Connecting Poets and Spoken Word Artists with Audiences in Las Vegas, NV

From the ancient tales of Homer to the modern-day poetry slams, language and literary arts have been used to explain the unknown, preserve cultures, and discuss social issues. With the Utah Art Festival back in full swing, one of its most popular offerings is the poetry slam competition. This year's competition includes individual and team invitations with prizes at the youth and professional levels, as well as performances by individual and team slam poets. So what is a poetry slam? It is a competition where poets perform their original works in front of an audience and a panel of judges. Although it may seem spontaneous and extemporaneous, in fact, it involves a large number of sequencing strategies, as well as rehearsing, memorizing and capitalizing on the strengths of delivery, rhythm and cadence, and thematic experience. Individual poets often record themselves and then play it back while repeating the poem aloud.

As for teams, they practice just like a sports team or the actors of a theatrical performance would. Once the poet or poets feel comfortable with the piece, they share it on stage. Occasionally, there are elements of a piece that need to be fine-tuned and that only come to light in front of others. The best way to decide which pieces to bring to an invitational competition is to choose pieces that succeed locally. Whether it's open microphones or local hits, crowd reactions and judges' scores can easily let a publication know when it's on the right track.

Writing poetry is such an individual effort that sharing it is the only way to know if it also resonates with a wider audience beyond themselves. When performing at an invitational competition, it is beneficial to go later in the first round so that you can see what the crowd reacts positively to. All the poets on the team should have poems prepared for different audiences. Sometimes, the poet has to read the room if given the chance. As for the order of the equipment, it depends on a few factors such as who feels really good about having acted that night or which topic would be best to start with. The team should strive to show depth in terms of topics and styles so that they don't fall into the category of being the fun team or the sad team, etc.

Memorized pieces generally work better for judges because they allow for more eye contact with audience members and create deeper connections with them. If a poet can share his personal experience in an identifiable way and convey emotions that many people understand, that can shine among the judges and the reactions of the crowd. Plumas Colectiva is an important space to see how pieces impact people who matter. Low-risk community events let you know how they reached the general public. There are great artists who don't memorize but what matters most is being connected to your work and believing that it matters to others. Are you looking for organizations dedicated to connecting poets and spoken word artists with audiences in Las Vegas, NV? Plumas Colectiva represents Latino communities and their goal is to show their craft, individuality, truth and excellence.

It's about winning by showing the beauty of our experiences and showing everyone that our community is an essential part of Utah's cultural environment and must be more fully considered. If you want to win at poetry slams in Las Vegas, NV you'll need to do some group pieces, address current events with solid writing and performances. You'll also need to be vulnerable and truthful in your work so that you can create powerful connections with your audience. Everything determines how success is defined so make sure you practice alone or with team members, practice on stage to be fully prepared for invitations.

Sheila Zanfardino
Sheila Zanfardino

Typical explorer. Devoted web buff. Total food junkie. Evil pop culture junkie. Unapologetic zombie buff. Evil pop culture nerd.