Library Programs
Bards & Brews
Beer Tasting and Spoken Word Poetry Open Mics and Slams
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Bards & Brews is a spoken word poetry performance/beer tasting event hosted by the Birmingham Public Library usually held on the first Friday of each month except December. Slams are held quarterly in January, April, July, and October; the other sessions are open mic. You must be 18 or over to attend, and 21 or over to drink. Bring your ID. Come early, as these events are well attended.  


You must be 18 to attend, 21 to drink. Bring your ID.
Sign-up to participate in the slam or open mic 6:30-7:00 p.m.
Live music 6:30 p.m.- 7:00 p.m.
Poetry begins at 7:00 p.m.
Each slam event awards a $200 prize to the winner and a $100 prize to the runner up.
Southern Fried Slam rules are observed for the poetry slams. 

For more information call 205-226-3670 or email the staff.

Slams: Southern Fried Slam Rules

  • Each poem must be of the poet's own construction.
  • Each poet gets three minutes (plus a ten-second grace period) to perform 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.
  • The poet may sing, dance or gesture in order to generate the response that (s)he wishes to have.
  • There must be five judges that are able to stay for the duration of the event.
  • The judges must try to not be swayed by the audience's opinion or reaction.
  • Judges must not be seated next to other judges.
  • Judging criteria is dependent upon the feelings and reactions of each judge individually in response to the poets' performance, relevance and passion.
  • Scores are given on the scale of 0-10.
  • Of the scores the poets receive 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.
  • The slam will consist of three rounds and a final round with only the last two poets.
  • In the event of a tie, there will be a slam off. The slam off shall be at least one additional round of poetry from each of the finalists. The poetry form, length, and subject matter will be determined by the Slam Master (Director).  

Open Mic Nights

An open mic is a live show where audience members may perform at the microphone. An emcee will deftly guide both novice and veteran poets through an evening of verse with topics that run the gamut from romantic relationships to the local political scene.

Page Last Modified: 1/12/2022 2:18 PM