The National Poetry Slam

Aug. 9-12 in Austin

This city last hosted the National Poetry Slam in 1998, to great acclaim. Since then, the sport of spoken word has grown, and so has its big dance. The 2006 version will include 73 teams and 350 artists from the United States and Europe. On Wednesday, Aug. 9, and Thursday, Aug. 10, the five-team preliminary bouts (see p.40) will decide the 25 teams that earn berths for Friday's semifinals – taking place at Antone's, Ruta Maya, 501 Studios, the Hideout, and Ego's – as well as the 10 individual finalists, who will compete at the Paramount Theatre later that evening. And for the first time in NPS history, five teams will advance to the championship bout: Saturday night will find them at the Palmer Auditorium.

Throughout the NPS, its Web site will be updated with matchups and more at www.nps2006.com. There, you'll also find daytime and late-night programming information. Especially recommended are the Legends Showcase, the Nerd Slam, the Group Piece Open Mic, and the Hip Hop Headquarters. For more in this issue, see Arts Listings.

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