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Poetry Slam
Optional Competition

To register for this event, please download the application and email to Bradley Shreve at or
Marvene Tom at

Co-Coordinator: Bradley Shreve

Co-Coordinator: Marvene Tom


Registration Deadline: Friday March 1, 2024


Competition Objectives

  • The AIHEC Student Congress (ASC) and Tribal College Journal (TCJ) united to create the Poetry Slam to promote free individual expression and showcase literary talent and skills and provide an incentive for greater literary talent and skill.

  • The Poetry Slam occurs on the same evening as the annual ASC T-shirt Exchange.


Competition Rules

  1. There are no restrictions on how students deliver their poem, what they say, or the overall subject matter.

  2. A member of the current sitting AIHEC Student Congress will serve as the Master of Ceremonies, introducing competing Poets, enforcing the rules, organizing the judges, and entertaining the audience between rounds.

  3. Judges are selected randomly from among the students before the Slam begins by officers of the AIHEC Student Congress. Competing poets cannot be judges. No TCU should have more than one judge.

  4. Each TCU is permitted to have a representative register for the event (37 total participants). If less than 37 TCUs register a student for the poetry slam, the coordinators of the poetry slam may have first-come-first-serve registration at the door until the event has reached a maximum of 37 participants.

  5. Another officer of the AIHEC Student Congress will serve as the sacrificial poet to begin the evening. The sacrificial poet will read a poem to serve as calibration for the judges and audience.

  6. Scoring will be based on a scale of zero to ten (0-10), with zero (0) being the lowest score and ten (10) being the highest score obtainable. Judges may use decimal points in their score. After each poet, the judges will write their score on a provided tablet. A designated AIHEC Student Congress officer will tally the scores after each poet has read his/her poem.  The officer will keep this information confidential until the end of the round at which time the officer will inform the Master of Ceremonies the names of the top poets who advance to the next round. The Master of Ceremonies will read the names of the top poets at the conclusion of each round.

  7. There are four (4) rounds in the Poetry Slam. Up to thirty-seven (37) poets, one for each college or university, are allowed to enter in the first round, but the judges will only select the eight (8) best poets to advance to the second round. After the second round, the four (4) best poets advance. After the third round, the top two (2) poets compete for AIHEC Poet of the Year honors.

  8. No props or musical instruments are permitted.

  9. Each poet has three (3) minutes to introduce and deliver their poem.

  10. Poets will say their name, tribal college, and title of their poem CLEARLY for the judges before every recitation.

  11. One (1) poem per round. Poets may not deliver the same poem again. If they advance to the next round, they must deliver a new poem.

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