the Slam Master for clarification.

1) Poems can be on any subject and in any style.

2 ) Each poet must perform original work that s/he has created.

3 ) No props. Prop: an object or article of clothing introduced into a performance with the effect of enhancing, illustrating, underscoring, or otherwise augmenting the words of the poem. Generally, poets are allowed to use their given environment and the accoutrements it offers - microphones, mic stands, the stage itself, chairs on stage, a table or bar top, the aisle, and audience members - as long as these accoutrements are available to other competitors as well. The rule concerning props is not intended to squelch the spontaneity, unpredictability, or on-the-fly choreography that people love about the slam; its intent is to keep the focus on the words rather than objects.

4 ) No musical instruments or pre-recorded music.

5 ) No costumes.

6 ) Sampling: It is acceptable for a poet to incorporate, imitate, or otherwise "signify" on the words, lyrics, or tune of someone else (commonly called "sampling" in his own work. If he is only riffing off another's words, he should expect only healthy controversy; if on the other hand, he is ripping off their words, he should expect scorn and ridicule.

7 ) Repeats: No repeats of poems during the regular slam season. No repeats is only within a season, poets may perform pieces they have competed with in past years. Poets may perform any of their original poems at Finals.

8) The Three-Minute Rule: No performance should last longer than three minutes. The time begins when the performance begins, which may well be before the first utterance is made. A poet is certainly allowed several full seconds to adjust the microphone and get settled & ready, but as soon as s/he makes a connection with the audience ("Hey look, she's been standing there for 10 seconds and hasn't even moved"), the timekeeper can start the clock. The poet does not have an unlimited amount of "mime time." Poets with ambiguous beginnings & endings to their performances should seek out the timekeeper at each venue to settle on a starting & ending time. After three minutes, there is a 10-second grace period (up to and including 3:10.00).

Starting at 3:10.01, a penalty is automatically deducted from each poet's overall score according to the following schedule:

3:10 and under no penalty
3:10.01 - 3:20 -0.5
3:20.01 - 3:30 -1.0
3:30.01 - 3:40 -1.5
3:40.01 - 3:50 -2.0
and so on [-0.5 for every 10 seconds over 3:10]

The announcement of the time penalty will be made by the emcee or scorekeeper after all the judges have reported their scores. The judges should not even be told that a poet went overtime until it is too late for them to adjust their scores.

Maximum Time Limit: After four minutes, only the emcee may stop a poet from continuing to perform.

9) Judging: All efforts shall be made to select five judges who will be fair. Once chosen, the judges will have a private, verbal crash course by the emcee or house manager on the do's and don'ts of poetry slam judging (where they can ask questions).

10) Scoring: The judges will give each poem a score from 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest or "perfect" score. They will be encouraged to use one decimal place in order to preclude the likelihood of a tie. Each poem will get five scores. The high and the low scores will be dropped and the remaining three scores will be added together.

11) Emcees: The emcee will announce to the audience each poet's name. They will also require that all judges hold their scores up at the same time and that no judge changes his score after it is up. They are expected to move the show along quickly and keep the audience engaged and interested in the competition. Since they must be completely impartial, any witty banter directed at individual poets, poems, teams, or scores is inappropriate. Even genuine enthusiasm has to be carefully directed. The safest thing to do is encourage the audience to express their own opinions.

12) Sacrificial Poet: Because no poet wants to go first in the slam, and because some judges, score keepers and time keepers need practice, each slam begins with a "sacrificial poet" or calibration poet. This poet performs a piece and is scored as if they were competing in the slam.

13) Team Pieces: No team pieces are allowed at regular season slams or the Finals.

14) Qualifying for the Slam Team: The top 12 poets from the regular season shows (Jan-May) are invited to the Finals in June to compete to be on the Victoria Slam Team.

Poets in the second round are given the following points for their standings:
1st- 4 points
2nd- 2 points
3rd- 1 point
4th and 5th – 0.5 points each

Points are added together at the end of the season and the 12 poets with the highest scores are invited to Finals. If there are not enough poets with scores to fill the spots at Finals the remaining poets will be determined by averaged cumulative score.

Finals Night will feature 3 rounds of competition, with the 3rd round between the slam team members to determine the Victoria Slam Champion. The scoring is cumulative over all three rounds, and order in the first round is chosen at random.

First Round – 12 poets
Second Round – 8 poets (bottom 4 eliminated)
Third Round – 4 poets (5th is alternate)

Slam Master Duties and Responsbilities

Victoria Slam is a Tongues of Fire program, and receives its budget from the Tongues of Fire board.

The Tongues of Fire board is responsible for appointing the Slam Master. The board has the ability to remove the Slam Master by vote for breach of below duties. The Victoria Slam Master is a volunteer position.

Vic Slam will support the Slam Master to attend the National Competition (CFSW) in their role as Slam Master and therefore they cannot compete to be on the slam team.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • To organize and lead the slam season and all participating events.
  • To host or find a suitable host for each monthly slam.
  • To ensure effective promotion Victoria Slam to audience and poets.
  • To clearly communicate all the rules prior to the start of the slam season.
  • To provide clarification and make decisions on the rules.
  • To make scores and standings publicly available in a timely manner.
  • To sit on the SpoCan board as a city slam rep if possible.
  • To promote good sportsmanship within the slam community.