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General Discussion / Re: RULE HELP
« on: March 26, 2014, 08:21:21 AM »
Slam NUBA has a pretty well known call and response "Slam NUBA" "We cut heads!"
Their youth scene, Minor Disturbance, also respond to their team name with "No bedtime!"
Again, these could arguably fall into the Influencing the Crowd rule, but no one has ever tried to protest it

I think that would be a really long argument! Glad I'm not on protest committee this year (she says in advance). Trying to legislate what the crowd can do sounds difficult, and seems undesirable to me.

Anyway, short answer, Ed: nope, no explicit rule against that kind of behavior, and no one (so far) at a PSI tournament has tried to use the existing rules to protest it.

General Discussion / Re: RULE HELP
« on: March 25, 2014, 04:30:30 PM »
For future reference, here is a link to the Rules forum (might require you to be a current PSI member to view):,5.0.html

I think the "cheerleading" section Ed is referring to might be the Gag Rule (or, colloquially, the "Bay Area" rule). This rule governed the behavior of teammates in the audience: teammates, coaches, and SMs were barred from leading or coaching the audience in response to a performer on stage. This rule was struck around 2008, about the time indies were removed from NPS; behavior of this type at NPS now may cause the poem to be assessed as a group piece. The rule was removed since the rules on what constitutes a group piece and the rule about not influencing the audience (above) appeared to cover the same ground.

I do not see a thread, either current or old, in the Rules Forum about call and response. I would be happy to join in a discussion over there, or, with Ed's permission, could arrange to have this thread moved to the Rules Forum so we can continue there.

General Discussion / Re: QUESTION: Free Speech vs An Audience's Rights
« on: September 29, 2013, 08:51:53 AM »
Hey, Shaggy:

I am jumping in a little late here, but I have been thinking about this conversation a bit. Please note that I am speaking here as an audience member, poet, and general organizer, not in any kind of official NPS capacity.

Anyway: I think it's fairly clear that the "cannot" you are talking about here was being used to impart a certain level of social responsibility. I am quite certain that anyone who told your team that they "cannot" say some things was not trying to say that anyone is legally bound or otherwise restricted by PSI rules to censor their language, and I agree that it would be inappropriate for anyone to imply that was so. However, I think it's appropriate to tell someone they "cannot" say certain things to indicate what is and is not appropriate behavior. For instance, to draw a very loose parallel for illustrative purposes, I understand perfectly well what people mean when I am told that, as a white person, I "cannot" use the n-word because it is socially and historically offensive, inappropriate, and cruel. There is certainly no law, rule, or physical impediment that prevents me from saying this word. But I can't say it just the same.

I don't think that we have ever met in person and your posts here have always been respectful and polite here, so I hope that you will take this next paragraph as a suggestion to communicate and question, and not as an attack on you or your scene. It concerns me that your approach to your artists' poem and the subsequent backlash seems not to be to investigate the language and content that so universally distressed the NPS community and slam family, but instead to investigate the legality of the poem, and indeed to clarify that your poets did nothing wrong.

To me, your questions come across as a defense of the poem, which I think undermines the difficult work some folks did by approaching your poets at NPS, as well as the even harder work your poets did by opening up to listen. I would encourage you to keep an open mind about the criticism that was offered. I think it's pretty clear that no one is being censored at NPS.

I don't see 2009 or 2010 in your list above. Wasn't Patrick S. the winner or runner-up one of those years?

General Discussion / Re: Trigger Warning Announcements
« on: July 22, 2013, 06:14:23 AM »
Can we make something like this happen?

Gray! I support your idea wholeheartedly... But not your timing. With just a few weeks to go before NPS, I'm not sure we will be able to get the community to agree to change the spiel.

We've actually been trying to do this for years, but folks don't tend to get excited about slam work during the off-season. Here is one thread about it in case you would like to read up and jump in:,7869.msg82321.html#msg82321

You might want to email the initiator of that thread personally (a message through the forum system will get to her). I know she is invested in putting in the time to make this happen. I doubt that this can happen for NPS 2013, but would love to see work on revising the spiel get back off the ground with your suggestions.

Actually, I split your comment to its own thread so other folks with the same question could find it more easily... I just didn't post to let you know.

Cyberspace is still pretty cheap, so don't sweat it if you want to start a new thread.  :)

General Discussion / Re: NPS Scores
« on: June 10, 2013, 06:37:52 PM »
I have team finals numbers from 2008.

Alvin Lau might have some others, especially from indies.

If you are interested in pooling data, drop me an email.

General Discussion / Re: NPS 2013: Official Update Thread
« on: May 28, 2013, 08:14:52 PM »
More official news, poets! We are on a roll!

First of all: a reminder that registration for NPS closes on June 1. That means that you have just a few more days to get your registration in and paid! If you haven't done it (or if you aren't sure if your SlamMaster has done it...), now is definitely the time. There are more details and info, posted by Executive Director Karrie Waarala, available over at the PSI section of this forum here:,9080.0.html

Next in line: a tentative side events list has been announced! That means some of our Day Events and Late-Night Events (including the much-missed affinity readings) appear on our blog: . If you don't see your favorite event, don't panic: it's early enough for you to speak up and make it happen! Check out the post there and drop a line to our side events coordinator, Adam Stone, at if you've got any questions or ideas.

And finally, but perhaps most importantly: registration and orientation times for NPS 2013 are now official! If you are on a team competing at NPS, remember that you MUST attend orientation AS A TEAM in order to compete! Any poet who doesn't attend orientation won't be permitted stage time at the NPS bouts, so be super-sure that you arrive in time for one of the following orientation times:

TUESDAY, AUGUST 13: 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

We'll get this info up in the SlamMasters' forum and on the website this week, but, in the meantime, don't be shy about spreading this info around to make sure everyone you know arrives on time to kick off NPS 2013 right.

NPS is coming so soon! Can't wait to see everyone there!


General Discussion / Re: NPS 2013: Official Update Thread
« on: May 03, 2013, 05:22:52 PM »
Poets and friends and friends of poets!

At long last, we are able to announce the official NPS 2013 hotel! Thank you so much to all of you for your patience in waiting for this. You may make your reservations any time here:

Hyatt Regency Cambridge
575 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139
617-492-1234 or 800-228-9000: mention that you are with the poetry slam

To reserve a room directly online, click here:

I recommend making your reservations as early as possible. You do not have to put any money down to reserve a room and cancellation fees only apply if you fail to call to cancel ahead of time. Our rate will only be honored until July 29, so there's really no reason not to reserve as early as you can... Remember that the Boston NPS 2011 hotel block SOLD OUT before July 4 and we lucked out in finding a backup hotel that year! Please, please, PLEASE book your hotel room(s) as soon as you have a chance to do so.

As discussed here and at SlamMasters, the hotel is more expensive than in 2011, and likely more expensive than many of us are accustomed to. I do want to assure you that our Event Coordinator worked extremely hard to get us a rate of $159/night for single or double occupancy, which is excellent for the Boston area and for a hotel of this quality. Triple or quadruple occupancy was quoted to us as costing $174/night, but as of this writing (May 3), that link quotes higher occupancy at the lower rate. SlamMasters may see this thread for more information:,9016

Some of you may recall this hotel from your stay in 2011, as this was the back-up hotel. It is located slightly further from our venue base (just under 1 mile from the closest venue, and two more blocks to the subway) than the primary hotel in 2011. The hotel does have two van shuttles that it cannot dedicate solely to us, but has offered to keep on a tight schedule during bout times in order to get everyone to a nearby subway station for easy transport to venues.

Now, you probably want to know what good stuff you are getting for the high price of this hotel. I can tell you that negotiations have brought us the following cool perquisites: free Wi-Fi, reduced parking for those who have road-tripped to Boston ($15/night instead of $32/night), and a 24-hour meeting space that we plan to dedicate to use as a poets' room!

The hotel also has a courtyard that is open to smoking, a gym, and a pool. The entrance of the hotel is located only steps from the Charles River and its accompanying walking/running path, and there is a small food store (Trader Joe's) and coffee (Starbucks) 0.5 miles down the street along the river.

Overall, I am very happy with the accommodations; the price is higher than we hoped, but much lower than you will find elsewhere in Boston. When you come to Boston to enjoy your stay, please don't forget to high-five your President, Henry Sampson, for all of his hard work in securing us this primo space.

Can't wait to see everyone soon. Now that the hotel is settled, I'm looking forward to updating you guys about venues in the coming month. Hooray!

Simone Beaubien
Host City Director, NPS 2013

General Discussion / Re: How To Contact PSi
« on: April 26, 2013, 09:22:07 AM »
Thanks, Henry!

I wonder if we could have Erik set up email forwards for our EvCs, so we wouldn't have to keep updating here?

General Discussion / Re: NPS 2013: Official Update Thread
« on: April 25, 2013, 11:49:07 AM »
Hey, folks:

Just wanted to let you know that I posted a fresh blog on the NPS website today. A lot of folks have been asking how to help the Boston community after the events at the Marathon, so this answers those questions... As well as hopefully lays to rest any concerns about NPS 2013. Can't wait to see everyone there!

Blog post below, or you can find it here, with all the links intact:


Dear friends of the Boston and National Poetry Slam communities:
April 24, 2013

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

The One Fund:
Huff post link list:
Red Cross blood donations:

General Discussion / Re: NPS 2013: Official Update Thread
« on: April 16, 2013, 10:39:46 PM »
Hello, poets:

This is just a quick note to let all of you know that we are okay and hanging tough in Boston. The explosions on Monday at the Boston Marathon have made it a tragic and difficult week, but we can at least let you know that our community remains whole, if shaken. Thank you to all of you who have reached out to contact us and offer your support and concern.

In light of the stress of Monday's events, I have elected to set aside about a week for the NPS staff to recover. All of the usual channels of communication (, the nationalpoetryslam Facebook page, @nationalslam on Twitter) are open and I encourage you to keep Tweeting us the results of your team selection slams, emailing us your local press about your NPS team, or spreading the word about our Facebook page! However, if you have a question or concern, it might just be a few extra days until we get back to you. Normal operations will resume on Sunday, April 21, at 10 a.m. EST.

As the national news will surely tell you, the cities of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville (all destinations for NPS) are in the process of healing and also conducting police investigations to establish motive and culprit. At this early date, we do not anticipate this affecting our bid in any way, nor the overall structure of our tournament in August, or transportation options to and around NPS 2013. However, it may mean it will be a little longer before we are able to announce a complete list of venues for the event.

It will also almost certainly mean that it will be vital for you to have a photo ID, preferably government-issued, to access all venues easily at NPS 2013: I know that this can be a distasteful requirement for anyone who values personal privacy, but I also know that having an ID always makes travel and venue access more smooth. With four months to plan, I hope you will consider thinking ahead to have this important item for your trip to Boston.

Some folks have contacted me to ask what they can do to help the poetry community here in Boston. We are grateful to all of you who have kept us in your hearts, and that is really all we ask. If you want to go the extra mile, then we'd love for you to help keep the news about NPS 2013 positive, excited, and buzzing. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to email me at

Now, even more than ever, we are thrilled to be welcoming the joyful, caring, hard-partying slam family to our resilient little city. Once again, our thanks go out to everyone... Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Simone Beaubien
Host City Director, NPS 2013

General Discussion / Re: NPS 2013: Official Update Thread
« on: April 01, 2013, 09:53:30 AM »
More news about NPS today! Today is our deadline to announce the age limit for NPS 2013, and I am pleased to say...

NPS 2013 will be 18+ for all registered competitors.

That means that we have enough prelim venues that allow 18+ performers to permit our tournament to include all competitors who are 18 years or older by Tuesday, August 13! Hooray!

However, we will still have some 21+ preliminary competition venues. That means that SlamMasters must make sure all under-21 members of their team are registered with PSI before July 1, or you could be placed in a 21+ venue. Boston will NOT permit underage persons in 21+ venues, so please make sure PSI has acknowledged that you need an 18+ venue by July 1 at the very very latest... We will not be able to make exceptions or changes once you get to NPS. 

Please also be advised that this means that some of our events (mostly late-night shows) will be 21+. Just like NPS 2011 in Boston, we have a goal to provide an 18+ or all-ages show in every time slot, including late-night, but some of our local venues are firm about age limits. We are working hard to provide options for everyone at all hours so we can all enjoy the full NPS experience!

Lastly, you may have questions about under-18 poets. NPS is always an adult event and so NPS 2013 will not permit any competitors who are under 18. However, we will have many all-ages day events and are working to have at least one all-ages competition event every night (Finals will definitely be all ages!), so under-18 audience will still be able to see some of the National Poetry Slam in Boston this August.

Thanks for everyone's patience on this. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to check out our website or drop me a line! You can get to me in a private message on these forums, or any of the ways linked here in our Getting In Touch thread:,8706.0.html

Looking forward to seeing everyone soon.

Simone Beaubien
Host City Director, NPS 2013

Programming-wise, it's not as simple as you make it sound, Shaggy! But, yes, I agree: the current system was designed to allow poets to only sign themselves up. Since we know that, realistically, SlamMasters end up signing up their whole team, a change is in order for the future.

Big changes were announced in the future for the Store, so let's hope this makes the wishlist.

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