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Day Events

The 2011 National Poetry Slam will offer myriad daytime events for the festival goer, including open mics, informal competitions, and workshops with some of slam’s biggest names. Day events are public and all ages with a cover of $3, and, in the case of our open mics and workshops, open to competitors, spectators, volunteers, and the local community!

We are pleased to offer more than two dozen Day Events as part of the NPS 2011 schedule, kicking off bright and early at 10:30 a.m. daily on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, August 9-12. All of our events will take place at the Cantab Lounge, theDemocracy Center, MIT’s Stata Center, the Cambridge Family YMCA, and our latest venue to the party: Rodney’s Bookstore at 698 Mass Ave. in Cambridge!

For an easy-to-read PDF version of our schedule, click here. You can also check out our venue page for more details on some of these great establishments who are welcoming a bunch of crazy poets to their stages!


SPECIAL MONDAY EVENT
National Poetry Slam Opening Ceremonies: BeeCool Poetry/Music MashUp!
Monday, August 8, at 8:30 p.m.
The Middle East Corner, 480 Mass Ave. in Cambridge
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Welcome to the National Poetry Slam, Cambridge! More than 300 poets will be flooding the city for the five-day festival this week, and we’ll kick it all off with a reading right here in the heart of Central Square. Poets and listeners alike are invited to this poetry open mic that features musical collaboration by local artists, as well as a few talented surprise guests! This event is 18+ and FREE. Hosted by Toni Bee, Poet Populist of Cambridge, and presented in proud collaboration with the Cambridge Arts Council.


TUESDAY DAYTIME SCHEDULE
all shows all ages, $3 cover

Rookie Open Mic
Tuesday, 10:30am – 1pm
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It’s only right that this be the very first event of the National Poetry Slam: this welcome reading is for first-timers attending NPS. There’s no excuse for nerves in your first competition bout once you’ve been initiated here! Every slam luminary had to get their start somewhere, so come see this year’s crop of NPS newbies; you might catch the next big thing. Hosted by PSi President Scott Woods at MIT’s Stata Center, Room 32-123, 32 Vassar St., Cambridge.

The Roots Reading
Tuesday, 11am – 1:30pm
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The forum of slam has brought about one of the most culturally diverse artistic experiences in the country. This open mic celebrates the differences that bring us all together. Hosted by Adam Stone and Sonya Renee downstairs at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Mass Ave., Cambridge.

Head to Head Haiku: Preliminaries
Tuesday, 1pm – 3pm
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Do you think you’ve mastered the art of concise poetry? Day one of this three day event will start to determine who has the best seventeen syllable poetry in Cambridge. Whether you call it haiku or senryu, this slam has its own special rules and unique judging system. If you plan on competing you’re going to need dozens and dozens of haiku ready, as this is one of the most popular events at NPS. Hosted by Tazuo Yamaguchi at MIT’s Stata Center, Room 32-123, 32 Vassar St., Cambridge.

The Grief and Remembrance Reading
Tuesday, 1pm – 3:30pm
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An opportunity to honor grief and loss, remembering loved ones who have experienced tragedy or passed on. Hosted by Angus Adair and Karen G at the Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge.

Workshop: Tips from the Bar
Tuesday, 1:30pm – 3:30pm
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Riffing off the Boston Poetry Slam’s series of weekly writing prompts, bartender and workshop leader Adam Stone will be discussing where to steal or come up with original ideas to get the creative juices flowing. The focus will be generating a whole slew of ideas to use for yourself, and to spread to others. This event will be more dialogue than lecture or performance, so you’re invited to bring your own ideas and poems. Impromptu readings and/or performances have been known to break out at previous events. Led by Adam Stone downstairs at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Mass Ave., Cambridge.


WEDNESDAY DAYTIME SCHEDULE
all shows all ages, $3 cover

Head to Head Haiku: Preliminaries
Wednesday, 10:30am – 1pm
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Did you miss the first day of H2H Haiku? No problem! For the first time ever, we’re extending this event to three days. This twist on conventional slam brings competitors together in head-to-head matches with an experienced host to guide the audience through special stylized response. Anything (and we do mean ANYTHING) goes in this slam, as long as it’s 5-7-5. If you’re planning to compete, be sure to bring plenty of haiku! Hosted by Tazuo Yamaguchi at MIT’s Stata Center, Room 32-123, 32 Vassar St., Cambridge.

Workshop: Slam as a Safe Space?
How to Further the Conversation at Dismantling Oppression

Wednesday, 10:30am – 1pm
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CHANGE TO SCHEDULE AS OF AUGUST 1: THIS IS NOW A ONE-DAY EVENT, AVAILABLE ON BOTH WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY. Are slammers really preaching to the choir? In order to address some of the socially charged moments in slam, this workshop teaches how to begin challenging dialogues in a healthy way. Hosted by Sonya Renee and led by Maureen Benson at the Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge.

Volunteer Open Mic
Wednesday, 11am – 1pm
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Some of the most talented poets in the country are in town– not for the glory, but to make the events run smoothly. This is day one of a celebration of the hard-working volunteers who make NPS happen; you might be surprised who you’ll see working at this year’s NPS!Hosted by Jason Carney and Faylita Hicks at Rodney’s Bookstore, 698 Mass Ave., Cambridge.

Points of Origin Open Mic
Wednesday, 11am – 1:30pm
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The forum of slam has brought about one of the most culturally diverse artistic experiences in the country. This open mic celebrates the differences that bring us all together. Hosted by Twain Dooley and Phil Kaye downstairs at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Mass Ave., Cambridge.

Poet CD and Penmanship Showcase
Wednesday, 1pm – 3pm
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Founded and run by some of the top talent and organizers involved with The National Poetry Slam, Penmanship Press features some of the best writers from our community. This showcase will feature writers from the Poet CD/Penmanship stable. Hosted by Mahogany Browne at MIT’s Stata Center, Room 32-123, 32 Vassar St., Cambridge.

Workshop: Booking Your Tour
Wednesday, 1pm – 3pm
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Figuring out who to talk to and how to talk to them to book shows can be hard work. Two veteran touring poets share their knowledge on how to make scheduling your tour easier and more profitable. Led by Billy Tuggle and Andi Kauth at Rodney’s Bookstore, 698 Mass Ave., Cambridge.

Recovery Reading
Wednesday, 1pm – 3:30pm
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Designed specifically for our audience members and slammers taking it one day at a time: stories of recovery and relapse, struggle and success that speak to the whole community.Hosted by Bill MacMillan and Sonya Renee at the Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge.

Workshopping the Workshop: Professional Development
Wednesday, 1:30pm – 3:30pm
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Two veteran teaching artists discuss and model strategies on how to generate and refine creative writing curriculum, as well as establish successful workshop programs in a variety of environments. Learn the tricks of the trade when it comes to creating, booking, and running a successful workshop. Led by Jon Sands and Geoffrey Kagan Trencharddownstairs at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Mass Ave., Cambridge.


THURSDAY DAYTIME SCHEDULE
all shows all ages, $3 cover

Slam: Harry Potter vs. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Thursday, 10:30am – 12:30pm
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The National Poetry Slam attracts all kinds of nerds, but some of the writing-est nerds must be the Harry Potter and Buffy fans. Their numbers have grown so strong –and vocal– at the National Poetry Slam that we had to give them their own reading… So we figured they might as well slam off against each other! Hosted by Trevor Liam Byrne-Smith and featuring a special panel of nerd experts at MIT’s Stata Center, Room 32-123, 32 Vassar St., Cambridge.

Workshop: Slam as a Safe Space?
How to Further the Conversation at Dismantling Oppression

Thursday, 10:30am – 1pm
click for Facebook Event
CHANGE TO SCHEDULE AS OF AUGUST 1: THIS IS NOW A ONE-DAY EVENT, AVAILABLE ON BOTH WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY. In this valuable workshop, participants will have the opportunity to actually dialogue about slam, privilege, and some of the hardest and most charged subjects in the slam community. Led by Maureen Benson and featuring Sonya Renee at the Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge.

Volunteer Open Mic
Thursday, 11am – 1pm
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Check out who’s making it happen! This open mic is for anyone working hard at the 2011 National Poetry Slam. Our volunteer staff is made up of very talented New England writers, as well as veteran slammers from past National Poetry Slams. This event won’t be a meek open mic where people hold the paper too close to their face as they stumble through their diary entries about turtles (unless it’s a hilarious performance piece). This is a fantastic opportunity to see some of the best poets at NPS doing the pieces they most want to perform for you. Hosted by Tova Charles at Rodney’s Bookstore, 698 Mass Ave., Cambridge.

Where I’m From Open Mic
Thursday, 11am – 1:30pm
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A celebration of our various backgrounds: ethnic, national, racial, gender, and sexual orientation. This open mic gives us the opportunity to talk about the labels that other people use to define us, whether or not we perceive them as accurate or appropriate. Not just a place for serious commentary on our backgrounds, also a place to share the humor of our common experiences. Hosted by Paulie Lipman and Jose Gouveia downstairs at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Mass Ave., Cambridge.

Nerd Slam
Thursday, 12:30pm – 3:00pm
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No, this event isn’t about having the best poem on a nerdy topic. Contestants must prove their nerdspertise by answering questions on a variety of topics from Einstein’s Theory On Relativity to Chris Claremont’s run on The Uncanny X-Men Comics. Wannabe readers choose the topic and the Panel of Nerd Judges holds the questions and their fate. Only the nerdiest will win the right to read a poem! (No Buffy or Harry Potter specialists, please: your reading is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today.) Hosted by Robbie Q and Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz and featuring a special judging panel at MIT’s Stata Center, Room 32-123, 32 Vassar St., Cambridge.

Workshop: International Booking
Thursday, 1pm – 3pm
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Take your tour to the next level: Europe! Africa! Asia! Australia! Come here to learn how to book your tour across the pond (or across the world) from someone who’s been there and back. Led by Karen Finneyfrock at Rodney’s Bookstore, 698 Mass Ave., Cambridge.

Youth Slam
Thursday, 1pm – 3:30pm
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Documentaries like Louder Than a Bomb and Brave New Voices have proven that the next generation of poets is well on its way to establishing itself as one of the best in spoken word history. Come watch the local under-eighteen crowd swagger their way to the microphones. Be prepared to leave embarrassed by your own high school journal entries.Hosted by Jade Sylvan, Alex Charalambides, and Harlym125 at the Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge.

Slam: Box of Doom
Thursday, 1:30pm – 3:30pm
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What’s in the Box? Only the host knows… But the slammers are about to reach in and find out. Contestants could be asked to slam with anything from a 1999 Beau Sia poem to Kajagoogoo lyrics. Good luck! You’ll need it! Hosted by Adam Stone downstairs at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Mass Ave., Cambridge.


FRIDAY DAYTIME SCHEDULE
all shows all ages, $3 cover

American Sign Language Showcase
Friday, 10:30am – 1pm
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The National Poetry Slam has been blessed with some of the best interpreters of American Sign Language in the country. Perennial interpreter Mona Jean Cedar is putting together a phenomenal showcase of students, interpreters and members of the Deaf community in Boston. Hosted by Mona Jean Cedar at the YMCA, 820 Mass Ave., Cambridge.

Volunteer Open Mic
Friday, 11am – 1pm
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The volunteers who have been working too hard to hit an open mic all week will surely be here. Come support some of the folks who are making this happen –or take a turn on the open mic yourself. Hosted by Big Poppa E and Kat Sanford at Rodney’s Bookstore, 698 Mass Ave., Cambridge.

The Masquerade
Friday, 1pm – 3pm
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The persona poem has long been a staple of the slam repertoire, generating some of the art form’s touchstone poems. Performers here will stop talking about themselves in favor of pretending to be someone else. Hosted by Xtian Drake at Rodney’s Bookstore, 698 Mass Ave., Cambridge.

Showcase: Write Bloody
Friday, 1pm – 3:30pm
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A variety of writers who’ve been published by Write Bloody Press bring their poetry to Cambridge. Featuring Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, Brian S. Ellis, Taylor Mali, Victor Infante, Robb Q Telfer, and more writers from the Write Bloody stable: downstairs at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Mass Ave., Cambridge.

Head to Head Haiku: Enter Haiku Finals
Friday, 1pm – 3:30pm
This is what you’ve been waiting for: the biggest, the wildest, the bestest-of-17-syllables that NPS haiku has to offer! Winners of the week’s preliminaries (plus some surprise additions) take the stage to see who will be crowned the 2011 National Poetry Slam Head-to-Head Haiku Champion. Hosted by Tazuo Yamaguchi at MIT’s Stata Center, Room 32-123, 32 Vassar St., Cambridge.


Our Day Events Schedule is firm, but you can still email our Day Events Coordinator, Adam Stone, to offer your hosting skills.

For an easy-to-read PDF version of our schedule, click here.