Sparky Slam Poetry Competition


“I thought the format and size was perfect. The crowd was just the right size…it wasn’t so big that we were nervous, but it wasn’t small either. Everyone got a chance to vibe off each other.”

— Godelive Sadiki, 2017 Sparky Slam winner

Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019

ASU's Sparky Slam is a valley-wide spoken word poetry contest featuring original work by students in grades 5-12. Its purpose, though, extends beyond just the thrills and rewards of competition.

The Sparky Slam welcomes young people onto an ASU campus, celebrates youth voices, and gives young artists writing support from ASU faculty and students. In 2019 a writing workshop will take place immediately before the competition.

PDF icon View the 2019 flyer!

Tomas Stanton

Hosted by Tomas Stanton of Phonetic Spit.



ASU's West campus
Herberger Young Scholars Academy
Black Box Theatre

Schedule for Feb. 2, 2019

5 p.m. Poet sign-in (registered and waitlisted poets)
5- 5:45 p.m. Workshop begins (get feedback on your poem from an ASU writing mentor) and pizza
5:45 p.m. Doors open for Sparky Slam
6 p.m. Sparky Slam begins

REGISTER for the 2019 Sparky Slam


Wendy Williams, assistant professor of English education, ASU College of Integrative Sciences and Arts (
Sabrina Switzer-Wareing, director of theatre and special events coordinator, ASU Herberger Young Scholars' Academy (

Sparky Slam rules

  1. The event will feature approximately 20 youth poets. If we fill all of these spaces before the event, we will place additional poets on a wait list. Everyone who submits a Google form will receive email confirmation of their status (i.e., registered or waitlisted). We encourage poets on the wait list to join us at 5:00 p.m. for the workshop because at 5:15 p.m. we will reassign "no show" poets' spots to those on the wait list who are present.
  2. Original poems must be three and a half minutes or less.
  3. A wide range of ages will be in the audience, so performers should keep this in mind when considering poem content and language.
  4. All correspondence about the event will be sent to the email address the poet provides on the registration form.
  5. Poets are expected to treat each other, the judges, and the space with respect. Sparky Slam organizers reserve the right to ask a poet to stop performing or to leave the event.
  6. Contest results are final.
  7. Seating is limited.
  8. ASU, HYSA, organizers, and sponsors do not endorse particular viewpoints expressed at the Sparky Slam.

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