XERO BRINGS THE HEAT! 4TH IN NATION!

ORPHEUM THEATER - MINNEAPOLIS MN
Saturday, August 17

BR Slam Team coach, Ray Sibley reported in the Moonlark Guestbook that Xero Skidmore finished 4th in the National Poetry Slam Indy Poet Final Competition. No details are available at this time regarding scores and rankings, but Xero went up against seven other poets in what as regarded as the most intense event of performance poetry all year.

BATON ROUGE NPS TEAM FINISHES GLORIOUS RUN
...XERO ADVANCES TO FINALS!


KIERNAN'S and THE QUEST - MINNEAPOLIS MN
Friday, August 16

The Baton Rouge National Slam team was vanquished tonight by the New York City/Nuyorican team in the semi-finals of the National Poetry Slam. There was no sense of disappointment among team members, however, because all members felt they had performed to the best of their abilities. Team veteran Xero Skidmore said of first-time National Slammers Pimp and Dorian: "Their performance was world class." Skidmore went on to praise the Baton Rouge community of poets, saying that the support and encouragement of the Baton Rouge community helped propel the team in Minneapolis. In a show of support, the New Orleans Slam Team, which was unable to compete in the Nationals due to a technicality, drove all the way to Minneapolis and was at every Baton Rouge bout, cheering on their Red Stick commrades. Spirits were high in the team hotel room after the semi-finals, and Coach Ray Sibley pointed out, "Now we can all relax and enjoy ourselves...except for Xero."

The reason Xero will be unable to relax is that, by virtue of his combined scores in all of the team bouts, and because of his performance in the individual semi-finals, Xero has qualified for the National Poetry Slam final competition. Out of the six poets chosen from North America to compete in the indy finals, Xero is ranked number four, and will be competing in Saturday night's final competition at the historic Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis. The Orpheum seats 2600 patrons and is expected to be standing room only.

BATON ROUGE TEAM WINS FIRST BOUT

KIERAN'S IRISH PUB - MINNEAPOLIS MN
Wednesday, August 14

The National Poetry Slam Team from Baton Rouge, Louisiana won first place in their opening bout at the National Poetry Slam in Minneapolis tonight. The BR team prevailed over teams from Alaska, Detroit, and Boston, in spite of what team Coach Ray Sibley described as "phenomenal competition."

Baton Rouge edged out 2nd place Hamtramck/Detroit by one tenth of a point. Sibley stated that it was the team strategy to lead off with powerhouse Mona Webb, who - in spite of a well-documented trend in poetry slams to score opening poets lower - still pulled off a 27.1.

Team member Xero Skidmore pointed out that, unlike some teams which rely on high scorers to balance out low scorers, the Baton Rouge team "won as a team." The lowest score for team BR tonight was a 26.9, which was much higher than the median score for the bout.

Xero went on to say that the team wished to express its gratitude to the countless supporters in Baton Rouge who made the trip possible. Mona Webb told this reporter: "We kicked ass."

Thursday night at Sursumcorda in Minneapolis, the Baton Rouge team will be going up against teams from Oakland, West Palm Beach, and Montclair NJ.

BR Opening bout scores
1st - Baton Rouge - total score: 110.3
2nd - Detroit - total score: 110.2
3rd - Alaska - total score: 104.9
4th - Boston/Cantab - total: 98.4

Individual scores:
Xero 29.1
Pimp 27.2
Mona 27.1
Dorian 26.9

BATON ROUGE TEAM WINS SECOND BOUT,
ADVANCES TO SEMI-FINALS!


SURSUMCORDA, MINNEAPOLIS MN
Thursday, August 15
(updated Aug 16, 11:30am)

The slam team from Baton Rouge, Louisiana moved into the semi-finals at the National Poetry Slam this evening, winning first place in their second bout. Team BR triumphed over Oakland CA, West Palm Beach FL, and Montclair NJ. As of Friday morning, the Baton Rouge team is ranked second place in the team competition, and BR poet Xero Skidmore is ranked 12th in the individual rankings.

The initial report of the team's victory came from a message posted to the Moonlark Guestbook by Coach Ray Sibley from a crowded Minneapolis barroom. There, amid drunken poets, using a beer soaked computer with a broken spacebar, Sibley managed to type out:
"HEY--WEJUSTTOOK-1ST-PLACE-IN-OUR-SECOND-BOUT---WE-GOING-TO-THE-SEMIFINALS...

The Baton Rouge Team will be competing Friday night at 7:00 at Kieran's Irish Pub in Minneapolis. The exact seedings for the semi-finals are not known at this time, but team members report they will be competing against three former champions of the National Poetry Slam - Dallas TX, San Francisco CA, and New York City/Nuyorican.

In addition to the team semi-finals, Baton Rouge will also be represented in the Individual semi-finals by Xero Skidmore who, during the Baton Rouge Team's competition, scored high enough to be entered as an indie competitor. Skidmore will be competing Friday night at 9:00 at The Quest in Minneapolis.

Baton Rouge has been sending a team to the National Poetry Slam since 1999, but a Baton Rouge team has never advanced to the semi-finals.

BR Second Round Bout Scores
1st - Baton Rouge - Total score: 115.4
2nd - Montclair NJ - Total score: 114.4
3rd - Oakland CA - Total score: 113.8
4th - W.Palm Beach FL - Total Score 112.0

Individual scores:
Xero 29.1 (scored 29.6, but lost .5 on time violation)
Pimp 28.9
Dorian 28.7
Mona 28.7

National Slam Team Competition
1st Round winners - National Slam Team tryouts - April 3, 2002
1. Mona Webb
2. Xero Skidmore
3. (tie) Donnie Brasco / Knowledge

2nd Round winners - National Slam Team tryouts - April 10, 2002
1. Shelly Bush / Pimp (tie)
2. Bevill
3. Clifford B. Young

3rd Round winners - National Slam Team tryouts - April 17, 2002
1. The Junk Bard Dog
2. Dorian
3. Ru / Melody Cool / Liberty (tie)