Competition at the National Poetry Slam last for five nights. During the first three nights (Tuesday, August 7 through Thursday, August 9), each team competes in two Preliminary Bouts. Twenty teams advance to the Semi-Finals on Friday, August 10. Twelve teams also advance to Group Piece Finals, a showcase competition of the best multi-voice work of the event, immediately following the Semi-Finals. The top four teams will compete in the 2012 National Poetry Slam Finals on Saturday, August 11 at the Knight Theater.

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