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Join the 2022 DPS Virtual Poetry Slam

Apr. 29, 2022
Student holding a microphone and paper on a stage

Denver Public Schools is hosting its first-ever virtual poetry slam on Thursday, May 12, 2022. All current DPS students are invited to submit pretaped routines, which will be broadcasted live the day of the virtual event. To accommodate all participants, the event will be organized in three bands: elementary (K-5), middle (6-8) and high school (9-12). The poetry slam will be recorded for later viewing as well.

Student poets will be scored by a panel of five judges. The top and bottom scores will be dropped, and the remaining three scores will be averaged for the overall score. View the poetry slam rubric.

Video Submission Guidelines

  • The deadline for student poets to submit their videos is Wednesday, May 4, 2022.
  • All poems must be original work written by the student poet(s).
  • Each submission should not exceed 3 minutes.
  • Families must check that their schools have pre-signed video/photo release forms for the students submitting videos.
  • ELA/MLE students are welcome to present their original poems in their first language. A written English translation must also be submitted with the video file in order to provide subtitles.
  • No music, costumes, backgrounds or props can be used in the submission.
  • While poets are encouraged to memorize their poems, it is not required. The focus is on the fluency of the spoken word.
  • While there is no limit to the number of submissions per student or group, only one submission per student or group will be selected.
  • Video files need to be submitted as MP4 or MOV files through email or Google Drive to Ms. Dawn Lewallen. Please name your files according to the following format: SchoolName_StudentFirstName_StudentLastNameInitial_Grade

Elementary School Students

Participants in kindergarten through 2nd grade will not be scored. Instead, the judges will provide comments that will be forwarded to the students’ schools. These students may also include the students’ written poems when submitting their video files.


Middle & High School Students

Students attending Gilliam Youth Detention Center may submit Google Slide or Canva presentations of their original poems. They will need to note whether they would prefer a male or female voice read the poem aloud during the virtual presentation.