5 Tips for Slam Poets from MC Foley

One of my favorite people, author, blogger, and slam poet MC Foley, provided an interview for me about a year ago, and I wanted to re-share some of the content because it was so helpful. The following are her five tips on how to succeed as a slam poet:
MC Foley (Photo courtesy of MC's fitness blog: Alky to Athlete,)
  1. Don’t mimic people, find your own style. I saw quite a bit of mimicry in that world and it infuriated me. For example, there is a phenomenal poet named Taalam Acey from NYC, who I never thought got the proper credit for his brand and style. I began seeing other poets biting his style and it killed me not just because it felt so artificial, but because these poets would get high scores and claps and credit for something they did NOT invent. To me that’s as shitty as plagiarism and I wanted to slap the shit out of those people.
  2. Write a lot – you’re going to need several pieces to carry you through.
  3. Please don’t just be that angry poet. Unless it’s 100% who you really are. I used to judge a lot of competitions and you’d get poets up there who’d be angry in every single one of their pieces. Even if the piece was about peanuts or teddy bears. I’d sit there and think “why the F are you always yelling??”
  4. To break in, be like Nike. Just do it.
  5. I remember when I was in Denmark, for some reason my brand of poetry wasn’t flying. I scored pretty low all the time and it made me question my writing and performance. Then we get to London and I KILLED IT. Different audiences take to different things. It’s pretty fascinating, actually.  
If you'd like to read more about MC, check out her fitness blog, Alky to Athlete. It's a great read!