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Secret Santa Slam & Head-To-Head Haiku (photo of ornament with snow flake)

Secret Santa Slam & Holiday Head-To-Head Haiku

December 10, 3P

Dottie's, 444 North Street, Pittsfield
Hosted by Melissa Quirk Cairns

Secret Santa Slam

8 poets / 2 rounds - Sign up to enter the lottery for a spot. The Secret Santa part: competing poets are asked to bring an inexpensive, secret santa gift (wrapped). 8 poets, 8 gifts. Winner picks first, runner up picks second, and so on.

Head-To-Head Haiku

8 Haikusters. Paired up in the first round. 4 move on. 2 move on. See details below. Sign up (first come basis) for one of the 8 spots.

Note: There is no required theme re poetic content to either of the above. We're just wrapping the whole thing up in some holiday spirit.

About Head-To-Head Haiku

Head-To-Head Haiku is a fun, good humored, twist on the Poetry Slam format. In H-T-H, poets come armed with a collection of Haikus – poems having 17 syllables, no titles, no props – and are matched up in pairs for friendly, head-to-head competition. Strategy, delivery, quick wits as well as clever writing all come into play.

How H-T-H Works

  • Poets – aka Haikusters – come armed with at least 25 Haikus. It is advisable to have 2 - 3 times that many, organized in such a fashion that you can find just the right poem, at just the right time in the competition.
  • In this case, Haiku is defined simply as a poem having a maximum of 17 syllables. No titles, no props and new explanatory introduction or comments.
  • 3 judges selected from the audience, are equipped with red and non-red flags.
  • Haikusters are matched up in pairs for head-to-head competition. Unlike a conventional slam, in H-T-H you have a direct competitor in every round. With multiple haikus per round, on-the-fly strategy, paring and counter paring and thinking on your feet all come into play!

Structure of the Head-To-Head

First Round

  • Matched up by luck of the draw, each pair enters a head-to-head, best 3 out of 5 match. One poet is designated as “red” and one as “non-red.”
  • Each poet reads one poem and – after a momentary pause for contemplation – the judges raise either a red or non-red flag to indicate their vote. The “Gyoji” (aka slam master or host) issues a point to the winner of the round. Then each poet reads their second poem. Judges vote, point is awarded. The back and forth continues - alternating as to which poet goes first - until one poet has won 3 points and a match winner is declared.
  • The winners of Round 1 pairings move on to next round.
  • Repeat for all 4 first round matches.

Second Round

  • The winners of the first round pairings are paired up by luck of the draw for Round 2.
    Second round proceeds as the first with the exception that it is “best 4 out of 7.” First poet to 4 wins.
  • Second round results in two finalists.

Third/Final Round

  • Final round is 7 out of 13. First poet to 7 wins!

Rules and structure are subject to change. The Gyoji is the arbiter of all disputes and their decision is final. The Head-To-Head Haiku is intended to be fun, friendly competition - we don't take ourselves too seriously.