VOLTAGE! FAQs


WHAT IS VOLTAGE?
A spoken word competition for teens only, ages 19-13.

WHO CAN ENTER?
Any teenager within the Southeastern Wisconsin area.

WHAT'S AT STAKE?
A position on Milwaukee's 2017 teen poetry team,
which will compete at a national contest in Washington DC next summer.

HOW DO I WIN?
Contestants will read, recite or perform two original poems.  
A panel of judges will assign scores based on content AND delivery.  

Are there any rules?
Yes, just a few:

  • All works must have been written by you;
  • Costumes, instrumental music and props are not allowed; and
  • All pieces cannot be longer than three minutes and 30 seconds.

Do my poems have to be memorized?
Absolutely not.  However, if you read from paper it's still important that you practice in advance.  
The audience will still want to be captivated.

HOW MANY WINNERS?
There will be three qualifying slams: October, December and February.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will advance to Grand Slam Finals.
At State, approximately 15 students from greater Milwaukee will compete for the final team spots.

Top five (5) performers from State Finals will earn a spot on the 2017 BNV Team.

OKAY, HOW DO I ENTER?!?
Contestants must sign-in between 6pm pm and 6:30 p.m.  
There is no cost to enter
11th Annual search for the illest, coldest, hypest, realest,
smoothest,
hottest words from Milwaukee teens!  

Poetry slam competitions will take place during
monthly teen open mic October to February.  
Top performers will travel to San Francisco to represent
Milwaukee at the
 2017 Brave New Voices International
Teen Spoken Word Competition & Festival
!

Every 3rd Friday
6 - 8:30 pm


JCPAA Arts Studios
Lower Level, Grand Avenue Mall
(Below TJ Maxx)


FREE ADMISSION :: ALL AGES
MARCH 17

Senior Slam & Showcase

Celebrating the high school graduating Class of 2017!
Seniors own the night: sign up for the showcase OR sign
up for the hundred dollar slam OR invite a guest to "gift"
you with a poem. College seniors invited to join the
showcase.
APRIL 21

SlamOlympics

In previous years, we've ended the year with SlamBingo.
(It hasn't gone away. Don't worry...) THIS year we hope to
create a SlamOlympics ... and by "we," we mean YOU.
Each set through February, we'll ask for YOUR ideas on
possible SlamBingo events. Reciting Through
Distraction, maybe? Vocabulary Wrestling? Haiku Death
Match? Song Lyric slam? Balancing the Pen on Your
Forehead? The It Spit: personfication pieces on an
inanimate object, a Red Pen Editng Challenge? Soul
Train Scrabble Board Derby? EXXtreme Emoting?
Paraphrasing SquareOff? Think about it! We'll compile
all suggestions, present them to an Alumni Panel of
SlamOlympic Game Designers and reveal the lineup of
events during the March Voltage. Participants win
goodies, gifts and prizes throughout the events.
FEBRUARY 17

Grand Slam Qualifier (3 of 3)

Top three places in the Grand Slam Qualifier will
advance to the championship showcase in March. Top
five performers from Grand Slam will represent
Milwaukee at the 2017 Brave New Voices Festival &
Competition to be held next summer in San Franscisco.
Participants must sign in before 6:30. First 10 poets
guaranteed to slam. Each slamming poet will need two
of their own poems, performed from paper or from
memory, lasting no longer than 3:30 minutes. No
instruments, costumes or props allowed.
NOVEMBER 18

He/She Slam

The HeShe Slam In the first round of this specialty slam,
participants will share poems on "he," and poems on "she"
in round two. Of course, pieces about relationships,
empowerment, gender, identity and privilege would be on
point Poets are encouraged to consider a far-reaching range
of ideas. Maybe there's a poem somewhere between "he"
and "grooming" or "she" and "driving", "he" and "rape
culture", "she" and "science." "He" and "religion." "She"
and "prison." You get the idea. Three prizes: $25 for the top
scoring He round poem, $25 for the top scoring She round
poem, $50 for the overall slam winner.
$100 in cash prizes
DECEMBER 16

Grand Slam Qualifier (2 of 3)

Top three places in the Grand Slam Qualifier will
advance to the championship showcase in March. Top
five performers from Grand Slam will represent
Milwaukee at the 2017 Brave New Voices Festival &
Competition to be held next summer in San Franscisco.
Participants must sign in before 6:30. First 10 poets
guaranteed to slam. Each slamming poet will need two
of their own poems, performed from paper or from
memory, lasting no longer than 3:30 minutes. No
instruments, costumes or props allowed.
JANUARY 20

Group Piece Slam

Two-round slam for duets, trios or quads. Poems must be
written by all members of the group. Standard slam rules
apply. Top scoring team wins $100 per poet.
MAY 19

THE SOUND BYTE SLAM

Year-end celebration of spoken word, exploration, new
ideas and fresh words. The 90-Second Slam winner
earns a $50 prize.
OCTOBER 16

Grand Slam Qualifier (1 of 3)

Top three places in the Grand Slam Qualifier will
advance to the championship showcase in March. Top
five performers from Grand Slam will represent
Milwaukee at the 2017 Brave New Voices Festival &
Competition to be held next summer in San Franscisco.
Participants must sign in before 6:30. First 10 poets
guaranteed to slam. Each slamming poet will need two
of their own poems, performed from paper or from
memory, lasting no longer than 3:30 minutes. No
instruments, costumes or props allowed.