Q1: Is this a Poetry Slam?
A: No. Austin’s Poetry Slam occurs every Wednesday night at Red’s Scoot Inn. The Neo-Soul Poetry Show happens Every Thursday Night (They slam once a month) ~9pm at Club Illusion in North Austin. Poets performing at Ruta Maya are not publicly judged by audience members. Poets of all styles are welcomed for sharing their voice; slammers, performance spoken word, literary spoken word, and of course newcomers are all equally encouraged to come out and join us.
If you’ve never been to a slam before, you should really check out Austin’s slam at Ego’s on Wednesdays. We have one of the best in the country! At the National Poetry Slam of 2006, the team representing Neo-Soul came in 2nd place in the NATION!!!!! Definitely check out both slams here in Austin if you have the opportunity! We have and do perform at the Slam when schedules allow.
Q2: Is there censorship?
A: “No. No man. Hell No! I believe you’d get your ass kicked for saying something like that!” Poets can express any viewpoint, with any desired colourful language they so desire. Parents of small children beware. Fundamentalists beware.
Q3: Why is there a separation between 6-7pm and 7-9pm?
A: Different poets prefer different formats. The 6-7pm open mic tends to allow poetic dialogue/conversation from one poet to another (and another and so on) with spur of the moment decisions. This can be a daunting challenge for young/inexperienced poets. The list-based open mic allows poets to form a personal ‘mini-set’ of poems to express their muse. Also, the list allows for timid/shy/unsure young/inexperienced poets to be introduced to the audience with their ‘full’ attention to see what this whole spoken word poetry thing is all about
Q4: Is the open mic associated with the Poetry Kareoke at Ruta Maya on Tuesdays at 8pm?
A: No. Other than proximity and night, the two events are completely different and ran by separate groups. Poets will often perform during both shows.
Q5: Can I play music at this open mic?
A: No. There is a musicians open mic at Ruta Maya every Tuesday at 9pm (directly following the poetry open mic). Plus, this is Austin, if you’re a musician you have many outlets to perform, please respect our art as we respect yours. That being said, poets who have musical elements/singing are always welcomed. If you’re a poet and you sing during your poems, that is very different from a singer/musician performing a song. We accept all kinds of performance spoken word, including elements of singing. A simple rule of thumb would be do you consider the piece you are performing a song or a poem/spoken word piece? Rap/Hip Hop is welcome without music.