- Preliminary Bouts (Aug. 13-15, various): This is the heart of NPS. Over three nights, all 72 teams will get two chances to prove their lyrical dominance, each time pitting their verse against three other teams. This will be the audience’s only chance to see the whole field of poets in action, because only the top 20 will advance to…
- Semi-Finals (Aug. 16, various): The top 20 teams battle for the four precious spots in Finals. There will be four bouts, each featuring five teams. The winner of each will advance to…
- Finals (Aug. 17, Berklee Performance Center, 136 Mass. Ave.): This is it. The last four teams standing compete for the world’s largest team slam title on the National Poetry Slam’s biggest stage.
And that’s not all. NPS isn’t just a tournament; it’s also a festival of the written word. There will be a series of side events all week, including:
- Hip-Hop Headquarters (Aug. 14-15, The Lizard Lounge, 1667 Mass. Ave.): Hip-hop and slam have always been kissing cousins, and many poets have serious rhyming skills. On these two nights you’ll hear poets do their thing, cypher-style, in one of the most popular events at NPS. Hosted by Jive Poetic.
- Erotica Reading (Aug. 14, Oberon, 2 Arrow St.): Because August in Boston isn’t steamy enough, poets will let their freak flags fly in this frequently funny, rarely appropriate and decidedly sexy open mic. Hosted by April Ranger and WonderDave.
- Stand-up Comedians vs. Funny Poets (Aug. 15, Cantab Lounge Upstairs): They both get up onstage and try to make people laugh, but funny poets and stand-up comedians aren’t the same thing. Tonight they’ll get a chance to prove it, as a team of all-star local slammers battles a pickup team of the nation’s funniest in an event hosted by Wes Hazard and Amy David.
- Group Piece Finals (Aug. 16, The Middle East Downstairs, 476 Mass. Ave.): What’s more exciting than one poet onstage? Many poets onstage! In this side competition, teams that have distinguished themselves with collaborative work will compete for a spotlight at Finals. Every poem performed will include at least two poets.
And that’s not the half of it. For the full schedule, and much, much more, visit nationalpoetryslam.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, performing individually or in “group pieces” to impress judges selected from the audience. The week-long festival also serves as a showcase and workshop meet-up, all celebrating the dynamic oral tradition slam has fostered. This year’s National Poetry Slam will be hosted in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville, Mass. from Aug. 13 to 17. For more information, visit http://nationalpoetryslam.com. Follow NPS2013 on Twitter @nationalslam or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NationalPoetrySlam.