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What is Poetry Slam?

Poetry Slam is the art of competitive performance poetry in which the person utilizes their skills in poetry, stand-up comedy, storytelling, songwriting and theatre to win points from a panel of judges chosen randomly from the audience. They are scored from a low of 0.0 to a high of 10.0 for their time-limited performance. Unlike tennis matches and golf tournaments, audience members cheer, whistle and mildly heckle the hosts and judges.

Poetry slam was invented by Marc Smith, a Chicago construction worker and has been based in the Boston area since 1991. Performers hone their craft at two locations in the Cambridge, MA area: the Boston Poetry Slam @ the Cantab Lounge and the Lizard Lounge Poetry Slam.

Mike Henry (as envisioned by Powerhouse Animation), MC Emeritus of the Austin Poetry Slam, performs his unqiue slam intro.

Thanks to Kyle Fuller and Mike, who created this video.

Check out the Official NPS 2011 tumblr for more videos. You can browse the press section of our website to check out some audio of some past NPS participants.