Individual World Poetry Slam FAQ

What is the Individual World Poetry Slam?

The Individual World Poetry Slam , or IWPS is a performance poetry tournament much like NPS, though designed for individual competition. Poets from all over the world meet and compete in a multi-day performance poetry contest.

How big is the Individual World Poetry Slam?

The event is generally limited to 72 contestants. While the National Poetry Slam is significantly larger, we have kept a strict limit on this event on purpose. It's a smaller, more intimate festival with all the of the excellence and excitement of the much larger National Poetry Slam. But because the event is exclusive, the quality of the competition is...well...the best in the world.

Who can compete in iWPS?

Certified venues have the first right to register, and as many as 60 certified venues can register their rep before the registration opens up to storm poets. Should more than 60 certified venues register a representative, the first 60 will be guaranteed spots, and the remaining certified venues will be considered with the "Storm" poets and registered venues. Once registration opens up for storm poets, the storm poets, the registered venues, and the certified venue reps that came in after the venue deadline are entered into the draw for spots. When we have more people register than we have available spots, the spots are awarded by random draw, which will be conducted the weekend after registration closes.

When does iWPS take place?

IWPS is held in the fall, usually in October. Preliminary rounds of the competition take place on Thursday and Friday and the Finals on Saturday.

Check the official site for dates as soon as they are announced.

What is the format for iWPS?

It is a uniquely structured event and PSI is happy to have modified the typical 3 minute poem format for this contest. Each poet reads two poems on each preliminary night. On Thursday night the order in which the poets perform in the first round is randomly assigned by a draw before the bout. Each bout consists of twelve poets and a calibration poet in the first round only. Poets read a four minute poem in the first round. The order of the second round is determined by the score in the first round. Poets read from high score to low score in the second round and they read a one minute poem. On the second night of competition, poets will read against a different slate of poets and most of them will be in a different venue. First round is a two minute poem and second round is a three minute poem. The top twelve poets advance to the finals. The thirteenth poet is designated the calibration poet. All poems in the finals are three minute poems. No poems may be repeats from earlier in the tournament. All twelve finalists read, the top seven move to the second round. All seven poets read another poem and the top four go to the final round. The four read one more poem and the high score of that round is the Individual World Poetry Slam Champion. If there is a tie between the top two poets, they read one more poem in a sudden death match. Judges indicate which poet they prefer and the champion is crowned.