1. Rhythm—Even though SLAM poetry is written in free verse (no rules), it has a definite driving rhythm, but not a regular rhythm like in limericks. The rhythm is more closely related to the free verse rhythm that keeps the poem moving from one line to the next.
2. Repetition—SLAM poetry uses repetition like a wheel uses a hub and all the spokes link in the hub. SLAM poets return the same word or phrase multiple times with in the poem to keep the reader returning time and again to the central focus.
3. Rhyme—While there is not a specific rhyme scheme, like in limerick, the rhyme in SLAM poetry is used to direct the readers ear toward a particular idea or theme. The entire poem is never rhyming. Rhyme is used in delicate balance with rhythm and repetition as a tool for the poet.
How to Write a SLAM poem…
- First, start with a cause! What are you angry about, or what do you love? What needs change in your world? What moves you deeply as person? Start with those issues that you want to address.
- Next, make a word bank of important words that you want to include in your poem. Listen to how the words and phrases sound. Are there any that you could hinge your poem around?
- Finally, start writing! Say your words aloud to hear them. After all, it is going to be read aloud!
For some more great tips, look here. You may not get all of it, but what you do get will be extremely useful.