San Diego Slam Poetry Team Finishes Second in the Nation Aug 8, 2016 Poetry and Exhibits By Staff Writer On Friday, August 6th the San Diego Poetry Slam Team preformed on final stage of the National Poetry Slam competition. Hundreds gathered at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA to witness the final four teams (Baltimore, Boston, San Diego, Austin) out of a field of 72 compete for the title of national champion. The accomplishment marked the second time in four years a team from San Diego has made the final stage, solidifying the city as a force to be reckoned with in the slam poetry scene. In order to make final stage, the team had to participate in two preliminary bouts to qualify for a spot in one of the four semi-final bouts during the week long competition. San Diego took first place finishes in both preliminary bouts and won a competitive semi-final bout. Their second place finish came on final stage in dramatic fashion as Rudy Francisco closed the night with a performance garnering a perfect score to vault San Diego past the Boston team. Outside of Francisco, the team was full of rookies (Amen Ra, Anita D, Cole Lawson and Natasha Hooper) marking a bright future for the squad. “I think our team’s success this year was a byproduct of how hungry we were and our willingness to self-critique and adjust,” said Francisco, who served as coach for this year’s team. The slam season starts back on Monday, September 12th at Queen Bee’s Art and Culture Center as San Diego poets will participate in monthly competitions to see who will make next year’s team.