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Nitty Gritty News

Olivia McKee

Nitty Gritty Slam — Open Mic Night, October 4

- Dan Wilcox finally made it back to the twice-monthly Nitty Gritty Slam poetry nights at The Low Beat this past Tuesday for open mic night.
Nitty Gritty Slam 104

Nitty Gritty Slam 104 Featuring D. Colin

- Nitty Gritty Slam returns to The Low Beat on Tuesday, October 20 with NGS 104 - another great night of poetry and spoken featuring D. Colin.

Nitty Gritty Slam 103 Featuring Truth InRhyme and Zo Verbal

- Tuesday will be a night that goes down in NGS history as we say goodbye to Thom Francis and welcome our new co-SlamMasters Jayton & Amani.


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Latest Results

Olivia McKee

Nitty Gritty Slam — Open Mic Night, October 4

- Dan Wilcox finally made it back to the twice-monthly Nitty Gritty Slam poetry nights at The Low Beat this past Tuesday for open mic night.

Nitty Gritty Slam #105, November 3

- Dan WIlcox made it to Nitty Gritty Slam at The Low Beat for the first time this season and not only competed in the slam, but came in 2nd.
NGS 100 - Night of Champions

Nitty Gritty Slam #100, August 18

- Nitty Gritty Slam is 100! Albany’s longest running slam. Tonight was the Night of Champions, pitting all of the year's winners against each other.


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Season Five Schedule

9/1/2015 – NGS #101 – Open Slam 1.1
9/15/2015 – NGS #102 – Open Slam 1.2

9/29/2015 – NGS #103 – *Special Night* Open Slam 1.3 ft Zo Verbal & Truth InRhyme
10/20/2015 – NGS #104 – Open Slam 1.4 ft D. Colin

11/3/2015 – NGS #105 – Open Slam 1.5 ft TBA
11/17/2015 – NGS #106 – Semi Final 1

12/1/2015 – NGS #107 – Open Slam 2.1 ft TBA
12/15/2015 – NGS #108 – Dead Poet Slam

1/5/2016 – NGS #109 – Open Slam 2.2 ft TBA
1/19/2016 – NGS #110 – Bad Lyric Night

2/2/2016 – NGS #111 – Open Slam 2.3 ft TBA
2/16/2016 – NGS #112 – Open Slam 2.4

3/1/2016 – NGS #113 – Open Slam 2.5 ft TBA
3/15/2016 – NGS #114 – Open Slam 2.6

4/5/2016 – NGS #115 – Semi Final 2 ft TBA
4/19/2016 – NGS #116 – Word Fest Haiku Battle

5/3/2016 – NGS #117 – Wild Card Slam ft TBA
5/17/2016 – NGS #118 – Grand Slam

6/7/2016 – NGS #119 – Old School Slam ft TBA
6/21/2016 – NGS #120 – Old School Slam

7/5/2016 – NGS #121 – Old School Slam ft TBA
7/19/2016 – NGS #122 – Old School Slam

8/2/2016 – NGS #123 – Old School Slam ft TBA
8/16/2016 – NGS #124- Season Five Night of Champions

  • Open Slams are our traditional “8-4-2″ slams that are open to all poets who wish to sign up. Three rounds with 8 poets in the first round, top four scores in the second round, aand top two moving on the round three. The winners get cash prizes and points which go towards the Semi Finals.
  • The point system works like this: 1st place = 5pts, 2nd = 4pts, 3rd = 3pts, 4 = 2pts, 5-8 (all poets that do not advance to Round Two) = 1pt.
  • Semi Finals will take the top 8 point leaders from the previous Open Slams to compete.
  • Wild Card is the last chance for people to into the Grand Slam.
  • Grand Slam will take the top three poets from the two semi finals and top two poets from the Wild Card slam with the top four becoming the team.
  • WOWps Prelims are to find who will represent NGS at the Women of the World Poetry Slam. These slams will follow a special timing / round format that the WOWps uses.
  • Dead Poet Slam is a rare chance to perform someone else’s poetry…as long as the poet is dead, of course.
  • WOWps Final will take the top two poets from the three prelims to find the one poet to represent NGS at WOWps in March 2013.
  • Night of Champions will be all of the 1st place winners from all of the slams for the season in one battle to be the Season Champ.
  • Old School Slams are “8-4-2″ slams where the winner does get cash prizes, but the points are not counted towards the tournaments or team selection process.
  • Poets who will be representing Nitty Gritty Slam at the WOWps and NPS (and other national slam events) will be responsible for some of or all funding of the trip. NGS, Albany Poets, UGT, and Frequency North will contribute to the expense, but cannot guarantee total funding.


Though rules vary from slam to slam, the basic rules, according to PSi, are:

  • Each poem must be of the poet’s own construction;
  • Each poet gets three minutes (plus a ten-second grace period) to read one poem. If the poet goes over time, points will be deducted from the total score.
  • The poet may not use props, costumes or musical instruments;
  • Of the scores the poet received from the five judges, the high and low scores are dropped and the middle three are added together, giving the poet a total score of 0-30.”


  • This is a three-round, “8-4-2” slam.
  • 1st Round – Eight performers, the four top-scoring performers will advance into the 2nd round and the four lowest scoring performers will be eliminated.
  • 2nd Round – Four performers, the two performers with the highest combined score from the 1st and 2nd rounds will advance into the final round. The performer with the third highest combined score will take third place and be eliminated from the final round along with the fourth place performer.
  • Final Round – Two performers, scores are reset to zero so this one poem is for all the fame and glory. There will be three winners, First, Second and Third Place.
  • There is a no repeat rule in effect for the slam competition. This means you cannot repeat a piece in a single nights event.

Albany Poets, Urban Guerilla Theatre, and The Frequency North Reading Series have brought slam back to Albany with the Nitty Gritty Slam at The Low Beat (335 Central Ave.) on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday’s of each month.