Slam Poetry/Slam Story/Lit Analysis Day

Click here to see our performance poetry team doing a show at Gunnison High School.

Click here to see team member Lindsey Antonio performing "Growing Pains."

Click here to see team member Pat Knepp performing "Man Poem."

Click here to see team member Kevin O'Connell performing "American Dream." 

Click here to see the poetry performance team's opening show during Slam Day 2011...

...and click here to see the second half of their performance.  


 This day-long event will feature:

  • Four sessions for students on analyzing, writing, and performing poetry and stories.
  • An open-mic event.
  • Workshop for teachers on how to use spoken word poetry and stories in the classroom.

Why bother coming?

  • It’s a great way to engage students with both the written and spoken word.
  • It’s a fun event for both students and teachers.
  • It allows you to address Colorado Standards for writing and reading.


It’s easy to get involved.

  • We can provide suggestions for lesson plans.
  • We’ll provide reading lists and online resources for further classroom activities.
  • We can bring a college student group to your school to perform poetry and flash fiction.


Slam is a phenomenon that has reignited interest in poetry across the nation. In its simplest form, slam is a competition, allowing individual or ensemble performers to deliver their material on a stage.  Slam events rekindle interest in the spoken word and present an opportunity to intrigue students and community members with the power of words.

During our event we will focus on having fun and working together as a community of writers.  The day will end with an open-mic event, so students who wish to read their work will have a venue to do so.  The time limit will be three minutes per student. Students should not feel compelled to perform, of course, and can come because they want to enjoy a day of writing with their peers.     

In the workshop sessions your students will:

  • Learn how to analyze and find meaning within a piece of work.
  • Learn rehearsal, memorization, and performance techniques.
  • Write their own performance poems and stories using individual and group prompts.
  • Learn what slam is and isn’t.

In the teacher workshop sessions you will:

  • Learn strategies for teaching spoken word poetry and stories, including classroom exercises and writing prompts.
  • Learn strategies for using performance as stepping stones to teach better writing.
  • Receive instructions on how to form slam teams and conduct slams of your own, both in the classroom and for exhibition performances for parents or community members.


Our university student spoken-word performance troupe will perform their own work as examples, discuss performance poetry and stories with students during workshop sessions, and help guide them in writing their own poems and stories.


There is a registration fee of $5 per student, payable on the day of the event, and a cap of 80 student participants.  Registration will be done on a first-come first-served basis.  To register yourself and your students, e-mail Dr. Mark Todd at with the following information:


  • Your name
  • School
  • Phone number
  • E-mail address
  • Number of students attending
  • Approximate number of students planning to read during the open-mic event  


The cutoff date to register for Slam Day is Oct. 18.


If you have questions about Slam/Lit Day, please contact:

Dr. Mark Todd, Professor of Creative Writing


phone: 970.943.2016