To read the team's first diary entry, go here.
Poet Jesse Parent writes from Boston on August 12:
Well, will wonders never cease?!
Our second bout at the National Poetry Slam was against Atlanta, Vancouver, and Los Angeles on the MIT campus. We came in with a 2nd place finish from the day before and knew that we would need to win this bout to have a chance at going to semifinals. In previous years, we were in worse positions and opted to try to get into group piece finals where the best multiple-voice poems are done by teams that did not get into semis. As Josh McGillis, our coach, mapped out our game plan, we realized we would only be doing solo pieces.
My parents drove up to see us and got themselves seated. Unfortunately, my brother didn't get there in time to see the poem I had written about him, but he did call my mother for directions on the phone that she had left on. The emcee stared a hole in her as it kept ringing and she struggled to turn it down.
It was a close, low scoring bout, but we jumped out to an early lead and kept it up throughout the bout. At the end, one of the Atlanta poets, Marshall Gillson, who had been on the 2008 Salt Lake team, did a poem dedicated to one of our poets, DeAnn. A sweet reminder that we are a community of friends and it wasn't always about winning. Although, it did score very well.
In the end, we won. A first for our team at a national competition! Only the top 20 teams go on to the competition after the preliminary bouts, and we just put ourselves in 19th place out of 76 teams. Tonight, we will face off against Providence, Santa Cruz, Berkeley, and Oakland to try and win a spot as one of 4 teams on the finals stage, something else we've never done.
Let's keep hoping for wonders.