Thanks to everyone for a great 2018 CUPSI! An overview of the schedule and results of the event are below.


Results 

Congratulations to all 2018 CUPSI participants for sharing their voices at Temple University and to the 2018 champs, New York University. The results of the finals round were:

  1. New York University
  2. Stanford University
  3. Virginia Commonwealth University
  4. Wellesley College

For all teams that competed in the annual event, the overall results are available here [pdf].

2018 CUPSI Overall Results

During the Finals & Awards event on Saturday, April 7, the following coaches awards were also presented to teams and poets for the contributions to the 2018 event.

  • Spirit of the Slam - Northeastern University
  • Best Writing By a Team - University of California-Berkeley
  • Best Performing by a Team - Agnes Scott College
  • Pushing the Art Forward - Ryerson University
  • Best Poet - Cassandra Meyers, Ryerson University; Golden, New York University; and Kofie Dadzie, University of Massachusetts-Boston
  • Best Persona Piece - "Cannibal," by B Oke - Brown University
  • Best Poem - "Boy with Wings," by Myles Taylor, Emerson College; and "Meek Free," by Temple University
  • The Gut-Buster Funny Poem - "#RamadanSzn," by Pennsylvania State University
  • Torchbearer Award - Julian Randall and Miriam L. Harris
  • Best Love Poem - "Genesis," by Temple University

Schedule

All times are converted to Eastern Standard Time
Tue, April 03, 2018
5:00 PM

Volunteer Meeting

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Wed, April 04, 2018
12:00 PM

Registration & Check-In

12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Come checkin at registration and pick up your event items!

1:30 PM

Coaches Meeting

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Are you a team coach? Stop by to learn about the updated rules, the event, and introduce yourself to event officials.

2:45 PM

First-Time Team Meeting

2:45 PM - 3:30 PM

Is this your first year competing in CUPSI? Feel free to stop by to meet some of the event officials to learn more and have the chance to ask any questions about the program.

3:30 PM

Welcome & Reception

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Don't miss the Welcome Reception! Hear from the host insitution and event team. Also mingle with other CUPSI students before the preliminary bouts begin.

5:00 PM

Preliminary Bout 1A (200A)

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

1 - Swarthmore College (107.1)
2 - Smith College (106.4)
3 - Duke University (103.7)
4 - American University (101.8)

Preliminary Bout 1A (200B)

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

1 - Temple University (113.5)
2 - SUNY–Oneonta (112.5)
3 - George Washington University (96.2)
4 - University of the Arts (94.8)

Preliminary Bout 1A (200C)

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

1 - Ball State University (109.4)
2 - Sarah Lawrence College (104.2)
4 - Western Washington University (103.1)

Preliminary Bout 1A (217AB)

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

1 - Wellesley College (116.3)
2 - Michigan State University (115.8)
3 - Wheaton College (112.1)
4 - Emerson College (110.4)

Preliminary Bout 1A (217CD)

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

1 - Barnard College (114.7)
2 - Montclair State University (114.3)
3 - Ryerson University (113.9)
4 - Grand Valley State University (96.0)

Preliminary Bout 1A (Underground)

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

1 - University of Michigan–Ann Arbor (107.9)
2 - University of Leeds (103.9)
3 - University of Maryland (101.9)
4 - Rochester Institute of Technology (99.7)

7:00 PM

Preliminary Bout 1B (200A)

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

1 - New York University (116.1)
2 - Wheelock College (107.9)
3 - SUNY–New Paltz (97.5)
4 - Bryn Mawr College (94.0)

Preliminary Bout 1B (200B)

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

1 - University of Miami (116.1)
2 - St. John's University (115.0)
3 - Virginia Union University (112.2)
4 - University of Texas–Austin (107.4)

Preliminary Bout 1B (200C)

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

1 - Stanford University (119.3)
2 - University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill (115.7)
3 - Wesleyan University (113.6)
4 - University of Southern California (113.2)

Preliminary Bout 1B (217AB)

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

1 - Pennsylvania State University (114.3)
2 - Kent State University (112.1)
3 - Westminster College (106.5)
4 - University of Georgia (101.8)

Preliminary Bout 1B (217CD)

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

1 - Tulane University (117.9)
2 - University of Virginia (113.5)
3 - Oberlin College (112.7)
4 - East Carolina University (107.9)

Preliminary Bout 1B (Underground)

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

1 - Louisiana State University (110.0)
2 - University of Minnesota–Twin Cities (109.5)
4 - Tufts University (108.5)

9:00 PM

Preliminary Bout 1C (200A)

9:00 PM - 10:30 PM

1 - University of Wisconsin–Madison (112.0)
2 - Washington University in St. Louis (110.5)
3 - Queen's University Ontario (94.7)
4 - Hamilton College (90.2)

Preliminary Bout 1C (200B)

9:00 PM - 10:30 PM

1 - University of California–Berkeley (113.2)
2 - Northeastern University (111.8)
3 - University of Oregon (109.4)
4 - Brandeis University (108.1)

Preliminary Bout 1C (200C)

9:00 PM - 10:30 PM

1 - Agnes Scott College (117.2)
2 - Brown University (115.8)
3 - University of Nebraska–Lincoln (115.5)
4 - University of New Mexico (114.9)

Preliminary Bout 1C (217AB)

9:00 PM - 10:30 PM

1 - Virginia Commonwealth University (117.0)
2 - Macalester College (114.2)
4 - University of Birmingham (111.4)

Preliminary Bout 1C (217CD)

9:00 PM - 10:30 PM

1 - University of Massachusetts–Boston (115.9)
2 - Simmons College (114.9)
3 - University of Maryland–Baltimore County (112.5)
4 - Mercer University–Macon (110.3)

10:30 PM

Open Mic

10:30 PM - 11:59 PM

The Head to Head Haiku Slam has been rescheduled to Friday night. Join an open mic on Wednesday night in the Underground.

Queer Open Mic

10:30 PM - 11:59 PM

Thu, April 05, 2018
12:00 PM

Lightning Slam

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Nerd Slam

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

4th Annual CUPSI NERD SLAM! Part trivia contest, part poetry slam, the Nerd Slam pits competitors against one another in an epic duel of nerd expertise judged by our handpicked panel of experts, all for the glorious opportunity to prove your knowledge and spit your own nerd poem.

1:30 PM

Ice Cream Conversations

1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

4th Annual Ice Cream Social Reading serves as a warm and communal space to wind down after competition. We will provide frozen treats, and there will be readings from respected and known poets.

5:00 PM

Preliminary Bout 2A (200A)

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

1 - Brown University (115.7)
2 - Louisiana State University (115.5)
3 - Wesleyan University (114.6)
4 - SUNY–Oneonta (112.5)

Preliminary Bout 2A (200B)

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

1 - Wheelock College (110.9)
2 - University of Texas–Austin (109.8)
3 - University of Georgia (108.6)
4 - University of Oregon (108.0)

Preliminary Bout 2A (217AB)

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

1 - Washington University in St. Louis (109.0)
2 - Emerson College (108.4)
3 - University of Birmingham (106.6)
4 - University of New Mexico (106.5)

Preliminary Bout 2A (217CD)

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

1 - American University (114.2)
2 - Virginia Union University (113.4)
3 - University of Minnesota–Twin Cities (108.1)
4 - Rochester Institute of Technology (107.1)

Preliminary Bout 2A (Underground)

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

1 - New York University (115.0)
2 - Temple University (112.7)
4 - University of Maryland–Baltimore County (109.3)

7:00 PM

Preliminary Bout 2B (200C)

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

1 - University of Wisconsin–Madison (114.2)
2 - University of Maryland (113.3)
3 - Tufts University (112.8)
4 - SUNY–New Paltz (109.0)

Preliminary Bout 2B (200A)

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

1 - Michigan State University (117.1)
2 - University of the Arts (114.8)
3 - Sarah Lawrence College (112.1)
4 - Smith College (111.4)

Preliminary Bout 2B (200B)

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

1 - University of Miami (115.8)
2 - Agnes Scott College (113.1)
3 - Swarthmore College (112.6)
4 - Queen's University Ontario (102.7)

Preliminary Bout 2B (217AB)

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

1 - University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill (115.4)
2 - University of Virginia (115.3)
3 - St. John's University (111.9)
4 - University of Leeds (108.7)

Preliminary Bout 2B (217CD)

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

1 - Tulane University (112.0)
2 - Westminster College (108.2)
4 - Wheaton College (100.6)

Preliminary Bout 2B (Underground)

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

1 - Pennsylvania State University (116.9)
2 - Simmons College (106.5)
3 - University of Southern California (103.7)
4 - Hamilton College (101.6)

9:00 PM

Preliminary Bout 2C (200A)

9:00 PM - 10:30 PM

1 - Wellesley College (116.3)
2 - Northeastern University (116.2)
3 - Mercer University–Macon (109.0)
4 - Bryn Mawr College (107.7)

Preliminary Bout 2C (200B)

9:00 PM - 10:30 PM

1 - University of Nebraska–Lincoln (109.7)
2 - Duke University (106.1)
3 - Western Washington University (105.0)
4 - Grand Valley State University (93.4)

Preliminary Bout 2C (200C)

9:00 PM - 10:30 PM

1 - Virginia Commonwealth University (115.2)
2 - University of Massachusetts–Boston (114.5)
3 - Ball State University (111.2)
4 - Brandeis University (110.3)

Preliminary Bout 2C (217AB)

9:00 PM - 10:30 PM

1 - Ryerson University (112.6)
2 - Stanford University (110.9)
3 - Oberlin College (103.6)
4 - Macalester College (100.5)

Preliminary Bout 2C (217CD)

9:00 PM - 10:30 PM

1 - Barnard College (114.7)
2 - Kent State University (113.8)
3 - University of Michigan–Ann Arbor (106.3)
4 - East Carolina University (104.7)

Preliminary Bout 2C (Underground)

9:00 PM - 10:30 PM

1 - Montclair State University (114.2)
2 - George Washington University (108.5)
4 - University of California–Berkeley (85.1)

10:30 PM

Compliment Battle

10:30 PM - 11:59 PM

FEMS Open Mic

10:30 PM - 11:59 PM

Fri, April 06, 2018
10:00 AM

Slam Family Meeting

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Come to the annual CUPSI Slam Family Meeting! Come talk about trends, challenges, and meet new friends in the CUPSI scene.

12:00 PM

Workshop Block 1: Not Funny Ha-Ha but Funny Sad: How to Use & Access Humor in Poetry

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Slam poets are just like stand-up comedians except they are more decorative & OKAY with their depression. JK, LOL, it's not that simple. BUT, the aim of this workshop is to look at the way humor & sadness often intersect with one another. We will learn how successful jokes & successful metaphors use the same formulas; examine different forms of humor (such as irony, hyperbole & meme culture); learn that confidence in performance is just illusion & how to honor our ability as poets to tell the truth. Were those the best uses of semi-colons? I truly don't know. Ultimately, this is about how to be a good storyteller & how this involves accessing all of your charms, baby!


Presenter: Melissa Lozada-Oliva

Workshop Block 1: Slam the Form!: A Writing Workshop on Form and Obsession

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

"Even more than I am an obsessive, I am a creature slowly and painfully unlearning shame."- Safia Elhillo In this workshop we will be using small poetic forms, the Golden Shovel and Sonnet, in order to better understand what obsessions dictate in our writing. We will be looking less to escape these obsessions than turning back, staring them down. Throughout the CUPSI process we stumble across favorite images, words that we fall back to, words from which we cannot escape. Our goal in this workshop is to find ways to take those words and use compressed forms to put pressure on those words, to surprise ourselves, to make them new again. This is a workshop that aims to continue formal poetry's deliverance from the narrow hallways of academia into a space where the margins are lush spaces of dictation from folks of varying levels of historical access to formal poetry. Essentially, this is not your professor's sonnet, we aim to surprise ourselves with the teeth of our own worthiness.


Presenter: Julian Randall, University of Mississippi

Workshop Block 1: Witches Will Be Witches

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Poems are spells. Magic is understood as imaginary and in this workshop it is everywhere. here, free writing lets spirit leave your body. In this workshop you are the writer of every story they told you wasn't real and a hex is as easy as pen and paper.


Presenter: Zenaida Peterson, Wheelock College

Workshop Block 1: Writing Room

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Please feel free to use this space as a writing space for this block.

Workshop Block 1: YouTube & Poetry: Growing Your Channel

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Have a poetry YouTube channel? Or interested in starting one? This workshop-style presentation will go over everything you need to know for starting and growing a poetry-focused YouTube channel. Learn about filming basics, branding, marketing, and more! Attendees will get the chance to participate in video-brainstorming activities, make friends with other creators, and have all their YouTube questions answered.


Presenter: Erin Anastasia, Montclair State University

2:00 PM

Indigenous Open Mic

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

This space will be open for indigenous poets to share their stories and poems with each other.

Note that the Poetry x Music workshop previously in this space has been cancelled.

Workshop 2: Dreams: Writing Underneath the Surface

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

In this generative writing workshop, we will be exploring personal symbols that ground us and mystify us. Poets in this workshop will have a variety of entry points to write about their dreams and waking realities in altered ways. Attend this workshop to try something a little magical and leave with new writing.


Presenter: Natasha Huey

Workshop 2: How to Make a Living Doing Poetry

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

This workshop is now back on with new Presenter Ashlee Haze from Agnes Scott College!

Workshop 2: Just Because We're Magic

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

At an awards ceremony in 2016, actor and humanitarian, Jessie Williams stated “Just because we're magic, doesn't mean we are not real.” This workshop will indulge folks in magical realism as a tool to combat oppression. Participants will investigate the meaning of Afro-Futurism and use science fiction to as a form of creative resistance. By the end of the workshop, participants will produce a short fictional piece that indulges our imagination to tell a story of victory and triumph. #wakandaforever


Presenter: Porsha Olayiwola

Workshop 2: Smash the Headlights: Survival, Victimhood, and Everything In Between

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

When the body is in survival mode, the body will either enter a state of “fight, flight, or freeze”. The body in a state of “freezing” has often been compared to a deer in headlights. Upon surviving the headlights, the deer returns to its herd, and together each herd member shakes their limbs till the adrenaline has been sifted from the deer's muscles and expelled from it's blood. When a human returns to its herd, too often there is no shaking, only silence. “Smash the Headlights” is an opportunity for write about experiences of sexual violence when too often there is no "right time" or "good place" to talk about it. Guided by the facilitator in a "choose your own adventure" style, participants will set boundaries for themselves in their writing and will have the opportunity to write about the spectrum of survivorship, victimhood, and all that falls in between, and the experiences that brought us here in the first place.


Presenter: Cassandra Myers, Ryerson University

6:00 PM

Semi-Finals A (Room 200AB)

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

1 - New York University (118.1)
2 - Barnard College (114.0)
3 - Pennsylvania State University (113.9)
4 - Wheelock College (112.2)
5 - University of Wisconsin–Madison (112.0)

Semi-Finals B (Underground)

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

1 - Stanford University (112.6)
2 - Agnes Scott College (111.9)
3 - Washington University in St. Louis (111.7)
4 - Montclair State University (111.0)
5 - University of Massachusetts–Boston (109.1)

7:30 PM

Semi Finals Snack

7:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Swing by in between Semi-Final bouts, and grab a cookie from Insomnia Cookies!

8:00 PM

Semi-Finals C (Room 200AB)

8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

1 - Wellesley College (117.4)
2 - Tulane University (115.1)
3 - Louisiana State University (114.4)
4 - Brown University (113.4)
5 - University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill (112.0)

Semi-Finals D (Underground)

8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

1 - Virginia Commonwealth University (112.4)
2 - Temple University (112.1)
3 - Michigan State University (111.6)
4 - University of Miami (111.1)
5 - Ryerson University (110.2)

10:30 PM

Coaches Slam (CANCELLED)

10:30 PM - 11:59 PM

Because of the Semi-Final bouts are running late, the Coaches Slam has been cancelled until further notice.

Head to Head Haiku Slam (CANCELLED)

10:30 PM - 11:59 PM

Because of the Semi-Final bouts are running late, the Haiku Slam has been cancelled until further notice.

Do you dream in 5-7-5 or think in 17 syllable? Then the Head-to-Head Haiku is the place to be. Poets will face off, matching wit, humor, deep insight, and strategy in a tournament to determine the second CUPSI Haiku Champ. Come prepared with at least 20–25 haikus. Slots are limited.

Sat, April 07, 2018
10:30 AM

Coaches Meeting

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

This meeting is for coaches only. At this time, coaches' awards will be determined.

Located on the third floor of Morgan Hall, enter the building up the ramp off of Cecil B. Moore Avenue.



1:30 PM

Chapbook Showcase

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Are you an author of a poetry book, zine, CD, etc.? Are you interested in taking CUPSI poems back home with you? Then come to the Chapbook Showcase to hear your peers read from their books and have the chance to buy/trade your favorite poetry!

Located on the third floor of Morgan Hall, enter the building up the ramp off of Cecil B. Moore Avenue.



4:30 PM

Finalists Meeting

4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

For teams appearing in finals ONLY. Teams will gather to discuss rules and the final event schedule.

7:00 PM

Finals & Awards

7:00 PM - 10:30 PM

The finals were held on Saturday, April 7 at 7 p.m. at the Temple Performing Arts Center.

Finals Performer: Angel Nafis
Finals Emcee: Kai Davis

Finals Results:
1 - New York University (116.5)
2 - Stanford University (114.2)
3 - Virginia Commonwealth University (114.1)
4 - Wellesley College (57.4)



10:30 PM

Closing Reception

10:30 PM - 11:59 PM

Join fellow poets for a sweet treat and hang after a week full of amazing poetry!


Spectator Information

If you are interested in being a spectator at CUPSI, you can attend any of the preliminary bouts, semi-finals, and finals for free. We ask that all spectators embrace the slam experience and be an active participants of the audience. No ticket is necessary to attend the preliminary and semi-final bouts, which will take place at the Howard Gittis Student Center at Temple University.

Finals tickets will be handed out on a first come, first serve basis at the Temple Performing Arts Center, starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, to keep track of capacity. Registered attendees will receive a ticket as part of their team registration packet.

Please keep in mind that all additional program activities, including workshops and special events, are for paid attendees only.


Eligibility and Code of Conduct

The following forms should be downloaded and submitted to ACUI prior to the competition per the Eligibility Guidelines.

  • CUPSI Eligibility Form: This form is applicable all competing students. It must be completed by institution's registrar and include university's seal. This cannot be faxed; submit hard copies only.
  • CUPSI Eligibility and Code of Conduct: This form is applicable for competing students; it should be downloaded, signed, and submitted.
  • CUPSI Code of Conduct: This form is applicable to noncompeting students; it should be downloaded, signed, and submitted.

Mail forms to: ACUI, One City Centre, Suite 200, 120 W. Seventh St., Bloomington, IN 47404.

Eligibility Guidelines
Any student competing at an ACUI event must meet all eligibility guidelines listed here. Please download and submit the verification and agreement forms above. Students who do not submit proper documentation will not be allowed to compete. 
  • Adhere to ACUI’s Competitor Code of Conduct.
  • Meet eligibility criteria established by school. 
  • Adhere to dress code (with applicable events).
  • Limited to six years of eligibility (three years at a two-year institution).
  • Undergraduate students must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA (on 4.0 scale); graduate students must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA (on 4.0 scale).
  • Must be enrolled in academic term in which they qualified or are competing for at least nine credit hours. Or if the student is graduating in given term of the event and enrolled in less than nine credit hours, a letter from the registrar must be provided to verify expected graduation date.
  • Must not accept financial assistance form a professional organization or commercial organization for use of his or her name or picture when this use clearly implies endorsement of a product.
  • Must not accept awards or sponsorships that are not acceptable to the institution or other recognized association to which his or her institution belongs.
  • Eligibility verification must be verified by advisor or authorized staff member of the school. Registrar seal and signature are required on academic eligibility documentation for championship-level events.
  • All participants must still be currently enrolled at their institution during the on-site program on April 4–7, 2018.
Code of Conduct

Any student participating at an ACUI event must adhere to the code of conduct. Please download and submit the agreement form below. Students who do not submit proper documentation will not be allowed to compete.

  • Students are expected to review all advanced mailings and material received regarding the program. Information should also be shared with their campus advisor.
  • Access to cell phones, pagers, mobile devices, and electronic music devices is subject to the event coordinator’s discretion during the competition or program sessions; during the 2018 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, it is expected that all participants and audience members will turn off these devices during preliminary bouts, semi-finals, finals, awards ceremony, special performances, and workshops.  
  • The use of drugs or drinking alcohol is not allowed during programs. This applies to all participants regardless of their ability to legally use these substances unless prescribed by a medical professional. 
  • Come prepared with a positive attitude, a willingness to take risks, and a desire to have fun.
  • Respect and uphold ACUI policies and philosophies of advancing campus community builders through unconditional human worth, joy, learning, caring community, innovation, communication and integrity.
  • Participants agree to abide by any additional regulations laid-out by the host institution.
  • Students are expected to follow the rules of all establishments and the hotel; students are responsible for themselves and will be liable for any behavioral issues. 
  • Participants are representing their institutions and the Association. All participants should adhere to the dress code for their respective events. The dress code is designed to provide for safety, support an environment conducive to all learning, respects individuality, and preserves the dignity of each student who participate in the program. 
  • Community Code of Conduct: Negative posts, belittling accomplishments, bullying, posting of denigrating comments, or impersonating others in public or social media that create a hostile environment within our otherwise inclusive community are a violation of the ACUI code of conduct in place for all ACUI student programs which explicitly states that as a participant it is an obligation to abide by the code of conduct guidelines and violation of them “may jeopardize my status as a participant in this program.
  • Students are also expected to abide by any specific rules or codes applicable to a specific event.
  • Students are expected to adhere to the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational Honor Code listed here:

College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational Honor Code 

As a participant in the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI), I agree: 

  • To revel in an environment in which freedom of speech, self-determination, and pursuit of creative excellence are inalienable rights. 
  • To participate in all ACUI events in a way that encourages, illuminates and supports established standards of good sportsmanship.  
  • To refuse to allow the competitive challenge of the game to lead me to violence, interference, or direct threats.  
  • To allow all participants to pursue their craft peacefully and without censure, regardless of present team associations or personal history. 
  • To comply with local, state and federal laws pertaining to individual civil rights and physical or sexual harassment. 
  • To abide by competition rules as defined by ACUI, knowing that the consequences for breaking the rules exist and are upheld. Penalties will be determined by the severity of the infraction, and the ruling of the ACUI College Unions Poetry Slam program coordinator and planning team.  
  • To be a fair poet – one who in competition is fair and generous, one who in any connection has recourse to nothing illegitimate; a poet who in defeat demonstrates grace and in victory magnanimity. 
Team Eligibility

According to ACUI's agreement with Poetry Slam, Inc., only teams from certified campus venues will be eligible to participate in the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. This guarantees that teams are familiar with the tournament rules and format and legitimizes teams as contenders against other certified teams who have previously endured the slam judging process. Certification is automatically processed when a team registers for CUPSI; no additional purchase is necessary.

  • Teams must be selected through at least one well publicized open competition, and teams should not be hand-picked. 
  • Teams may have up to five members, but must have a minimum of 4 eligible members in order to participate. As per ACUI rules, you cannot repeat primary authorship in a bout. 
  • No more than five poets can be on stage to perform during a group piece. In the course of a bout, the fifth poet may appear in a group piece(s) and perform a solo piece as long as primary authorship is not violated. 
  • Teams are encouraged to bring one coach. 
  • Teams not meeting this expectation may be bumped out of the tournament and replaced by teams meeting all criteria from a wait list. 
  • Fifty percent of each team must be undergraduate students; 100 percent of all team members must be affiliated with the certified school. Affiliated membership includes current undergraduate or graduate student. 
  • Competitors may not be faculty members at their institution. 
  • Community members and alumni may not compete.
  • Only one team may participate in the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational from a single campus. Ultimately, a city can be represented by multiple teams from different institutions, but a single school should send its best five poets.

Official CUPSI Rules

These rules are borrowed, with minor adaptations, from Poetry Slam, Inc (PSI) and should be used for sectional, national, and international tournaments. These rules will govern the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI).

A. Poems and Performance
  1. Poems can be on any subject and in any style.
  2. Each poet must perform work that they have created.
  3. No props. Generally, poets are allowed to use their given environment and the accoutrements it offers — microphones, mic stands, the stage itself, chairs on stage, a table or bar top, the aisle — as long as these accoutrements are available to other competitors as well. The rule concerning props is not intended to squelch the spontaneity, unpredictability, or on-the-fly choreography that people love about the slam; its intent is to keep the focus on the words rather than poets who inadvertently use a prop (for example, a timely yet unwitting grab at a necklace, directly referencing the paper are reading from, etc.) can be immediately penalized two points if the emcee/bout manager deems the effect of the violation to have been appreciable but sufficiently lacking in specific intent. A formal protest need not be lodged before the emcee or bout manager can penalize a poet or team in this way; however, the decision of the emcee and/or bout manager can be appealed after the bout. Poets whose use of props in a poem appears to be more calculating and the result of a specific intent to enhance, illustrate, underscore, or otherwise augment the words of the poem will be given a retroactive score for the poem equal to two points less than the lowest scoring poem in that bout. This deduction, which can only be applied after a formal protest has been lodged against the offending team, will not be made by the emcee, but by the protest committee assembled for this purpose.
    • Body parts are not considered props. Hair, tattoos, mobility, and other accessibility devices are considered body parts and are therefore not considered props.  
  4. Poets may not use musical instruments or pre-recorded music.
  5. No costumes.
B. Sampling
  1. It is acceptable for poets to incorporate, imitate, or otherwise "signify on" the words, lyrics, or tune of someone else (commonly called "sampling") in their own work. However, if a poet replicates another poet's words (i.e. reciting multiple lines verbatim), they should receive the same repercussion as if using a prop.  This includes a retroactive score of two points less than the lowest scoring poem in that bout following a formal protest and enforced by the protest committee.

C. The No Repeat Rule
  1. Poems may not be repeated from preliminaries to semifinals.
  2. You may not repeat any piece from semifinals in the finals bout. Only poems used during the preliminaries may be repeated in the finals.
  3. The only exception to the previous rule is regarding tie-breaking poems. A poem used in the preliminary tie-breaking round may be repeated in semifinals. A poem used in a semifinals tie-breaking round may be repeated in finals. Violations of the no repeat rule disqualify the poet and the poet receives a zero for his/her rotation. Therefore each poet should plan on bringing at least 3 original poems to compete.
  4. To encourage innovation and new work among the participating poets, no poems performed on finals stage may be performed on finals stage the following year.  They may be performed again in the preliminary/semifinal bouts, but not in the event that the team makes it to finals.  At the conclusion of the finals bout when all coaches or team leaders meet with the Bout Manager to identify primary authors for all group pieces, teams will complete a document identifying the poet and their first and last lines of each poem performed.  All poems performed on finals stage (including first and last line) shall be kept on file by ACUI between years.
D. The Three-Minute Rule
  1. No performance should last longer than three minutes.
  2. There are two audience engagements that start the time: first utterance and performance gesture. First utterance includes the first word or sound of the poem that engages the audience or bout officials. First utterance does not include: (i) trigger or content warnings (see section D.6. for more information); (ii) speaking or making noise into a microphone in a manner intended to check the microphone; or (iii) bodily functions such as coughing, sneezing, throat clearing, etc. Performance gesture includes "performative" body movement and physical reaction/recognition towards any audience member by the performer(s). Performance gesture does not include: adjusting the microphone, arranging clothing, rubbing of the face, or any other action done in preparation for the performance. For a  group piece, a performance gesture does not include: (i) a preparation to nod to fellow teammates on stage; or (ii) a tap on the thigh to establish pace/start the poem. With these guidelines in mind, the beginning and end of a poem's time is ultimately at the discretion of the timekeeping officials. If poets have concerns regarding time, they should seek out both the bout manager and timekeeper to clarify before the bout begins.
    • In relation to performance gesture, time may also start following an excessively long preparation period prior to any utterance or perceived gesture.  Timekeepers will be prompted to begin time after poets are perceived as ready.
    • When time begins, the timekeeper will raise their hand to signify the start of time.
    • After three minutes, there is a 10-second grace period (up to and including 3:10.00). Starting at 3:10.01, a penalty is automatically deducted from each poet's overall score according to the following schedule:
      • 3:10 and under = no penalty
      • 3:10.01–3:20 = -0.5
      • 3:20.01–3:30 = -1.0
      • 3:30.01–3:40 = -1.5
      • 3:40.01–3:50 = -2.0
      • and so on [-0.5 for every 10 seconds over 3:10]
  3. At 4 minutes, poets will be advised to exit the stage.  If the poet refuses to exit the stage after being prompted by Bout Manager and their Team or Coach, their respective team can experience disqualification.  
  4. The announcement of the time penalty and its consequent deduction will be made by the emcee or scorekeeper after all the judges have reported their scores. The judges should not even be told that a poet went over time until it is too late for them to adjust their scores.
  5. There will be three time keepers recording time for semifinals and finals. The median time will be determined as the official time. In the event of a technical error or other circumstances in which only two time keepers record time, the average of the two times will be determined as the official time.
  6. A content/trigger warning is a statement that warns the audience that the content they are about to watch, hear, etc. contains material that could cause distress, trauma, or leave person(s) feeling activated. Hearing a content/trigger warning before listening to a performance may help the room prepare to manage trauma responses while witnessing the piece. As mentioned in section D.2, Content/trigger warnings will not count against time. The only exception to this rule exists when content/trigger warnings are blatantly misused and/or manipulated to enhance the poem and/or performance (as determined by bout manager or emcee). Only in aforementioned scenario will trigger warnings count toward the total time. Trigger warnings should not exceed 10 seconds in length. 
E. Team Pieces
  1. Teams may have up to five members. The fifth member will serve as a "floating" member who can compete in any bout.
  2. A team cannot report a member as a primary author more than once in a bout.
  3. NO MORE THAN 5 POETS CAN APPEAR ON THE STAGE to perform A GROUP PIECE.
  4. In the course of a bout, the 5th poet may appear in a group piece(s) and perform a solo piece as long as primary authorship is not violated.
  5. Duos, trios, and quartets (otherwise known as team, group, or collaborative pieces) are allowed, even encouraged, so long as all of the primary authors perform them. The poet who offers up their individual spot on stage in order to accommodate a group piece must be one of the primary authors of that piece. 
  6. Every team member who performs during a bout must be a primary author on at least one of their team’s poems performed during that bout.
  7. A group piece with more than one primary author does not have to be used in the same primary author’s slot each time it is performed in the course of the competition. But a group piece with only one primary author must only and always be performed during that writer/performer’s slot.
  8. Group pieces may not be repeated in subsequent years unless all of the primary authors are present and on a team with one another again.
  9. A team piece may be substituted for any or all of the members of a team in any bout. Provided all other rules regarding team pieces and repetition are followed, one team could use all pieces in one bout (or four in an elimination round).
F. Identification of Primary Author in Group Pieces
  1. In an effort to promote and encourage collaboration, teams using group pieces will no longer be required to declare at the start of the poem  which primary author’s slot the poem will go in. This does not change the standingrule that every poem needs a different declared primary author, only enables greater flexibility among teams that use group pieces. At the end of each bout all coaches or team leaders must meet with the bout manager to confer and identify that 4 slots were filled by 4 different primary authors for all team pieces performed in the bout.
  2. Should a team decide to declare a group piece's primary author at the start of the poem rather than declare it as a group piece, for reasons such as starting the poem with the appearance of an individual poem and "surprising" the audience by adding more poets throughout the piece, or otherwise, the primary author slot for that poem must be assigned to the originally announced poet.
G. Bout Rotations
  1. The following will be the bout order for poetry bouts consisting of 3, 4, and 5 teams with 4 rounds/poets per bout.  Bout order will be drawn several minutes prior to the start of the slam and requires a coach or team leader from each team to join the bout manager and /or emcee to complete and confirm a random drawing.
    • Three-Team Bout Order: ABC; BCA; CAB; ABC
    • Four-Team Bout Order: ABCD, CADB, DCBA, BDAC
    • Five-Team Bout Order: First rotation is random draw: ABCDE and subsequent rotations are from high to low scores from the previous rotation (not cumulative). Therefore if the scores from the first rotation are: A-25.7; B-23.9; C-26.2; D- 26.1; E-26.5, the order for the second rotation is ECDAB.  
  2. In the event of a serious technical/audio  disruption, fire alarm or any extended interruption of the bout, the emcee will  introduce another sacrificial poet in order to recalibrate the bout prior to formally getting on to the next poet in the bout. 
H. Judging
  1. It is expected prior to the start of a bout, the bout manager or emcee will orchestrate a formal "look see" with the selected judges, coaches, and all the competitive team members. This may be done either by having all judges come on stage or bringing all judges and teams into the hallway or corner of the room. All coaches and competitive team members must agree on the selected judges prior to the start of the slam.
  2. All efforts shall be made to select five judges who will be fair. However, should it be impossible to select five impartial judges after following the Protocol for Judge Selection, either by lack of persons or disagreements from the teams during the "look see," three judges may be used rather than five. In this case no scores shall be dropped and these three judges make up the score out of thirty points. This should be the absolute last resort after all of the Protocol for Judge Selection has been followed.
  3. Upon confirmation, the judges will: (i) be given a set of printed instructions on how to judge a poetry slam, (ii) have a private, verbal crash course by the emcee or house manager on the do's and don'ts of poetry slam judging (where they can ask questions), and iii. hear the standardized Official Emcee Spiel (rewritten and tweaked periodically) which, among other things, will apprise the audience of their own responsibilities as well as remind the judges of theirs.
  4. Having heard, read, or otherwise experienced these three sets of instructions; a judge cannot be challenged over a score. Complaints, problems, and/or disagreements regarding the impartiality of the judges should be brought privately to the attention of the emcee or house manager BEFORE the bout begins. The "look see" qualifies as before the bout begins. Having heard and understood the complaint, the house manager or emcee will then make a decision (also privately) that cannot be further challenged.
I. Protocol for Judge Selection
  1. The following protocol shall be used in order to select judges that attempts to be as diverse in race, gender, sexuality, and other identities as possible:

    1st–Start with selecting from random audience members in the room or surrounding area. Note: Pre-selected volunteer judges may be utilized pending they have no prior affiliation with poets/performers in that particular bout.  

    2nd–Go to host college event staff and/or ACUI organizers not associated with any specific team or engaged in this bout.

    3rd–Go to participating volunteer staff members for this bout (suggested in the following order: timekeeper, scorekeeper, available sound tech, or available “runners”).

    4th–Go to registered non-competitive poets who came with a team not involved with this bout, but not an active participant for any time.

    5th–If necessary use the bout manager

    6th–Only as an ABSOLUTE last resort (and with the approval of coaches and team members) should you seek out actual participants of another team. You must ensure that these selected judges are not scheduled to compete against another team in that bout. 

  2. If sufficient judges cannot be found 15 minutes after the scheduled start, a runner must be sent to other rooms in attempt to find judges. A runner may be someone affiliated with the bout oversight who knows about judge selection. For example, it can be the host or time keeper, but not the bout manager.
  3. Bouts must begin no later than 30 minutes of the scheduled start time.  Therefore near the 20-25 minute mark, the bout managers must resort to exercising even the least preferred options above.
J. Scoring
  1. The judges will give each poem a score from 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest or "perfect" score.
  2. They will be encouraged to use one decimal place to preclude the likelihood of a tie.
  3. Each poem will get five scores unless only three judges could be selected as described under the Judging section.
  4. The high and the low scores will be dropped and the remaining three scores will be added together.
  5. Team scores will be announced during the bout.
K. In Case of a Tie in a Bout
  1. All ties for all ranks in all preliminary bouts shall be resolved through a tie-breaking round between the tied teams. Only ties for first will be broken in semi-finals and finals.
  2. The rule permitting up to five competing poets per team extends to the tie-breaking round. This round is the only instance when a poet may have a second primary authorship slot within a single bout (i.e. a regular bout slot and tie-breaking slot).
  3. In the case of tie between teams for advancement from preliminaries to semifinals, the point differential system will be used to break said ties. The point differential system measures how close a team came to winning their bout. If two teams are tied with a "4" ranking, for instance (one team finished in second in both prelims, the other finished in first and third place in their bouts), then the tie would be broken be tabulating how far from victory they were: Team A finished in second place in both bouts. The lost bout one by -.6 points and bout two by -1.9 points. Their total point differential is a -2.5. Team B finished in first place in bout one, and third in bout 2. Their differential for bout one is ZERO, their differential for bout three is a -2.2 points. Their total point differential is a -2.2.In this scenario Team B would advance. It rewards teams for winning one or the other bout, and also keeps consistency between bouts by asking teams to compete against their own judges, and no others.
L. Breaking Ties in a Bout
If, at the conclusion of all rotations in a bout a tie exists for first place, each team tied for first place shall be required to send one more poem to the stage. It may be performed by any poet or poets on the teams who are tied. Teams in the tie breaker will draw for order. Judges will listen to all poems in the tie breaker rotation and at the conclusion of all poems, will score the poems as they have through the entire bout. Time penalties and other penalties will be used, if needed, to determine a final score.

If there is still a tie after the scores are tallied, the judges will be asked to vote for the poem they liked the best based on the order of the bout. For example, if a judge preferred the first poem, they would vote 1, second poem they vote 2, etc.

In the case of a tie between more than two teams, if there is still a tie for first after the tie breaker, the teams that are not tied for first after the tie breaker votes are tallied are dropped from the voting, and the judges will be asked to vote again only considering the remaining teams. This is repeated until a winner can be declared.

For example:
  1.  
    Team A

    Team B

    Team C Judge Preference
    X Judge 1
    X Judge 2
    X Judge 3
    X Judge 4
    X Judge 5
    2 2 1
  2. Eliminate Team C from consideration, because it is really between A & B at this point. Vote again       
  3.  
    Team A Team B Judge Preference
    X Judge 1
    X Judge 2
    X Judge 3
    X Judge 4
    X Judge 5
    2 3 *Team B wins
M. Getting to Semi-Finals and Finals

  1. If you place # 1 in both of your preliminary round bouts you earn a “2” (1+1). If you place #1 in your first bout and #4 in your last bout you earn a “5” (1+4). Rank order will determine the top teams who will win berths to the semi-final round bouts.
  2. Ties will be broken using the point differential system (see below).
  3. The number of teams to reach semi-finals will be proportional to the number of total teams registered. ACUI will alert all registered teams as to how many teams will reach semi-finals and what the process will be to reach the final four prior to the start of the tournament.
N. Breaking Ties in Rank Using the Point Differential System
  1. In the case of a tie between teams for advancement from preliminaries to semi-finals, the point differential system will be used to break said ties. The point differential system measures how close a team came to winning their bout.

    If two teams are tied with a "4" ranking, for instance (one team finished in second in both prelims, the other finished in first and third place in their bouts), then the tie would be broken be tabulating how far from victory they were: Team A finished in second place in both bouts. They lost bout one by -.6 points and bout two by -1.9 points. Their total point differential is a -2.5. Team B finished in first place in bout one, and third in bout 2. Their differential for bout one is ZERO, their differential for bout three is a -2.2 points. Their total point differential is a -2.2. In this scenario Team B would advance.

    It rewards teams for winning one or the other bout, and also keeps consistency between bouts by asking teams to compete against their own judges, and no others.
O. Pick-Up Team
  1. To avoid mixing 3 & 4 team bout, CUPSI returns to its tradition of using pick-up teams or “alternators” to balance preliminary bouts as necessary.  If the number of registered teams do not equate in the coordination of either an all three team or an all four team bout system during preliminaries, pick-up teams may be used to balance preliminary bouts.  Under such conditions an announcement will be made prior to the start of the preliminaries requesting volunteers from a pool of registered non-competitive poets (RNCP)  or the 5th poets from available teams.  Pick-up Poets (PUP’s) will be randomly assigned to these teams by the tournament host director in consultation with ACUI.  While these poets are not fully vetted (enrollment eligibility/registrars authorization) they would be required to meet with the ACUI poetry slam director to review & sign the Code of Conduct.
  2. Pick-up teams will be comprised of four PUPS from four different institutions
  3. Should a team release a 5th poet to a pick up team, the poet cannot return to their institution and compete later in the tournament.
  4. PUPS will be scored like any other team and the audience should be made aware of their participation in the bout at the start.
  5. Pick-up teams will not progress beyond preliminaries but their scores will count and they will be ranked through preliminaries.
P. Protests

  1. A special committee made up of CUPSI host site members and ACUI officials will hear appeals for all protests.
  2. Prior to the start of all bouts, a standardized protest document will be provided to all of the team’s coaches in the designated bout.
  3. The committee will review the protest and available evidence and hear testimonials from the teams directly involved and interview the available bout staff before rendering a decision.
  4. All committee decisions are final and adjustments to scores and rankings will be made and announced as necessary.
  5. Protests related to the finals night bout must be filed   via text (with the information below) and sent to the emcee or designated ACUI official(s) no more than 2 minutes at the conclusion of the last poet’s performance. In respect to the waiting audience, the committee will swiftly but earnestly review the protest and available evidence and hear testimonials from the teams directly involved and interview the available bout staff before rendering a decision. 

    Protest Text Format"This text signifies that I, [name] of team [insert team], am submitting an official protest due to [grievance]. 

  6. At any time during finals if a team wishes to file a protest, they will contact an ACUI staff member or bout manager, communicating (in-person) their intention to initiate a protest. The ACUI staff member or bout manager will write down the team name and the time of protest, which will serve as evidence of when the initial contact was made. The standardized protest document should be completed and submitted 5 minutes or less after the last poem to the ACUI staff member or bout manager.

Travel

Teams are responsible for transportation and lodging fees. These are not included in the registration fee.  ACUI suggests that you reserve your lodging ahead of time and do your research and budgeting accordingly as pricing in Philadelphia may be higher than usual past locations. 

Lodging Options

See below for suggested hotels. Both are located in Center City and have subway stops nearby. Temple University's subway station is located 4–5 stops from each hotel. There is also a SEPTA bus line that goes directly between both as well.  

Doubletree City Center Philadelphia 
237 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 

Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown 
21 N Juniper St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

 


Transportation  

CUPSI attendees will have several options to travel to campus by air, long distance bus and train, or by using local public transportation.  

Temple University is easily accessible by several modes of transportation: Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) – 12.4 miles; Amtrak 30th Street Station (PHL) – 4.3 miles; SEPTA & Regional Rail (Temple Station) – 4 blocks.

Airport 
There is one major airport that services Philadelphia. The Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) airports are accessible by local public transportation through the SEPTA with service between City Center and the airport. Private shuttles, taxis, or ride shares can also be arranged to and from airports and campus. 

Ride Sharing Services 
Uber and Lyft, two popular ride sharing services, are easily accessible on all parts of Temple University’s campus. 


Registration

Registration Details

A team may consist of four or five poets and one coach. The team registration must be completed before individuals on the team can register. For 2018, the event will be capped at 72 teams. 

An entire team can be registered at once, but you need the following information about each individual before registering them: Name, email address, T-shirt size, meal place choice (if desired), any dietary/accessibility needs.

Make sure that all accounts for team members (including new ones) are affiliated with an institution. If you are unsure if you or they have an affiliated institution, please contact the ACUI Central Office at 812.245.2284. 

Registering after the regular deadline does not guarantee a T-shirt. 

Noncompeting Students  
Institutions may register noncompeting participants to attend. A registration fee of $60 (or $78 for nonmembers) will allow noncompeting students to attend workshops, semifinals, finals, and receptions. Please have the following information ready when registering the students: T-shirt size, dietary needs, accessibility information. 
Meal Plan 
Participants interested in a meal plan can purchase one through online registration. This plan is a $50 meal card that can be used at any eatery at the Student Center at Temple University. Meal plans are nonrefundable and must be used during the duration of your time at CUPSI. 
Eligibility Information 
Competing students will need to fill out two eligibility forms, and noncompeting students also need to fill out one form. These forms may be accessed from the Eligibility & Student Conduct section of the website.