From the Director

Dear friends of the Boston and National Poetry Slam communities:

As you are no doubt aware, it has been an extreme and trying week for all of us here in the greater Boston area. Although I am relieved to say that our immediate community remains unbroken, the bombings at the Boston Marathon have left all of us shaken, unnerved, and struggling to regain our sense of security here in the city. Although we frequently talk about how best to make our slam space safe from negative speech, it is rare that we are given cause to worry for our physical safety. We are grateful to have survived this tragedy, and to be given the opportunity for perspective and growth as we move to return to our daily lives.

I am also very grateful to have this platform from which to thank everyone who reached out to support your fellow poetry community here in Boston. I know that we are experiencing only a fraction of the compassion and good wishes that have been directed the city’s way, and the kindness of our slam family has been tremendous. Thank you so much for your emails, texts, calls, Facebook posts, tweets, and positive energy.

Many folks have contacted to ask us how they can help the survivors and their families. As in any managed disaster, the most flexible and efficient donation you can give is cash: we recommend donations to The One Fund, a non-profit founded by the Massachusetts governor and Boston mayor specifically to reach those affected by the bombing. The Huffington Post has also gathered a selection of ways to donate directly to some of the families who have experienced loss. In addition, you can donate blood on a local level any time to help the many people who are in need each day; even if you are deferred from donation, you can consider hosting a blood drive for others to donate.

Some folks have also asked how they can help our poetry community during this difficult time. We deeply appreciate your continued support and good wishes, and ask only that you keep us in your hearts when spreading positive thoughts about the upcoming National Poetry Slam in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville.

Which leads us to the next concern to address: yes, the show will go on in Boston this August! After Governor Patrick’s assertion that “Next year’s Marathon will be even bigger and better,” we are confident that the city will support our efforts to bring the National Poetry Slam back to Boston. As a long-time arts organizer and working artist, I strongly believe in art’s ability to heal, not only with stories of survival and empathy, but also through continuing to create and share —and, yes, entertain —even in difficult times.

Our entire community offers our thanks to you for helping us heal, move forward, and continue to make art. I look forward to welcoming each and every one of you at the 2013 National Poetry Slam this summer.

Simone Beaubien
Host City Director, 2013 National Poetry Slam
SlamMaster, Boston Poetry Slam

Welcome to the NPS 2013 Blog

Happy February, National Poetry Slam fans!

As the Director of the 2013 National Poetry Slam Host City Committee, I am really excited to be welcoming the National Poetry Slam back home to the Boston area. As previous visitors to NPS already know, it’s pretty rare for the “super bowl of poetry” to land in the same city twice in three years. But if you were one of the 8,000-plus spectators at the 90-plus shows at NPS 2011, then bringing this five-day extravaganza of competitions, showcases, workshops and featured events back to this poetry-minded, art-loving, highly tourable city seems only natural. I am looking forward to bringing an even bigger and better festival to our audience this year.

I am especially proud to announce that all of our top local staff from the successful 2011 event have decided to continue working together for 2013. You can check out this mighty veteran team by clicking on the Contact Us link above. If you’ve got skills or resources to offer, I encourage you to reach out to the department that appeals to you most. If you just know you want to be involved, but don’t yet know how, go ahead and put your name and email in the boxes on the right of this page! That’s our volunteer form, and it leads straight to our two-time Volunteer Coordinator, Megan Thoma.

It’s also great to welcome a few new faces to the crowd. I hope we’ll get to profile everyone here on this blog, but for now, I’d like to introduce you to the person who is about to become the voice of these updates: Cassandra de Alba, who’ll be filling the brand-new position of Social Media Lead. In addition to blogging here, Cassandra will be helping to manage our Facebook page and Twitter account (that’s #nps2013, by the way), as well as continuing the bang-up job she’s doing over at tumblr. Welcome aboard, Cassandra!

I hope you folks reading will bookmark this blog and check back every week or so for informational updates. News happens very fast around here, and in just the next four weeks I’m looking forward to announcing our August dates, releasing our press kit and nailing down some fabulous venues for you folks to keep your eyes on. Cassandra will keep you all in the loop, plus help guide you on how to volunteer, attend, and enjoy NPS 2013 in just a few short months.

Looking forward to seeing everyone here! Now: back to work…

Get ready for the 2013 National Poetry Slam!

The Boston Poetry Slam is pleased to announce the return of the National Poetry Slam to greater Boston! After the unprecedented success of the locally-hosted 2011 National Poetry Slam, our all-star organizational team will bring the week-long event back to the area in August of 2013.

Want to get involved? Our non-profit organization is actively seeking:

  • Performance venues for our competitions, open mics, and workshops
  • Sponsors to provide in-kind or financial assistance
  • Volunteers to assist with design work, promotion, and development

Details on the festival are available via the menu links above, including a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the National Poetry Slam here in Beantown. See you soon!