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 competiton. 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 continues to grow in size, 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?

For the first two months of registration (Dates TBA) sixty slots are reserved for individual representatives of certified PSI venues. Those are available on a first come, first served basis and only the SlamMaster may register the individual representative for his or her slam. The other twelve slots are available to any member of PSI who doesn't have regular access to a local slam, with preference given to those who live the farthest away from the site of the event and those living outside the host nation. After the venue registration period, if there are still slots available, they are open to all members of PSI, regardless of location or venue representation on a first come, first served basis.

When does iWPS take place?

IWPS is held in the fall. 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.