Brookland | Pearl Bailey Room | January 27, 2015 | 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

DC's only Poetry Slam, Inc certified slam event meets the last Tuesday of every month at Busboys and Poets' Brookland location.

Hosted tonight by Shelly Bell, Featuring Sarah Lawson and sounds by DJ Phenomajon 


$5 Cover. On the day of the event, tickets can be purchased online here starting at midnight and in the restaurant starting at 10:00 AM (cash only). No refunds. Ticket purchase limit of 4 per person. Tickets will be sold at the door if available. Guests must have their wristbands (tickets) on upon entering the event.

Seating is available on a first come, first seated basis. No saved or reserved seats are allowed. Failure to check in within 30 minutes of advertised start time may result in forfeiture of seats.

Host: Shelly Bell

To merely refer to North Carolina native and Alexandria, VA resident Shelly Bell as a curious and talented consumer of life's most positive energies would only tell half of the story. An award-winning poet, as well as a songwriter and published author, her diversity of skills allow her to expertly navigate the space between performance and journalism. Excelling as a truly dynamic force in local, national and now international media, her work as spoken-word poet has led to her currently serving as an Arts CShelly Bellommissioner for the City of Alexandria ,VA, Director of the Seven City Art Society, LLC and also being a BMI accredited songwriter. Furthermore, her evocative, forthright and conversational writing style is now showcased on Washington, DC/New York, NY based hipster mega-blog Brightest Young Things, internationally respected hip-hop cultural site BrooklynBodega,com, portal for Free - the former 106 and Park host and current FM radio personality - freesworld.com, DC area hip-hop site DCMumboSauce.com and Bell's own TheOpenOnion.com. Shelly Bell is unquestionably an extraordinarily giftedartist mixing uncommon honesty with a populist style. Her unflinching desire to remain honest to herself and her aspiration makes her personal motto entirely true. "Regret nothing and write everything!"

Featuring: Sarah D. Lawson

Sarah LawsonSARAH D. LAWSON is a DC area native who found her love for poetry while living in Seattle, WA. Upon returning to the DC area, she became the founder and slam master of the Beltway Poetry Slam in Washington, DC, currently ranked the national champions. She is a teaching artist through PoetryNOW, an after-school poetry program and has been a coach for DC’s Louder Than A Bomb teen competition for the past three years, working with the amazing young women at The Madeira School. Her poetry is rooted in self— exploring themes of body, love, sexuality and gender. She loves hugs.


Rules and Procedures for 2014-2015 Season

Each open slam will be two rounds. Standard PSI rules apply (3 minutes, own work, no props, etc). The first round will have a maximum of twelve poets and the order will be by random draw. The top eight poets from the first round will move on to the second round and the order will be high to low from the first round. The two poets with the highest cumulative scores will move on to semifinals (see below).

Open Slam Dates:

January 27

February 24

March 31

April 14

Participation by Lottery:

The list for the night will be held by the Bout Manager. Poets MUST speak with the Bout Manager in person on the night of the slam to be placed on the list. The list will open at 7:30 and close at 7:50 SHARP.

  • If twelve (12) or fewer poets sign up, those individuals will all compete. If thirteen (13) or more poets sign up, there will be a lottery. The first twelve poets whose names are pulled when the list closes will compete.
  • If a poet’s name is not pulled during the lottery, they can have their name entered twice in the next slam if a lottery is called for that night as well. This only applies to the very next slam. If the poet cannot make the very next slam, they forfeit the bonus entry. If a poet’s name is not pulled two months in a row, that poet can have their name entered three times in the slam for third consecutive month. A poet with very bad luck could have their name in the lottery as many as five extra times in the April open slam.

The Draw:

The draw will happen at 7:50 SHARP. If there is a lottery, the pull to determine who is slamming will also determine the order in which they will compete. Poets MUST be present at the time of the lottery/draw. If a poet’s name is pulled for a lottery and they are not present or very easily locatable, they forfeit their place and are not eligible for the bonus entry described above. If there is no lottery and a poet is not present or easily locatable during the draw, that poet will compete first; if they are still not present when their name is called during the first round, they will not slam that night.

Qualification for Semifinals:

The poets with the two highest cumulative scores from each slam are automatically in semis. These poets may not compete again in the season until semifinals.

  • If for some reason either the first or second place winners are not interested in or cannot commit to competing in semifinals, the poet in third place will move up and be deemed qualified for semifinals. If necessary, this will continue until two poets have been qualified for semifinals.
  • A list of people who place third (or whatever place is below the lowest qualifying poet) in each slam, along with their differential from the two qualifying poets (usually first and second place), will be kept. This list will be consulted in the event someone who has qualified for semifinals cannot compete.

Speciality Slam Dates and Info:

Team semi-finals: Tuesday April 28

The top 12 poets from the season will compete with 3 minute poems. Any poem from the season can be repeated for the semifinals/finals but you cannot repeat the same poem(s) you do in semifinals in finals.

Team finals: Second week in May

Poets will compete in a three round slam (all three minute poems) where the four poets with the highest cumulative score will be named the team for the National Poetry Slam that year. Poets may not repeat poems from semi-finals. The team may opt to allow the 5th place poet on the team as an additional member.

Share this event:
< Back to Events