“We play with words, and we fly like birds”…it’s Thursday afternoon in the Apples and Snakes office and lines from Sunday evening’s SLAMbassadors UK Final Showcase at the 100 Club are still floating in to my head.
The Poetry Society’s SLAMbassadors UK is now in its 10th year and the programme’s heart and soul, Joelle Taylor, was on fine form on Sunday. She warmed up the audience with her moving and compelling poem Last Poet Standing – a call to arms (or to pens) for all writers – and proceeded to get justifiably moist-eyed at the performances from the eight young people that she has nurtured and mentored over the past year.
The youngest of the winners, Emily and Renee, blew me away with their sheer confidence in front of a room brimful of other poets, friends and family and members of the public, whilst both the first and last of the young performers, Gabriel and Megan, are clearly getting into their stride as professional spoken word artists. Aaron, Harry and Tamara all displayed fantastic poetics alongside a real insight and sensitivity about the human condition in the 21st century, in all its beauty and squalor.
Charlotte meanwhile, performing a poem written from the perspective of a retired British serviceman in her soft, lyrical Northern Irish accent, had the room on its feet and my heart in my mouth with the final line of a poem created just the day before in a masterclass: “but she stopped, at once, at the second shot”.
An inspiring and emotional night.Read More