Tenho Poetry Slam 13.11.

Harri Hertell and the Helsinki Poetry Connection invite you to join in a powerful night of slam mastery – this time all in English!

The world of performance poetry in Finland is constantly changing and developing, and the voices coming together at open mics and jams come from all sorts of diverse backgrounds. English can be used as a lingua franca that builds bridges of understanding and intimate cross-cultural connections between poets from far and wide.

That’s why on November 13th 2018 at the Tenho Poetry Slam club (at Helsinginkatu 15) all slammers will compete with original material only in English. Starting at 7 pm, the club will bring together a maximum of 15 poets and five impartial judges to determine the champion of the evening.

Tenho Poetry Slam abides by international poetry slam rules (see below). The winner of the evening will be decided through two elimination rounds and one final round, with each poet allowed a maximum of three minutes to perform their set each round. Judges give out points between 1.0-10.0 for each performance.

If you would like to compete in the Tenho all-English slam, or if you are fluent in English and would like to act as one of the judges, please sign up by email at harri.hertell@gmail.com.

Judges receive one drink ticket for their service, while the slammers compete for a coveted 50-euro gift certificate to Tenho and their sumptuous dishes.

Harri will be taking a back seat for the all-English edition of Tenho Poetry Slam, with bilingual HPC veteran MC and poet Kasper Salonen hosting this special monolingual evening of tight lyrical monologues. DJ Harri Hertell will be treating slam-goers to the coolest of vibes from behind the turntable during the event.

No entry or cloakroom fees, just bring your ears and your hearts ready to be washed in words. Welcome!


1. Each poet signs up to compete at the given event by messaging the organizer in advance or registering 30 minutes before the start of the slam. The maximum number of slammers is 15.

2. Each poet may only perform their own original material.

3. Slam slots can last a maximum of 3 minutes. Each poet’s running time is counted from the first word the poet speaks. The organizer informs the performer and the audience if the time limit is exceeded. For every ten seconds exceeded, the poet looses 0,5 points. The judges will give the score they want to give and the points are then reduced depending on the length of the overtime as follows:
3:00:01 – 3:10 -0.5 points
3:10:01 – 3:20 -1.0 points
3:20:01 – 3:30 -1.5 points

4. No props or music are allowed during the slam, excluding the microphone, mobile phone, iPad, paper or book from which the poet may read.

5. The order that the poets compete is randomly drawn from the hat for the first round.

6. Five non-competing members of the slam audience make up the judging panel of the slam. The organizer picks the judges from among those impartial members of the audience who volunteer to serve as judges. The judges are chosen either beforehand or at the behest of the organizer or MC.

7. The judges give points to each performance on a scale of 1.0 to 10.0, with 10.0 being the highest score. The lowest and highest scores are ignored and the three remaining scores are added together. In the case of a tie during the first round, both poets continue onto the semi-finals. In the case of a tie during semi-finals, both poets continue onto the final. If there’s a tie during the final round, both poets will perform an extra poem to decide a winner.

8. Half of the poets continue to the second round. The poet with the lowest score performs their set first, the one with the second lowest performers second, and so on. In case there’s an uneven number of poets entering the first round, the number of poets carrying on to the semi-finals is rounded up. For example, if there are 11 poets competing on the first round, 6 of them will go through to the semi-finals. The scores of the previous rounds are not accumulated.

9. Three poets perform in the third, final round of the slam, with the winner being decided by the panel of judges.

The event is finished.

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