“You rat bastard, you’re ruining it for everyone!” The audience chanted during a slam performance held at the Crux.

A range of high emotions, raw talent and the smell of fresh brewing coffee infuse the meet-ups put on by Big Tree Arts.

They also involve lots of loud boisterous audience participation, swearing and humor often tinged with bitterness.

Ten poets are judged on their performance and the content by members of the audience. After a feature poet and a break, the five poets with the top scores present a poem. The top three poets get a small prize, and an optional sense of accomplishment.

Although slams usually draw no more than thirty people, the stage draws some hefty talent, and it’s fairly easy to get some spotlight for yourself if you bring two poems, keep it under three minutes and sign up before the slam.

Slam poetry happens on the first Wednesday of the month at The Crux at 7 p.m.

The Crux also offers a workshop for more serious poets who maybe want some more guidance with their poem or performance; workshops start at 6 p.m.