LEAF Poetry Slam

Each Festival, LEAF hosts a dynamic array of incredibly talented adult and youth poets to share their creative talents in a series of slams. Check out all of the current and past winners below!


LEAF Southern Fried Poetry Slam – Fall ’16

1st Place Poetry Slam:  Ed Mabrey 

2nd Place: Ashley Haze

Surprise Proposal!

 Slam Poetry  

By: Slammaster James Nave’


Entry Fee

You must buy in advance a Saturday LEAF Festival pass (approx $55- check TICKET PAGE) which includes: 1) Entrance to LEAF Poetry Slam; 2) Admission to all LEAF Festival events. Buy your Saturday Ticket (which is also your LEAF Slam pass) online HERE or call 828. 68-MUSIC [686-8742]. NOTE: Passes are sold only in advance.

Sign-Up Location & Schedule

Eden Cabaret Hall (See festival map upon arrival & double check stage schedule)

1-1:45 p.m. Signup at Eden Cabaret Hall Porch on the south side of the building facing the tennis courts.

2:00-4:00 p.m. Qualifying Round Eden Cabaret Hall main stage.
                              ***Top 12 scoring poets advance to evening show***

8:00-11:00 p.m. Slam Finals Eden Cabaret Hall main stage:
                                NOTE: Slam starts at 8:30 p.m. Your call time is 8:00 pm, Eden Hall Cabaret.

  1. 1st Place: $1000.00 plus LEAF Weekend Performer Pass (Friday-Sunday) includes food, guest not included ($250.00 Value). Redeem for one festival only, good for three years.
  2. 2nd place: $125.00 plus LEAF Weekend Performer Pass (Friday-Sunday) includes food, guest not included, $250.00 Value. Redeem for one festival only, good for three years.
  3. 3rd place: $100.00 plus LEAF Weekend Performer Pass (Friday-Sunday) includes food, guest not included ($250.00 Value). Redeem for one festival only, good for three years.
  4. 4th-8th place: LEAF Saturday Pass (Saturday 9am-2am) does not include food or guest, approx $60.00 value. Redeem for one festival only, good for three years.
  5. 2nd-8th place, SPECIAL LEAF TRADITION: Before the 4th Round we pass the hat. Our average take is $550 in 10 minutes. Think church collection. We split this evenly between 2nd-8th place.  $78.57 per poet on average, sometimes it’s less; sometimes it’s more.

Poetry Slam Rules

1) Time Limit: 3 minutes 20 Seconds. Half point (.05) time penalty for every 10 seconds over; 2) No Props; 3) Must be your original work; 4) Check your ego at the door.

Afternoon Qualifying Poetry Slam Round   
All poets compete. Top 12 scoring afternoon poets advance to the evening finals.

Evening Final Poetry Slam Rounds 
Cumulative Scores

  1. Round One: 12 poets drop to 6 poets
  2. Round Two: 6 poets drop to 4 poets
  3. Round Three: (Improvisational) 4 poets, nobody dropped in this round.
  4. Round Four: 4 poets drop to 3 poets. Cumulative Scoring over. Drop Cumulative Scores; go to sudden death
  5. Round Five: 3 poets drop 2 poets: Top scoring poet wins $1000.
  6. Round Six: Only in case of a tie.

LEAF Teen Poetry Slam 

1st Place Youth Poetry Slam:  Vee 


The Voice of the Next Generation

LEAF Youth Slam is hosted by young vibrant Poets,  is a show of sound and fury, and laughs, and silence… The Youth have plenty to say about a lot of things, including where we think we’re headed as a community! Come out to Roots Family Stage Saturday late afternoon, and hear a piece of fortune or participate as a random audience judge! ANY KID MAY ENTER– Check schedule & sign up just before SLAM at the Roots Family Stage.

“Share your gift, share your story, share your journey ~ LEAF welcomes the next generations of youth visionaries to  share their voice with the world.” ~ Ehren Cruz, LEAF Performing Arts Director


Slam Master Nave’

Slammaster James Nave' 
LEAF Festival’s very own Slam Master makes the LEAF Southern Fried Poetry Slam one of the best, globally. 
James Nave’ brings more than twenty years of experience to the craft of presenting poetry on stage. He is one of the cofounders of Poetry Alive! and has been active of the Poetry Slam community since 1991. In addition, he has memorized over 600 poems and performed thousands of shows in the U.S. and abroad. With Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, James has co-produced and co-taught the Artist’s Way Creativity Camps. He currently leads The Imaginative Storm Creativity Retreats with fellow writer, Allegra Huston. Nave’ holds his MFA in poetry from Vermont College. He splits his time between NYC, Asheville and Taos.