2017 National Poetry Slam

8/7/2017 to 8/12/2017

The National Poetry Slam 2017 will be held August 7-12 in Denver, Colorado.

The National Poetry Slam is the annual poetry slam championship tournament, wherein four-to five-person teams from all over North America gather to compete against each other for the national team title. The week-long festival is part championship tournament, part poetry summer camp, and part traveling exhibition. NPS is the largest team performance poetry event in the world. Teams from all over North America, and a few from other places, converge in a different city every summer for five days of poetry, revelry and competition.

Registration opens (Certified Venues): 1st Monday in April
Registration opens (Registered Venues): 1st Monday in May
Registration closes: June 1
Last day to declare under 21 team at NPS (if NPS is 18+ that year): July 1

Last day to cancel and receive any refund for NPS: 45+ days out =100% refund, 30+ days out = 50% refund, 29 days out =0% refund of tournament fees but not memberships dues.


Can anyone send a team to NPS?
Not exactly. Teams come from Certified Poetry Slam Venues only. See the FAQ
on Certification and Registration.

How do I register our Certified team?

Be certain your Poetry Slam Venue has paid its certification fee for the current year.
Be certain your SlamMaster’s membership in PSI is current.
The order by which teams are registered is determined by a system called 2 Wins and
Pay your team application fee. Payment can be accomplished through this site.
By the time you arrive at NPS, all poets on your team must be members of PSI.

Can an individual compete at NPS?

Not any more. 2005 was the last year. Please see the IWPS FAQ Page for information on the Individual World Poetry Slam.

How do you decide which teams get in?
As we have grounded NPS in anchor cities, we are now in a position to slightly expand the field of competition. In 2017, 80 teams will be accepted into NPS.

Venues that do not participate in Win & You're In bouts are placed on the wait list for NPS!!!!

As a reminder, specific criteria to bring venues off the waiting list to be invited to NPS include:

· Newly certified venues (limited for these purposes to 4 guaranteed each year). If there are fewer than 4 new slams in a given certification year, the extra slot(s) will be returned to the general admission process.

· Number of years certified since attendance at last NPS (a team is currently guaranteed to attend NPS at least every third year as long as they participate in W&YI).

· Unreasonably remote venues (currently defined as Hawaii, Mexico City, and Paris) will be given guaranteed access to NPS every other year.

Distance to nearest slam will be a tiebreaker.

Once your slam has completed a Win & You're In bout, remember that all forms MUST BE SUBMITTED to secretary@poetryslam.com by April 1!

Can I withdraw our team and get our money back?

Yes, but withdrawals must be accomplished before June 1 to get a full refund. After June 1, but before June 30 you can get a 50% refund. After July 1, no refunds are available. The money is committed at that point and can’t be redirected.

How many poets on a team?

The rules permit teams of 4 to 5 poets. Each team is guaranteed two preliminary bouts. Each bout has four opportunities for performance. Obviously a team of 5 poets would need to perform multi-voice pieces in order to get all 5 poets on stage each night. A team is not required to put all team members on stage in either of their preliminary or subsequent semi-final or final night appearances.

Is there a waiting list?

If we have reached the maximum number of teams before a team registers, we will open a waiting list. If teams withdraw from NPS, we will bring teams off the waiting list according to the criteria listed above.

If I’m on the waiting list, can I still get my application fee back?

Yes, if you elect to stay on the waiting list, even until the bitter end, and your team is not admitted to NPS, you will recieve a full refund of your application fee.

How much does it cost to register a team?

4 passes: $425
5 passes: $500
6 passes: $575
7 passes: $650

General Registration Open: 
04/03/2017 (All day)
Registration Closes: 
06/01/2017 (All day)
Registration Price: 

Register Now!