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National Poetry Slam Reveals Six ‘Must-See’ Matches

Week-long celebration of poetry kicks off in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville August 13

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Boston, Mass. Aug. 8, 2013 — The National Poetry Slam kicks off in Boston next week, Aug. 13-17, and at the heart of the week-long festival are the first three nights of preliminary competition. Over these three nights, all 72 teams will get a chance to prove they’ve got the stanzas to be the champions. Each team will compete in two separate, four-team bouts, with the highest scorers advancing to semi-finals on Friday, Aug. 16.

With poets coming from around the country and record crowds expected, all of the matches promise to be unique and exciting. Slam fans will get to hear a variety of teams with voices unique to other regions, and discover new rising stars that might otherwise never venture to New England. There are seven venues to choose from over three nights, with ambiance ranging from polished theater and lecture spaces to slam’s traditional home, the down-and-dirty dive bar.

It’s hard to go wrong during these nights, but for those intimidated by the schedule, the staff at the National Poetry Slam has identified six key preliminary matches that are shaping up to be electrifying. Here are the highlights:

1. Tuesday, August 13, 7 p.m. at Lesley University’s Marran Theater, 34 Mellen St., Cambridge. Competing teams: Bay Area Unified (San Francisco, CA) vs. Slam Free or Die (Manchester, NH) vs. WU-Slam (St. Louis, MO) vs. Vancouver Poetry Slam (Vancouver, BC). If you’re looking for a taste of everything, this bout has it all. Bay Area Unified is an all-star team comprised of the best that all of the Bay’s slams have to offer. Vancouver has a reputation as one of the most off-beat teams in slam. The veteran youth poets from WU Slam have a knack for group work, and New Hampshire’s own Slam Free or Die is packed with local favorites.

2. Tuesday, August 13, 9 p.m. at Cambridge College, 1000 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge.Competing teams: Flagslam (Flagstaff, AZ) vs. Nuyorican (New York, NY) vs. Mill City Slam (Lowell, MA) vs. Toronto Poetry Slam (Toronto, OM). The Nuyorican is the winningest team in the history of slam, but can they prevail against a Lowell team full of hometown heroes? Or will the teams from far-off Arizona and Toronto blindside them both?

3. Wednesday, August 14, 7 p.m. at Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant and Music Club, 17 Holland St., Somerville. Competing teams: NYC louderARTS (New York, NY) vs. Art Amok! (Atlanta, GA) vs. Writing Wrongs (Columbus, OH) vs. Salt City Slam (Salt Lake City, UT). If you’re looking for top-notch writing, odds are you’ll find it here. New York’s louderARTS is known for its devastatingly crafted, heavy personal work, while Atlanta’s Art Amok! identifies as a populist, socially-engaged scene. Salt Lake City represents the combined might of two venues, and fans who saw NPS 2011 might remember Writing Wrongs, from Columbus, for its appearance on finals stage.

4. Wednesday, August 14, 9 p.m. at Lesley University’s Marran Theater, 34 Mellen St., Cambridge. Competing teams: SlamNuba (Denver, CO) vs. ABQ (Albuquerque, NM) vs PuroSlam (San Antonio, TX) vs. Battle Born (Las Vegas, NV). SlamNuba and ABQ both fared extremely well in their last trip to a Boston NPS in 2011: Albuquerque won Group Piece Finals, while the Denver team won the whole tournament. But don’t count out PuroSlam, one of the most historic slams in the country, and the surprisingly sincere Las Vegas underdogs from Battle Born.

5. Thursday, August 15, 7 p.m. at Davis Square Theatre, 255 Elm St., Somerville. Providence Poetry Slam (Providence, RI) vs. Soapboxing (St. Paul, MN) vs. HawaiiSlam (Honolulu, HI) vs. Elevated! (San Diego, CA). If you’re looking for regional diversity, this is the bout to catch, with teams that stretched across the country from the east coast (2011 finalists Providence) to the west (2013 West Coast Championship finalist Elevated!), to the even-further-west (Hawaii). Smack dab in the middle is perennial powerhouse Soapboxing, which won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.

6. Thursday, August 15, 9 p.m. at Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant and Music Club, 17 Holland St., Somerville. New Orleans Slam (New Orleans, LA), Slam New Orleans, aka SNO (Also New Orleans, LA), Portland Poetry Slam (Portland, OR), Steel City Slam (Pittsburgh, PA). Can reigning champion Slam New Orleans take out the cross-town rival that knows their work inside and out? They’ll both face some fierce competition from the hip kids from Portland and the punks from Pittsburgh.

Additional resources:
National Poetry Slam on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NationalPoetrySlam
National Poetry Slam tickets: http://nationalpoetryslam.com/tickets/
National Poetry Slam blog: http://nationalpoetryslam.com/blog/nps-2013-blog/

About the National Poetry Slam
The National Poetry Slam is the biggest team poetry slam in the world. Held every year since 1990, it is the definitive showcase for competitive performance poetry. Teams of the best poets from around the country come to compete for the national championship, during a week-long festival celebrating the dynamic oral tradition slam has fostered. Through several nights of competition, poets will perform either individually or in “group pieces” with their teammates, in the hopes of impressing judges randomly selected from the audience. This year a record number of teams is expected for the 24th annual National Poetry Slam in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, visit http://nationalpoetryslam.com. Follow NPS2013 on Twitter @nationalslam, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NationalPoetrySlam.


National Poetry Slam Teams With MassLEAP Collective to Offer Workshops for Young Poets

NPS Competitors to lead performance and writing sessions for teens

BOSTON, August 6, 2013 – When the National Poetry Slam (NPS) comes back to Massachusetts this month, it will encounter enthusiastic crowds in venues across Boston, Cambridge and Somerville. Among those audiences will be many teen poets, who are part of a rapidly expanding movement in the state. To showcase the talents of these young artists and foster the next generation of slam poets, NPS is partnering with the Mass Literary Education and Performance (LEAP) Collective and the city of Cambridge to offer writing and performance workshops and slam showcases for middle and high school students.

The free events, which are open to participants ages 19 and under, will run from Thursday, August 15 through Friday, August 16 at the Area IV Youth Center near Central Square. The sessions will be led by some of the nation’s most talented poets and performers, who beat out scores of other artists for the chance to compete on NPS stages.

“Anyone who’s seen youth poets knows that they’re not just the future, they’re very much the now of what’s happening,” said Alex Charalambides, executive director of MassLEAP Collective and co-coordinator of the Louder than a Bomb Youth Poetry Festival. “Spoken word and performance poetry illuminate an essential personal space for young people to re-shape their own narratives. More often than not, it’s the young people who teach us that slam is about more than competition.”

The NPS/MassLEAP workshops will include:

Thursday Afternoon Writing Workshops
1 p.m. – 3 p.m. on Thursday, August 15
Youth poets are invited to join two fabulous workshoppers in town for the National Poetry Slam for an afternoon writing event. Bring your favorite writing equipment. No experience required.
Choose session I led by Joanna Hoffman or session II led by Rachel Wiley.

Thursday Afternoon Showcase Slam
4 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 15
This will be a gala performance featuring up to a dozen poets from the National Poetry Slam. Come see some of the finest performers in the country slam off with their best radio-friendly work.
Hosted by Alex Charalambides and Cole Rodriguez.

Friday Afternoon Performance Workshops
1 p.m. -3 p.m. on Friday, August 16
Performers and teachers from all over the country are converging on NPS, and two of them will be available to offer performance tips and tricks. Bring a poem to perform, memorized if you can.
Choose session I led by John Survivor Blake or session II led by Theresa Davis.

Friday Afternoon Youth Slam
4 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Friday, August 16
This event is hosted by Alex Charalambides, director of Boston’s Louder Than a Bomb series. Spectators can expect explosive youth poetry. Sign-ups are open to the first youth poets to arrive.

Additional resources:
National Poetry Slam on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NationalPoetrySlam
National Poetry Slam tickets: http://nationalpoetryslam.com/tickets/
National Poetry Slam blog: http://nationalpoetryslam.com/blog/nps-2013-blog/

About the National Poetry Slam
The National Poetry Slam is the biggest team poetry slam in the world. Held every year since 1990, it is the definitive showcase for competitive performance poetry. Teams of the best poets from around the country come to compete for the national championship, during a week-long festival celebrating the dynamic oral tradition slam has fostered. Through several nights of competition, poets will perform either individually or in “group pieces” with their teammates, in the hopes of impressing judges randomly selected from the audience. This year a record number of teams is expected for the 24th annual National Poetry Slam in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, visit http://nationalpoetryslam.com. Follow NPS2013 on Twitter @nationalslam, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NationalPoetrySlam.


Poetry Slam 101: What to Know In Advance of the National Poetry Slam

BOSTON, July 30, 2013 — The National Poetry Slam is coming to Boston and Cambridge and Somerville Aug. 13-17, which means a lot of curious newcomers will be sidling up alongside longtime fans to check out the Olympics of Spoken Word. While slam is at its core a populist art form designed to be accessible to all comers, like any sport it has its own rules, lingo and quirks. Here’s a rundown of everything someone new to slam needs to know to watch NPS 2013 like a seasoned pro.

The Basics
Poetry slam is the art of competitive performance poetry. Poets come to the stage and have three minutes to read their own original work, using no props, costumes or musical accompaniment. A panel of five lucky audience members judge each poem on a scale from 0.0 to 10.0, amidst raucous choruses of cheers and boos from the crowd.

The National Poetry Slam is a team competition. Slams from around the country send up to five of their top-ranked slammers to compete. Every round, the team will send one poem to the stage–but that poem could be performed by any number of poets on the team.

This is the basic information needed to see and enjoy a slam, and it will all be explained at the beginning of every show. But there are lots of other ins and outs that don’t make it into the emcee’s standard spiel. Here’s some inside info:

● Score Creep: Judges have a natural and well-documented tendency to give higher scores as a bout goes on. This is either because they’re getting into the show, or because they’ve been availing themselves of the bar. Poets bemoan this endlessly–especially if they’re going first.

● The Sac: Slang for “sacrificial poet,” aka the “calibration poet. This poet performs at the start of the bout, and is scored like any other poet, but is not a competitor in the bout. The idea is to give the judges a baseline to judge the rest of the slam by. At NPS, the sac is sometimes even a group piece featuring multiple poets.

● The Rotation: Thanks to score creep, teams don’t want to go in the same order every round; the team who had to go first every round would complain. So instead there’s a rotation that determines which team will go when. In the first round, the teams draw a letter and perform in alphabetical order: ABCD. The next round the order goes CADB, followed by DCBA, and BDAC. Opinions differ on which letter offers the best scoring opportunities.

● “Took the one”: Every team gets to compete in two preliminary bouts over the first three nights of NPS. Their ranks in those two bouts are then added together, to get a number that will determine who advances to semifinals. For example, if a team won their first bout and was the runner-up in their second bout, they’d have a total of 3 (1+2). Poets will often say things like, “We took the two,” as slang for saying they finished second.

● Making Semifinals: The twenty teams with the best combined bout rankings make semifinals. While there are no hard and fast guarantees, anyone with a 2 (meaning they took the 1 in both their bouts) is essentially a lock-in, and most 3s will make it as well. Usually 4s will not. So if you like the team that took the one or two in a bout you saw, you might get to see them in semifinals on Friday, Aug. 16. Check out scores.poetryslam.com, or listen to the SlamCenter podcast every day of the tournament at SlamCenter.org to keep tabs on how all the teams are doing.

● Making Finals: Also known as “winning” for teams who’ve made it their goal to read more poems than anyone else. This is pretty straightforward: There will be four semifinal bouts with five teams each. The winner of each bout makes it to the big stage at the Berklee Performance Center on Saturday, Aug. 17.

● What’s a Prop?: Any object intended to enhance the performance is forbidden. But poets can use anything around them that’s available to all competing poets–a mic stand or a chair, for example. Poets are also free to bring a physical copy of their poem to the stage, though this rarely happens as most work is memorized.

● F**k the Time!: A cry that often erupts from the audience when a poet gets a time penalty–meaning they lose points because their poem goes longer than three minutes. Regional variations exist, and you might hear some at NPS. (In Vancouver, for instance, they like to shout, “You’re ruining it for everyone!”) Poets lose a half point for every ten seconds they go over time, which can really add up in a close bout.

● Group Piece: A poem performed by more than one poet. These are scored the exact same way as solo pieces. You can see the teams with some of the tops group pieces and teams in the game at Group Piece Finals at the Middle East on Friday Aug. 16.

● The Primary Author Rule: Each of the four poems a team sends up has to have a different primary writer. This can get a bit interesting when it comes to group pieces, which might have more than one “primary author,” giving their team some strategic flexibility. For example, if Maya and James perform a piece they wrote together in the first round, then one of them could perform a solo piece later.

● The Point Is Not the Points, the Point Is the Poetry: Traditional slam motto, coined by former Asheville, N.C. SlamMaster Allan Wolf. The phrase has become a mantra of sorts, reminding poets and organizers that the goal of slam is to expand poetry’s audience.

For more tips on how to enjoy the National Poetry Slam, visit the official NPS Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NationalPoetrySlam.

About the National Poetry Slam
The National Poetry Slam is the biggest team poetry slam in the world. Held every year since 1990, it is the definitive showcase for competitive performance poetry. Teams of the best poets from around the country come to compete for the national championship, during a week-long festival celebrating the dynamic oral tradition slam has fostered. Through several nights of competition, poets will perform either individually or in “group pieces” with their teammates, in the hopes of impressing judges randomly selected from the audience. This year a record number of teams is expected for the 24th annual National Poetry Slam in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, visit http://nationalpoetryslam.com. Follow NPS2013 on Twitter @nationalslam, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NationalPoetrySlam.


Underground Slam Poetry Battle Determines Which Northeast Poet Goes to National Slam

NorthBEAST NUPIC Event Draws Underground Best of the Best

Cambridge, Mass., July 23, 2013 – With the National Poetry Slam (NPS) about to descend on Boston in August, local fans have a chance to preview some of slam’s most compelling performers when the NorthBEAST National Underground Poetry Individual Competition (NUPIC) comes to the Boston Poetry Slam at the Cantab Lounge on Wednesday, July 31. Known as the Thunderdome of Poetry, the event will pit eight poets against each other, all vying for a spot in the NUPIC event at NPS 2013.

The poets were chosen by their home venues from around the Northeast, and the crowd at the Cantab will crown the champion of this event. The poets will face off in head-to-head competition, and each has exactly three minutes to perform their best work. The event is part of the Boston Poetry Slam’s weekly Wednesday series at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge. Doors for the show open at 7:15. An open mic begins at 8:00 p.m., and the slam begins at approximately 10:00 p.m. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $5.

“NUPIC is bigger than any one poet; it is every poet, whether competing or in attendance. There are no numbers, just the roar of the crowd. There is no amplification, just voice. We are the rumbles beneath the ground of poetry,” explains NUPIC creator Jamele “Harlym125” Adams, who will host the event.

The last NorthBEAST NUPIC winner, Laura Lamb Brown-Lavoie, went on to NPS Finals in 2011. Previous NPS NUPIC winners have included Rudy Francisco, Eboni Hogan, and Rachel McKibbens, all of whom now hold other major national slam championship titles. Details about this year’s NPS NUPIC are still top-secret.

Simone Beaubien, host city director for NPS 2013, said, “My first experience watching NUPIC was so inspiring that I couldn’t wait to bring it back to the NorthBEAST. Eight local champions going head-to-head in one room, just for a chance to compete at the big show? Slam doesn’t get much bigger than that.”

Passes to the 2013 National Poetry Slam are now on sale at http://www.nationalpoetryslam.com/tickets. To see the full bout schedule, go to http://www.nationalpoetryslam.com/bouts.

About the National Poetry Slam
The National Poetry Slam is the biggest team poetry slam in the world. Held every year since 1990, it is the definitive showcase for competitive performance poetry. Teams of the best poets from around the country come to compete for the national championship, during a week-long festival celebrating the dynamic oral tradition slam has fostered. Through several nights of competition, poets will perform either individually or in “group pieces” with their teammates, in the hopes of impressing judges randomly selected from the audience. This year a record number of teams is expected for the 24th annual National Poetry Slam in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, visit http://nationalpoetryslam.com. Follow NPS2013 on Twitter @nationalslam, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NationalPoetrySlam.


Poetry Gets an Encore in Boston

After the most successful National Poetry Slam ever, Boston tries for a second act

BOSTON, Mass., July 18, 2013, 2013 — “Simone Beaubien Ruins the National Poetry Slam!” That was the tongue-in-cheek headline in the Tattler, slam’s underground comedy/gossip zine on the night of the finals of the 2011 National Poetry Slam in Boston. Beaubien, the tournament’s host city director grinned. Around her, the Berklee Performance Center buzzed with anticipation. The place was completely sold out, with many having waited for hours to get in, in a line that snaked around three blocks. In the Tattler article, imaginary poets complained endlessly about the crowds that had greeted them all week, the long lines filled with excited audiences eager to hear their poetry.

Never in its more than 20 year history had more people come out to see the National Poetry Slam, and while most poets were thrilled, some had muttered darkly about the lines, and a few had even sent angry emails complaining. Hadn’t the Boston crew anticipated the demand?

The truth was, it hadn’t. Sure, the Boston Poetry Slam sells out its weekly poetry show every Wednesday, but NPS is a sprawling event, drawing teams from around the country to compete in a massive, five-night tournament. The odds of selling out all 44 bouts seemed astronomical. On the rainy first night of the competition, the street team had printed hundreds of “Early Bird” fliers offering dirt cheap admittance to anyone who would show up to the bouts early. “We’re talking about 12 bouts a night, spread across six or seven venues,” says NPS 2013 Art Director Melissa Newman-Evans. “We had a stack ready to go for the next night too, until it became abundantly clear we wouldn’t need them.”

By 6:30 on the first evening, the word began to trickle in, passing between volunteers in excited text messages–the bouts were selling out. All of them. In some places, as the night’s first round of bouts started, people were already lining up for the second. “We had people waiting for two hours in the rain to see poetry,” says veteran slammer Mckendy Fils-Aimé, who will be representing Manchester’s Slam Free or Die this year. “We’d never seen anything like it.” Somehow, poetry had become the hottest ticket in town.

Part of the credit no doubt went to the Boston team. Beaubien had gathered an incredibly competent all-volunteer staff of local slam regulars to run a year-long promotional campaign. But past cities had made similar efforts. “I think Boston just has a really great poetry audience,” says Beaubien. “We have so many students, so many artists, so many people who appreciate the spoken word. But even we underestimated just how many.”

By the night of finals, whispers had already begun. Would Boston become the new home of NPS? “Right away, we knew it would come back,” Beaubien says. “I thought, maybe in 2015 we’d be crazy enough to try it again.”

But when some scheduling conflicts developed in another city that had been accepted to host NPS 2013, Poetry Slam, Inc., the non-profit governing body for slam, asked Beaubien if she could push up that timetable. “We knew Boston had the people and the know-how to do it,” says PSi President Henry Sampson. “And after the success of 2011, people were going to be excited to go back there.”

And this time, the Boston crew is prepared. “We’re getting bigger venues across the board,” says 2013 venue liaison and Boston Poetry Slam team member Nora Meiners. “Now that we know how many people around here love poetry, it’s kind of a no-brainer. Bigger is better, and we’re expecting huge crowds!”

Passes to the 2013 National Poetry Slam are now on sale at http://www.nationalpoetryslam.com/tickets. To see the full bout schedule, go to http://www.nationalpoetryslam.com/bouts.

About the National Poetry Slam
The National Poetry Slam is the biggest team poetry slam in the world. Held every year since 1990, it is the definitive showcase for competitive performance poetry. Teams of the best poets from around the country come to compete for the national championship, during a week-long festival celebrating the dynamic oral tradition slam has fostered. Through several nights of competition, poets will perform either individually or in “group pieces” with their teammates, in the hopes of impressing judges randomly selected from the audience. This year a record number of teams is expected for the 24th annual National Poetry Slam in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, visit http://nationalpoetryslam.com. Follow NPS2013 on Twitter @nationalslam, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NationalPoetrySlam.


NorthBEAST Regional Slams Give Boston Audiences a Sneak Peek at National Poetry Slam Teams

Teams from the Northeast Gear Up for the National Poetry Slam with a Series of Regional Slams

BOSTON, Mass., July 11, 2013 — This month, New Englanders will get a chance to witness their hometown teams in action and sample a taste of what’s to come in August when the National Poetry Slam (NPS) takes over Boston and Cambridge August 13-17, in a series of special NorthBEAST Regional slams. Teams from Cambridge, Manchester, Portland, Providence, Connecticut, Lowell, and even New York City will compete in a series of four-team friendlies to gear up for the big dance.

“As Nationals gets closer, slam scenes all over the country are getting together for regional bouts. It’s a great chance to practice and polish poems for the big show, plus it affords an opportunity for coaches to work strategy for the very specific 4×4 team format,” said Simone Beaubien, host city director of the 2013 National Poetry Slam. “In tight-knit poetry regions like ours, teams will see each other more than once at these summer shows. Listening to and working against our fellow New Englanders is what really develops the NorthBEAST regional sound.”

In each bout, four teams, most of them from the NorthBEAST collective–a group of slams not unlike a college basketball conference–will face off in a NPS-style bout: each team will send four poems to the stage, performed by either a single individual or a number of poets in the NPS-specific phenomenon known as the “group piece.” The poems will be scored by five judges selected at random from the audience. At stake are bragging rights and the adoring cheers of the crowd.

Here are the bouts coming up, and which teams are in each:
• July 14 at the Lizard Lounge: The Boston Poetry Slam (Cambridge, Mass.) vs. the Nuyorican Poets Cafe (New York, NY) vs. Slam Free or Die (Manchester, NH), vs. Lizard Lounge (Cambridge, Mass.); 1667 Massachusetts Ave., Doors at 7:30, $5 cover, 21+, poetryjam.org
• July 17 at the Boston Poetry Slam at the Cantab Lounge: The Providence Poetry Slam vs. the Worcester Poets’ Asylum, vs. Lizard Lounge vs. Port Veritas (Portland, ME); 738 Massachusetts Ave., Doors at 7:15, $3 cover, 18+, bostonpoetryslam.com
• July 21 at the Lizard Lounge: Verbal Slap (New Haven, CT) vs. Rhythmic Cypher (Portland, ME) vs. Port Veritas vs. Lizard Lounge; 1667 Massachusetts Ave., Doors at 7:30, $5 cover, 21+, poetryjam.org
• July 28 at the Lizard Lounge: Mill City Slam (Lowell, Mass.) vs. Urbana Poetry Slam (New York, NY) vs. Providence Poetry Slam vs. The Lizard Lounge; 1667 Massachusetts Ave., Doors at 7:30, $5 cover, 21+, poetryjam.org

About the National Poetry Slam
The National Poetry Slam is the biggest team poetry slam in the world. Held every year since 1990, it is the definitive showcase for competitive performance poetry. Teams of the best poets from around the country come to compete for the national championship, during a week-long festival celebrating the dynamic oral tradition slam has fostered. Through several nights of competition, poets will perform either individually or in “group pieces” with their teammates, in the hopes of impressing judges randomly selected from the audience. This year a record number of teams is expected for the 24th annual National Poetry Slam in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, visit http://nationalpoetryslam.com. Follow NPS2013 on Twitter @nationalslam, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NationalPoetrySlam.


National Poetry Slam 2013 Festival Passes Now On Sale

All-access, tournament and student pricing options available

BOSTON, Mass. – April 26, 2013 — Festival passes for the 2013 National Poetry Slam (NPS) competition are now on sale, Poetry Slam Inc. announced today. Passes can be purchased from Poetry Slam Inc.’s online store at http://www.nationalpoetryslam.com/tickets. Those without tickets may pay a cover charge at the door for each individual event, scheduled to take place August 13-17 at various venues throughout Boston, Cambridge and Somerville. The festival is making its triumphant return to Beantown following a sold-out 2011 outing widely viewed as the most successful in the tournament’s more than 25-year history. The following will be available:

  • All-Access Pass ($75) — If you want to see it all, this is the pass for you. It will grant admission to all 50+ official NPS 2013 shows, including day events, late-night events, preliminary competition, semi-final competition, Group Piece Finals and Team Finals.
  • Student All-Access Pass ($60) — Under 21? No problem. This pass grants admission to all under-21 NPS 2013 events and includes admission to all day events, at least two preliminary shows per weeknight, and Team Finals.
  • Tournament Pass ($50) — This pass grants admission to all NPS 2013 evening competition events, from preliminary slams to semi-finals, plus Group Piece Finals and Team Finals.

Pass purchasers will receive a full-color laminated pass designed by poet and artist Melissa Newman-Evans. Each pass category showcases a different, original piece of artwork of a local performance poet sourced from photographs by artists Marshall Goff and Richard Beaubien. Passes must be picked up during the first two days of the festival. Detailed pickup information is available at: http://www.nationalpoetryslam.com/tickets/festival-pass-pick-up

“These passes aren’t just a ticket–they’re like a membership badge for the poetry community,” said Art Director Newman-Evans. “Every NPS has its own unique look that is exemplified in the passes, and this year is no exception.”
Boston will host up to 84 teams of the top slammers from across the country, who will once again descend on the city for the chance to impress judges (randomly selected from the audience) with performances of original works. To meet the growing demand, this year’s festival will feature more events, easier access to information for fans, and most importantly, bigger venues.

“NPS is the Olympics of the performance poetry world,” said two-time NPS Host City Director Simone Beaubien. “When the festival came to town back in 2011, we called it a once-in-a-lifetime event. Since then, greater Boston has been turning out for poetry in record numbers, so it’s great for us to have this second rare opportunity to host; we’re planning to share poetry slam with even more audience this time around.”

About Poetry Slam, Inc.
Poetry Slam, Inc. is the official non-profit organization overseeing the North American coalition of poetry slams, setting the rules and vision that the majority of worldwide slams adhere to. PSi provides the infrastructure for a national affiliation of poets and slams, making the annual National Poetry Slam possible as a place to pool ideas and share creative resources to ensure the future growth and recognition of slam.

About the National Poetry Slam
The National Poetry Slam is the biggest team poetry slam in the world. Held every year since 1990, it is the definitive showcase for competitive performance poetry. Teams of the best poets from around the country come to compete for the national championship, during a week-long festival celebrating the dynamic oral tradition slam has fostered. Through several nights of competition, poets will perform either individually or in “group pieces” with their teammates, in the hopes of impressing judges randomly selected from the audience. This year a record number of teams is expected for the 24th annual National Poetry Slam in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, visit http://nationalpoetryslam.com. Follow NPS2013 on Twitter @nationalslam, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NationalPoetrySlam.


Boston Slam Venues Celebrate National Poetry Month

Boston, Cambridge, Somerville Begin Countdown to 2013 National Poetry Slam with Month-Long Celebration

BOSTON, March 22, 2013 – April is National Poetry Month, and if that sounds exciting to you, then you’ve come to the right major metropolitan area. The National Poetry Slam is coming back to Boston, Cambridge and Somerville August 13 to 17, and in anticipation—and because they genuinely love the written word—the Boston Poetry Slam, in cooperation with the city’s other poetry venues, has announced a host of April events celebrating all things poetic, including readings, writing workshops and slam competitions.

Started by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is an annual tradition celebrated by publishers, libraries, educators and poetry fans across the country, and that’s doubly true here in Boston, a city so rife with poetry lovers that every single bout at the 2011 National Poetry Slam sold out.

“National Poetry Month really gives us an opportunity to reach a broader audience,” said Boston SlamMaster and NPS Host City Director Simone Beaubien. “We see all kinds of new faces who’ve suddenly remembered how much they love poetry.”

Here are the events you’ll see this April:

• Encyclopedia Show: “Mythical Beasts,” Monday, April 1, 2013 at the Davis Square Theatre, 255 Elm St. in Somerville. Doors open at 7:00 — Poets and other artists perform all-new work on the topic of mythical beasts in this wacky, vaudeville-style variety show. All ages. Cover $10 or $7 for students, teachers or guests in Prohibition-era dress.

• Boston Poetry Slam: “The Art of Funny-Sad” Workshop with Jade Sylvan and Cambridge Poet Populist Reading, Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 6 p.m. workshop; 8 p.m. open mic; 9:30 p.m. feature, and 10:30 p.m. open poetry slam — Jade Sylvan, Boston Poetry Slam team member, will lead a generative poetry writing workshop before the show. Featured readers will be Lo Gallucio and Tom Yuill, finalists for the Cambridge Arts Council’s Poet Populist position. 18+, $5 suggested donation.

• “Moonlighting” Reading and Open Mic, Thursday, April 4, 2013 at Fazenda Café, 3710 Washington St., Boston. 7-9 p.m. Sean Patrick Mulroy hosts the debut event in this new queer reading and open mic series. Allies welcome. All ages, sliding scale cover.

• Lizard Lounge Team Selection Semifinals Round 2, Sunday, April 7 at Lizard Lounge, 1667 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. Doors open at 7:30 — This is the last chance for eight Boston-area poets to secure spots in the Lizard Lounge’s final National Poetry Slam team selection bout. 21+, $5.

• Boston Poetry Slam: “Your Heartbeat Has Been Telling You For Years” Workshop and Feature by Artie Moffa, Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 6 p.m. workshop; 8 p.m. open mic; 10 p.m. feature, and 11 p.m. open poetry slam — New Formalist poet Artie Moffa will demonstrate techniques for writing in iambic pentameter before featuring at the show. 18+, $5.

• Lizard Lounge Team Selection Finals, April 14 at Lizard Lounge, 1667 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge. Doors open at 7:30 – Eight poets face off to secure five coveted spots to represent the Lizard Lounge at the National Poetry Slam in August. 21+, $5.

• Boston Poetry Slam: “Getting Ink” Workshop and Feature by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 6 p.m. workshop; 8 p.m. open mic; 10 p.m. feature and 11 p.m. open poetry slam — Aptowicz is the author of five poetry books and the founder of the NYC-Urbana poetry slam. She will lead a discussion workshop on publication for poets before featuring at the show. 18+, $5.

• Boston Poetry Slam: “Stranger Than Fiction” Workshop and Feature by Marty McConnell, Wednesday, April 24 at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 6 p.m. workshop; 8 p.m. open mic; 10 p.m. feature, and 11 p.m. Champion of Champions poetry slam — Underground slam champ and wine for a shotgun author McConnell will lead a generative poetry workshop before featuring at the show. An all-champions slam will close the night. 18+, $5.

About the Boston Poetry Slam
The Boston Poetry Slam is the third-longest-running poetry slam in the world and the host for the 2013 National Poetry Slam. Founded in 1991, the show presents an open mic, headlining poet and slam competition and is held weekly at the Cantab Lounge, located at 738 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge, Mass. Poetry begins at 8:00 every Wednesday and is hosted by SlamMaster Simone Beaubien. For more information, please visit http://bostonpoetryslam.com.

About the National Poetry Slam
The National Poetry Slam is the largest team poetry slam in the world and the definitive showcase for competitive performance poetry. Since 1990, teams of the best poets from around the country have come to compete for the national championship, as well as showcase during the weeklong festival celebrating the dynamic oral tradition slam has fostered. Competing poets perform individually or in “group pieces” with their teammates, striving to impress judges that are randomly selected from the audience. This year’s National Poetry Slam will be hosted in Boston, Mass. for the third time in the 24-year history of the event. For more information, visit http://nationalpoetryslam.com. Follow NPS2013 on Twitter @nationalslam or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NationalPoetrySlam.


Boston Poetry Slam to Select its National Poetry Slam Team

Nine Poets Compete on March 13 for a Chance to Be Part of the Home Team of the 2013 National Poetry Slam

BOSTON, Mass., March 6, 2013 — The Boston Poetry Slam will host its highly-anticipated team selection finals on Wednesday, March 13 at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge. Nine of the region’s best slammers will perform their original work, judged by five random audience members, with the five highest-scoring poets securing a coveted spot on the official Boston Poetry Slam team. The Boston Poetry Slam team will compete at the 2013 National Poetry Slam, August 13-17, 2013 in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville. Boston is once again serving as the host city for the National Poetry Slam, based on the large crowds and sellout venues from its last hosting gig in August 2011.

The nine poets doing battle in the team selection finals are Melissa Newman-Evans, Omoizele Okoawo, Mckendy Fils-Aimé, Nora Meiners, Ed Wilkinson, Adam Stone, Jade Sylvan, Sean Patrick Mulroy and Meaghan Ford. The Boston Poetry Slam team has twice won the national championship and made five appearances on the National Poetry Slam’s finals stage, most recently in 2008.

“Representing the home city of a national event in any kind of competition is always a coveted position,” said Sean Patrick Mulroy, a semi-finalist who will compete at the team selection finals at the Cantab. “Add to that the fact that the Boston Poetry Slam has some of the fiercest writers and performers in the world? It’s going to be a bloodbath.”

“My time with the 2011 Boston Poetry Slam team was amazing. Because the Cantab Lounge hosts one of the most respected readings in the country and it served as the home venue for the 2011 National Poetry Slam, our team felt more pressure than usual to honor the Boston poetry legacy,” said McKendy Fils-Aimé, a semi-finalist who was a member of the 2011 Boston Poetry Slam and three-time National Poetry Slam competitor. “We represented Boston proudly and reinforced that the Boston poetry legacy is a strong one.”

The Boston Poetry Slam holds a weekly show every Wednesday evening downstairs at the Cantab Lounge. The cover charge is $5 . No tickets are sold in advance. The poetry show is 18+ and doors open at approximately 7:15 for the 8:00 open mic. The venue has a strict capacity of 100 persons with seating for approximately 75; audiences are strongly encouraged to arrive before 8:00.

Fans who miss the show—or just want to relive it—will be able to hear a recap on a special preview episode of SlamCenter, the official podcast of the 2013 National Poetry Slam. SlamCenter will feature news, highlights and analysis of the National Poetry Slam, giving fans at home and around the country a way to keep up with the competition. The preview show covering the Boston Poetry Slam’s 2013 team selection slam will be available for download the following week on BostonPoetrySlam.com.

About the Boston Poetry Slam
The Boston Poetry Slam is the third-longest-running poetry slam in the world and the host for the 2013 National Poetry Slam. Founded in 1991, the show presents an open mic, headlining poet and slam competition and is held weekly at the Cantab Lounge, located at 738 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge, Mass. Poetry begins at 8:00 every Wednesday and is hosted by SlamMaster Simone Beaubien. For more information, please visit http://bostonpoetryslam.com.

About the National Poetry Slam
The National Poetry Slam is the largest team poetry slam in the world and the definitive showcase for competitive performance poetry. Since 1990, teams of the best poets from around the country have come to compete for the national championship, as well as showcase during the weeklong festival celebrating the dynamic oral tradition slam has fostered. Competing poets perform individually or in “group pieces” with their teammates, striving to impress judges that are randomly selected from the audience. This year’s National Poetry Slam will be hosted in Boston, Mass. for the third time in the 24-year history of the event. For more information, visit http://nationalpoetryslam.com. Follow NPS2013 on Twitter @nationalslam or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NationalPoetrySlam.


National Poetry Slam Returns to Boston, Cambridge, Somerville

National Poetry Slam Returns to Boston, Cambridge, Somerville
Unprecedented success brings world’s biggest poetry competition back to Beantown

BOSTON, Mass., Feb. 27, 2013 — The National Poetry Slam is returning to Boston, Cambridge and Somerville this year, just two years after it last stunned sell-out crowds, the Boston Poetry Slam and Poetry Slam, Inc. announced today. Held every year, the National Poetry Slam is the super bowl for performance poetry. Up to 84 teams of the best slammers from around the country will come to perform their own original work in the hopes of impressing judges randomly selected from the audience. The competition will kick off on Aug. 13 and run every day through Aug. 17 at a variety of venues around the city.

Boston last held the event in 2011. Few cities have ever hosted the event twice, much less so close together, but Boston earned the repeat honor by drawing unprecedented crowds, selling out every single bout for the most successful outing in slam’s more than 25-year history. “It’s almost like the same city holding consecutive Summer Olympics,” says host city director Simone Beaubien. “But after the enthusiasm we saw in 2011, we knew we had to bring it back. We’ve just never seen anything like 2011 in the history of slam. We had people standing in lines around the block for an hour in the rain to see poetry.” All told, an estimated 8,350 people came out to see the events.

Now, Beaubien’s team is hoping to improve on their success. This year’s festival will feature more events, more coverage for fans trying to keep up with the tournament, and, above all, bigger venues. “The number one complaint we had last time was that people couldn’t get in to see the shows, because everything was selling out,” Beaubien explains. “It’s a good problem to have, but this year we’ll be ready to meet the demand.”

For more information, including high resolution photos, visit http://nationalpoetryslam.com.

About The Boston Poetry Slam
The Boston Poetry Slam is the third-longest-running slam in the world. Founded in 1991, the weekly open mic, headliner, and slam competition is held at The Cantab Lounge, located at 738 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge. The show begins at 8:00 and is hosted by SlamMaster Simone Beaubien. For more information, please visit http://bostonpoetryslam.com.

About the Boston Poetry Slam
The Boston Poetry Slam is the third-longest-running poetry slam in the world and the host for the 2013 National Poetry Slam. Founded in 1991, the show presents an open mic, headlining poet and slam competition and is held weekly at the Cantab Lounge, located at 738 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge, Mass. Poetry begins at 8:00 every Wednesday and is hosted by SlamMaster Simone Beaubien. For more information, please visit http://bostonpoetryslam.com.

About the National Poetry Slam
The National Poetry Slam is the largest team poetry slam in the world and the definitive showcase for competitive performance poetry. Since 1990, teams of the best poets from around the country have come to compete for the national championship, as well as showcase during the weeklong festival celebrating the dynamic oral tradition slam has fostered. Competing poets perform individually or in “group pieces” with their teammates, striving to impress judges that are randomly selected from the audience. This year’s National Poetry Slam will be hosted in Boston, Mass. for the third time in the 24-year history of the event. For more information, visit http://nationalpoetryslam.com. Follow NPS2013 on Twitter @nationalslam or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NationalPoetrySlam.