In 1992, Boston was the second city ever to host the National Poetry Slam, bringing thousands of wordsmiths together to go head to head for championship bragging rights.
Nearly two decades later, the word-manipulating contest has returned to the Hub, kicking off today and launching a weeklong throwdown.
Seventy-six teams from across the country will battle on various stages using their best poetry techniques for the next three nights to whittle the field down to 20 semifinalists.
Teams get three minutes per member to crush their competition by discussing premeditated topics of their choice, or freestyling a verse on the spot.
Simone Beaubien, 2011 NPS city director and SlamMaster of Boston Poetry Slam, said poets generally attack topics like politics, current events and personal experiences.
“Truly any topic can be heard,” she said. “You will hear love poems, stand-up comedy — there all many types of styles and ways to attack the mic.”
Beaubien said people are bound to get an eclectic spoonful of flavor.
“[Different cities] have different ideas of what is valued on stage,” she said.
The five-day event also hosts workshops, open mics, and late-night poetry games open to the public.
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