Do you love poetry? But are you tired of curling up on the couch, reading poetry all by yourself?
If Yes, I think it’s time for you to meet some fellow poetry lovers and what better way to reach them than having a poetry slam!
Slam poetry is a type of poetry competition where people read their poems without props, costumes, or music in front of a live audience and sometimes involves a panel of judges too. A judge can be anyone; they do not even need to be poets! Slam poetry events have gained much prominence in the last decade or two in India. It allows poets to share their work, receive immediate feedback, and interact with other artistic people.
But organizing a poetry slam (especially if you are hosting it for the first time) is not a cakewalk. It requires proper planning and execution. But what goes into organizing a Poetry Slam? Let’s find out!!
Decide the nature of the event:
Decide whether you want to organize a competition or just a poetry reading event. A poetry reading provides an opportunity for poets of many different styles to read their poetry for an audience and is non-competitive. It can even allow people to read the work of other poets while a poetry slam can be competitive and is scored by judges. You can also have a combo of the two, involving few rounds of casual poetry reading and few rounds of slam poetry. After all, it’s your event, and you can always get creative with it !!!
Find a venue:
Now, this one can be a little tricky and depends entirely on you, and the space you feel is appropriate for your event. How many people do you plan on inviting? Will they be seating or standing? Do you have a budget? For instance, it is relatively common to book a pub, cafe, coffee shops, or a bookstore for your slam poetry event. But usually, these places charge high fees for the use of their place. Instead, you can look for a space to hold your event. When looking for a space that best suits your event, look out whether it’s fully accessible, whether it’s near public transit, whether there is parking nearby, etc. In all, you should try to find a space that matches the spirit of your event.
Finding ideal space for your poetry reading can be difficult, but HighSpace can help you out here. Highspace can help you in finding your perfect space by connecting you with hosts willing to rent out their space for various creative and productive uses.
You are surely going to need a few basic stuff for a successful poetry slam, such as a microphone plugged into a speaker, an amplifier, or stereo. Think about your space and what kind of acoustics you’ll have to plan it better. Make sure you have enough chairs for all the guests. If you plan on serving snacks, you’ll need plates, cups, and napkins.
Book your readers:
Obviously, this is the heart of hosting a reading, and what can make or break the event. A good poetry reading series features a wide range of poets from as many diverse backgrounds as possible! You can check in with any local writing courses to see if students (or professors!) might be interested in reading, reach out to your friends, family, and neighbors who enjoy poetry or know people who might be interested in the poetry slam. In short, don’t leave any stone unturned to get as many readers as you can onboard!
Promote your event:
This is one of the essential factors that you need to take care of. There are lots of simple things you can do, but you need to do it in advance. Ideally, you should: create a Facebook event and send invitations 4-6 weeks in advance; create an e-invite and email it to your friends, create a flyer that you can post online or stick in cafes and venues; ask the venue you booked to post on their website( if they have one), you can send a small description, along with a poster and a link to your online event, to libraries, colleges, and writing organizations to help spread the world and most importantly, tell people about it face-to-face.
Last but not least, do follow up with your guest after the event and ask for feedback. You don’t need to do it immediately after the event but can do it in the following day or two. The ideal thing to do is make a questionnaire ( you can use Google form, it works best! ) and sending it to your guests over WhatsApp, email, or on Facebook asking them to rate various aspects of the event and what they liked and didn’t like about it. The feedbacks are gold and can help you in planning your event even better the next time. Finally, don’t be disheartened if the feedback is negative. Work on the flaws and stay positive!!
About the Author
Sagrika Chauhan is an Arts Graduate from University of Delhi. She is an aspiring polyglot, a Quentin Tarantino fanatic, an avid reader and a passionate writer. She loves whiling away her hours in Bookstores. You can connect with her at email@example.com