BALLABAJOOMBA POETRY SLAM & OPEN MIC at the TANGO TEA ROOM , 505 S. Water Street (behind Coliseum). Fridays, sign up 7:30 p.m., an open mic 8 p.m. (cover pieces, music, props, etc encouraged ); slam 8:30-10:45. The winners gets $10 in Tango Tea Room food, $10 in cash and TWO CUPS OF COFFEE; suggested donation $3. Directions and quick facts about Ballabajoomba Slam.

1. Poets perform poems of their own construction. POEMS OF ANY KIND OR STYLE ARE WELCOME including formal verse, free verse, monologues, mano-a-mano sonnets, parables, odes, ballads, schizophrenic rambling, antichrist rants and old-school rap, new-school foolin', hip-hop meditation, romantic wordgasms, dirty limericks, sparse and lean haiku, 17 syllables pseudo haiku and other $%*!, fables, twisted tales, iambic pentameter, napkin-scribbled words of wisdom, improvised words of anger, beat-box scratch-verse, phonetic fisticuffs, abstract-experimental lyricism, and drunken-master mind-over-matter magic to mention just a few. 100% free speech.

2. No props, costumes, musical accompaniment, or animal acts are allowed. Three minute time limit. (Details here.)

3. A group of five judges selected from the audience scores each poem on a scale of 0.0 - 10.0, considering both content and performance. High and low scores are dropped, middle three are added together (so the perfect score is 30.0).

4. High scores advance to 2nd and 3rd round.

Main prize - hmm?

Above all else, as a famous slammaster Allan Wolf once said, "The Point is NOT the Points, the Point is Poetry."

For more information, e-mail:

Corpus Christi's ONLY nationally certified series!

Credits and
What is slam, anyway?
by S. Woolridge
A start at a manifesto
Marc Smith
Schedule &
Special Events
Archives and the
history of Ballabajoomba
Ballabajoomba Teams
Goals of the
¡Ballabajoomba Poetry!
Official ¡Ballabajoomba
Slam! Spiel
Rules of the slam
Judges instructions
To the poets
Directions and a map
Our slammin' place
The last slam
Big-Boomba aka slamoff
Contact us

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


  1. to enliven and diversify Corpus Christi poetry
  2. to draw out and nurture new literary talent through fun regular events 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 is in Austin, Texas, in August, 2006).

POETS: Here is your chance to grab an audience by the throat and apply a poetic pile driver! The winner of every weekly match gets bragging rights and (sometimes) a prize. Whether you're a local lit superstar or an unknown scribe, everyone has a chance to win. COME ONE! COME ALL! BRING OUR STUFF WITH YOU! AND ROCK THE HOUSE!!! Please check out the To the poets and the "Rules".

AUDIENCE: You have a chance to talk some smack back to all the poets, and to shower victorious wordsmiths with verbal gravy. At ¡BALLABAJOOMBA SLAM! the audience is a part of the show. COME FOR THE CULTURE - STAY FOR THE WORD MADE FLESH!

JUDGES: 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. THE JUDGE'S INSTRUCTIONS


  • Sign up for the ¡BALLABAJOOMBA SLAM! begins at 7:30 p.m. every slam night. The list is closed as soon as 12 or more poets sign for a competition .
  • The Sign up list is randomized to determine the First Round order, our cuts cary but we try to allow as many poets as possible to read in teh 2nd and 3rd 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. Poets cannot read the same poem twice on a given night! 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 3:10 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.


1) costume = -2 points
2) props = -2 points
3) music accompaniment = -2 points