Poetry Slam, Inc. presents the National Poetry Slam in a different city each August. Slam teams of four or five members from around the U.S. and Canada compete in two nights of preliminary poetry slams featuring 4×4 team slams. The top twenty teams advance to five-team semi-final bouts, and the winners of each move on to the National Poetry Slam Finals, wherein a national champion is crowned.
The Boston Poetry Slam @ the Cantab Lounge has sent a team to every NPS since the event’s inception in 1991. The process for selecting the slam team is known as the Team Selection Slams, and the rules and format are designed to select a group of dynamic performers with “deep pockets” and devotion to writing and craft.
Poets who have won a single open poetry slam OR held the Champion of Champions title at any time during the qualification period are invited to compete in night one of the Team Selection Slams (preliminaries); qualified poets will be listed here on the venue website and, whenever possible, contacted by the SlamMaster by email.
Top-scoring poets from night one will be invited to compete on night two (semi-finals). The top-scoring poets from night two move on to night three (finals). At the end of the finals, the top five scoring poets comprise the team that will represent the Boston Poetry Slam @ the Cantab Lounge at the next National Poetry Slam.
For the 2013 team, all open slam winners from May of 2012 through December of 2012 will qualify to try out at the new team selection time, which will be January of 2013. All future qualification cycles will run approximately from May through December with selection in January.