Nasty Slam

head-to-head poetry slam, judged by audience, for a cash prize

September 4th @10PM

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About Nasty Slam

About Nasty Slam


Nasty Slam is a head-to-head poetry slam in Pittsburgh, judged by audience applause. Eight poets enter the competition (first-come, first-served); however, only the winner takes the cash prize (half the door money /at least $200) and THE NASTY SHIRT.

There are rules: We impose a 3-minute time limit, a requirement for original work, and a demand for your worst attitude. $10 to watch, $10 to play.

How to Get Nasty

  • 10PM—Sign-up list goes out, closes after 8 poets (additional poets will compete for wildcard spot)
  • 10:15PM—Host goes over rules with competitors
  • 10:30PM—show begins
  • Two poets names are drawn from hat, poets determine who goes first (using rock-paper-scissors). Both poets perform. Audience determines via applause who advances to the next round.
  • Rules: Bracket-style competition; 3-minute time limit, no grace; improvise or come prepared, but work must be original; no topic is off limits, but hate speech is not tolerated; no props, costumes, animal acts, or musical accompaniment; all performers are solo—no duets or group pieces.
  • As soon as a rule is violated (time-limit, props, etc.), the host will stop the poem in progress. Audience will vote on performance as was.
  • Four match-ups in round one. Cut to four poets for round two. Round three is only two poets.
  • Poets need 3-4 poems to win competition (2 more if competing for wildcard). Winner is usually allowed a victory poem as well.
  • Be prepared to improvise if necessary.
  • Winning poet takes half of door cash, at least $200, and a Nasty Slam shirt (if size available).


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