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Friday, August 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 78.0° F  Partly Cloudy
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Announcing the teams competing at the National Poetry Slam 2008 in Madison

Hundreds of spoken word performers from around the United States, along with a handful from Canada and Europe, are in the midst of preparations for this year's National Poetry Slam, which be held in Madison over the first week of August. Competing in teams of four or five members apiece, each will take the stage and give their best through a series of bouts at the competition. Altogether they will comprise 76 teams, the final selection of which was announced last Friday by the national organizers Poetry Slam Incorporated.

"After a year of 'Win and You're In' bouts, SlamMaster conferences and a rack of other requirements filled in order to get their teams to the National Poetry Slam," declares the group, "we finally have a list of competitors!!!"

This complete roster of teams is the largest yet for the National Poetry Slam, now in its nineteenth year since originating as a head-to-head battle between Chicago and San Francisco poets. The 76 teams competing this year in Madison come from a far broader area, hailing from dozens of cities in 29 states, two Canadian provinces, and France. Though several teams were originally held on a waiting list, several dropped out over the course of the spring and early summer, and all interested applicants are now onboard for the slam.

Wisconsin is represented by two teams: Mecca from Milwaukee and Madison Urban Spoken Word Collective from Madison. These hometown competitors were selected at the city finals, held back in May at the Inn on the Park on the Capitol Square.

Other states have more hopefuls, with expected large contingents from New York and California. Leading the way, though, is Texas, which boasts a whopping nine teams, including two apiece from Houston and Austin, the latter of which hosted the national slam over the last two years. Dozens of others, meanwhile, represent large cities and college towns throughout every region of the country.

These teams competing at the National Poetry Slam 2008 follow, listed in alphabetical order by city and state :

There were four other teams originally registered but later withdrew. They were from: Ann Arbor, Michigan; Bryan, Texas; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Palatine, Illinois.

National Poetry Slam 2008 begins on Sunday, August 3 and runs through Saturday, August 9. Passes and tickets for the slam competitions and accompanying festival are already available, and can be purchased online, at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee, and at Rainbow Books and Avol's Bookstore in downtown Madison.

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