Boston Poetry Slam @ the Cantab Lounge
every Wednesday at 8:00
downstairs at the Cantab Lounge
738 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139
The Boston Poetry Slam’s National Poetry Slam team selection schedule runs from approximately May through December with selection beginning in January. 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 on the venue website and, whenever possible, contacted by the SlamMaster by email. Poets must have seven unique poems (not counting one tie-breaker, if necessary) to make the team, including one poem that has never before been performed at the open mic or slam at the Boston Poetry Slam at the Cantab Lounge.
Preliminaries for the Team Selection Slam will be split into two separate nights. Poets may select their preferred competition night via Yankee Swap. Top-scoring poets from each Prelim will advance to Semi-Finals, with seeding for the first round of Semi-Finals based first on finish in the Prelims and second on Yankee Swap points gathered during the season. Top-scoring poets from Semis move on to 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.
What follow are the official rules for the Cantab Team Selection Slams. The number of rounds and advancing poets are subject to change, depending on National Poetry Slam team size and competitor attendance at the semi-finals. Be advised that the most current version of the rules will always be available at the official website: bostonpoetryslam.com. Cantab Team Selection Slam Rules (all three nights)
* Only qualified poets listed on the website may slam.
* Poets who wish to slam will check in to draw no later than 9:00 P.M.
* Poets will have to pay the cover charge.
* Competing poets may not read in or host any portion of the open mic or slam.
* Competing poets may not work the door, wait tables, or bartend.
* Five judges (or teams of judges) will be selected from the audience by the slam host and bout manager. Up to two of these judges may be Cantab "regulars" as per the discretion of the slam host and bout manager. All judges will be encouraged to choose poetry over performance.
* There will always be at least one warm-up poet before the slam. Whether or not there is a break and/or sorbet poet between rounds of the slam will be left to the discretion of the host and bout manager.
* There will be no elimination between rounds.
* Scores are not cumulative between nights; each night is clean slate.
* During the course of the three-night series, competitors must present at least one poem that has never before been performed at the open mic or slam at the Boston Poetry Slam @ the Cantab Lounge. This “new” poem may be performed in any round at any time; there is no upper limit on new poems performed. Poets failing to meet this requirement by the end of the seventh round will be disqualified. Final ruling on what constitutes a “new” poem will come from the SlamMaster (unless the SM is in the slam, in which case it will come from the bout manager). To discourage confusion, poets are encouraged to self-report their “new” poem to the scorekeeper or bout manager immediately after performing.
* All NPS rules apply: original work, no props, no costumes, no music, 3:10 or less. Cantab Team Selection Preliminaries Rules and Format
o All poets who have qualified to slam, even those who do not intend to attend NPS, are encouraged to slam.
o Assuming at least 16 qualified poets, competitors will select one of two preliminaries to slam in via Yankee Swap.
o Before the slam begins, poets will draw a random order for both rounds. Poets who have guaranteed draws (i.e.: winners of the group slams) may apply them on this night only.
o Poets may use any original poem in their repertoire, including poems used in previous open slams and poems used to qualify in previous years.
o The top twelve cumulative scorers will advance to finals the following week. If there is a tie for the last spot to advance, all tied poets will advance. Cantab Team Selection Semi-Finals Rules and Format
o Poets who are qualified to slam in the semi-finals but do not intend to commit to the Cantab Slam Team are encouraged (but not required) to drop out to permit the next poet back in the prelims to advance.
o The order of the first round will be based on the cumulative finish from preliminaries (lowest finisher first, top poet last, ties broken by Yankee Swap standings). The order for the second round will be by random draw.
o Poets may not use poems they used in the previous week's preliminaries.
o The top nine cumulative scorers will advance to finals the following week. If there is a tie for the last spot to advance, all tied poets will advance. Cantab Team Selection Finals Rules and Format
o Poets who slam in the finals are considered committed to the Cantab Slam Team. Poets who are not interested in attending NPS with the Cantab may not slam in finals.
o Poets may not use poems they used in the previous weeks' preliminaries or semi-final.
o The order of the first round will be based on the cumulative finish from semi-finals (lowest finisher first, top poet last). The order for the second and third rounds will be by random draw.
o The top five scorers (cumulative over all three rounds) comprise the Cantab Slam Team.
o If there is a tie for the fifth slot, all tied poets will return to the stage for one more round. The order will be the same as the last round. Standard NPS tie-breaker rules will be used (each judge will indicate a preference, not a score).The following is expected of poets who qualify for the Cantab Slam Team:
* Attendance at the National Poetry Slam of that calendar year, assuming the Boston Poetry Slam @ the Cantab Lounge is qualified to attend.
* Financial responsibility for travel and stay at NPS (beyond whatever the team and venue are able to raise), assuming attendance.
* Open mic attendance at the Cantab 2-4 times per month.
* Practice with the team at least 2-4 times per month.
* Respect and support of teammates, coach, and home venue.
If a team member is unable to fulfill these responsibilities, or the poet declares a desire to depart the team and/or slam for another team, the poet will no longer be considered a member of the Cantab Slam Team for the purposes of PSi.
If a team member departs, but the team is still at the minimum size for NPS competition, the remaining team members will decide if they wish to replace the team member, with final discretion falling to the SlamMaster. If the departure of one or more team members causes the team to be under the minimum size for NPS competition, the team member(s) will automatically be replaced until the team reaches minimum size.In all cases, the replacement hierarchy for a team member is as follows:
1. The next available top scorer(s) in the final rounds of the Cantab Team Selection Finals.
2. The current Champion of Champions of the 8x8 series.
3. The top scorer(s) in an open poetry slam held exclusively for the purpose of choosing a new team member (or members), if time and venue constraints allow.
4. The next available top scorer(s) in the Cantab Team Selection Semi-Finals.
5. The next available top scorer(s) in the Cantab Team Selection Preliminaries.
6. The next available least recent winner(s) of the open poetry slam since the Cantab Team Selection Slams.
7. Open vote among all interested parties, wherein said parties may not vote for themselves. Ties will be broken by the vote of the SlamMaster.Poets are invited to contact the SlamMaster directly by email (email@example.com) with any questions or concerns.