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hot stuff

Credits and
What is slam, anyway?
by S. Woolridge
A start at a manifesto
by Marc Smith
Goals of the
¡Ballabajoomba Slam!
Poets & poems
To the poets &
Poets oath

Official ¡Ballabajoomba
Slam! Spiel

Schedule &
Special Events
To the judges
Judges instructions
. . .
Rules of the slam
Directions and a map 
to our slammin' place


We thank the Austin Slam group and the San Antonio ¡Puro Slam!, ESPECIALLY Ben Ortiz from SA for allowing us to use their rules & stuff as a starting point for ours... Thanks Austin Slam, ¡Puro Slam!, and Ben Ortiz-- you guys ROCK!!

What Is Slam, Anyway?
By Shilanda Woolridge, Austin writer, Austin-American Statesman

A Start at a Manifesto
by Marc Smith


  1. to enliven and diversify Corpus Christi poetry;
  2. to draw out and nurture new literary talent through a fun, biweekly event devoted to performance poetry;
  3. to expand the audience for poetry and make it as popular as any spectator sport or rock 'n' roll show;
  4. to establish a sustained "regulation" slam venue that will qualify to send a team of four Corpus Christi poets yearly to the National Poetry Slam (the next National Poetry Slam we can qualify for will be in Seattle, Washington, in the year 2001).

Here is your chance to grab an audience by the throat and apply a poetic pile driver! At the LOTUS CUP POETRY ¡BALLABAJOOMBA SLAM! the audience is not obligated to listen, so the performer will have to make the public pay attention and react. The winner of every weekly match gets bragging rights and a prize. Whether you're a local lit superstar or an unknown scribe, everyone has a chance to win. COME ONE! COME ALL!

Any kind of style, as long as the rules are followed (see "Rules of the Slam" below). In the past, poets have presented: formal verse, free verse, monologues, mano-a-mano sonnets, parables, odes, ballads, schizophrenic rambling, Antichrist rants, hip-hop meditation, old-school rap, new-school foolin', romantic wordgasms, dirty limericks, haiku, fables, twisted tales, iambic pentameter, napkin-scribbled words of wisdom, improvised words of anger, beatbox scratch-verse, phonetic fisticuffs, abstract-experimental lyricism, and drunken-master mind-over-matter magic to mention just a few.

TO THE POETS (& Poets' Oath)

Here is your chance to talk some smack back to all the wack local verse, and to shower victorious word-smiths with verbal gravy. At ¡BALLABAJOOMBA SLAM! the audience is a part of the show. COME FOR THE CULTURE - STAY FOR THE WORD MADE FLESH!

Every slam, we choose 5 judges from the audience to play the Judge Judy of poetry. They will assign each poem a score of 0.0-10.0. [0.0 goes to the worst possible poem imaginable performed by someone who should not quit his/her day job, and 10.0 goes to a poem performed perfectly that causes simultaneous orgasm throughout the house.
NOW AGAIN: ZERO MEANS "BOOTY" / TEN MEANS "DA BOMB." Judges use only one decimal point. The scorekeeper will drop the high and low scores for the round and tally the other three judges' scores for round's cumulative score.


Sign up for the ¡BALLABAJOOMBA SLAM! begins at 8:30 p.m. every slam night and closes at roughly 8:55 p.m. Everyone who signs before 8:45 will be allowed to slam, however, if 12 or more poets sign for a competition the list is closed at 8:45.
Again, you are guaranteed that you will perform only if you sign by 8:45. Thus, please show up EARLY! The Sign up list is randomized to determine the First Round order. Poets who read 1st and 2nd in the first round have a choice to select their reading spot during the next slam in which they participate.
All poets read in first round. 8 poets will read in the second round. 4 poets will read in the third (final) round. The host may chose to extend the pool of finalists to 6, if the contending poets come within the tenths of a point to the fourth place. In rounds 2 and 3, poets will read in order of high to low scores (one week) and low to high scores (next week). Finalists are determined by a cumulative score. The slates in the finals may be cleared and the competition will starts from scratch (MC will make the necessary determinations about how she/he wants to run the finals).
In case 8 or less poets sign up, all poets read in all three rounds.
Every round, each poet can read one poem of their own, original creation, in any style and on any subject. No props, costumes, or musical accompaniment. No reading the same poem twice on a given night! (Poets can read the same poems from week to week; although the ¡BALLABAJOOMBA SLAM! encourages poets to write new stuff every week!) Poets are allotted 3 minutes per poem, plus a 10-second grace period to finish. Timing starts as soon as the poet makes a connection in any way shape or form with the audience. Best to hit the ground running. If the poet goes over 3 minutes, there is a penalty depending on how long the poet went over time:
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, with -0.5 for every 10 seconds over 3:10.

The host will announce if these penalties apply:
1) costume = disqualification
2) prop: inadvertent use = -subtract two points from cumulative score; premeditated = -disqualification
3) music accompaniment: -disqualification