Miranda Merryweather, retired competitive super-poet, speaks to a group of students at one of her exclusive bootcamps. She paces back and forth as she speaks.
Miranda: Here is my advice for competitions…
-Make sure your pen has enough ink.
-Be conscious of the how much time is left on the clock.
-If you see that your opponent seems to have a good idea, just start tapping your feet to be mildly distracting.
-Do not write about shrubbery. The judges hate it.
-Do not write about love. The judges hate it.
-Do not write about judges, especially poetry judges. It makes the judges feel self conscious.
-Write from the heart … only if you have a good heart. If you’re a nasty person, just write something that sounds pleasant.
-Do not bother using steroids or any kind of performance enhancing drug. Yes they do work and yes all the pros use them, but drug testing has gotten very sophisticated in recent years, so don’t risk your career.
-If your opponent fouls you (physically or verbally), you will be awarded with 5 minutes penalty time. Make it count and be sure to write really great things during this time.
-Do not dispute any calls with the ref. If the ref makes a bad call, let your coach dispute the call Focus on the poem!