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Swindon Slam – the real elephant in the room

14 May
Swindon Slam winner Joy-Amy Wigman

Swindon Slam winner Joy-Amy Wigman

“Poems are no longer dangerous enough; risk-averse…” shouts Brenda Reed Brown, Swindon Slam contestant. And, as the evening comes to an end, I must agree she may have a point.

For the 25th anniversary of the Festival of Literature (and the 22nd Swindon Slam) previous winners – normally excluded from entering – were invited back.

That was good news for 2017 winner, Joy-Amy Wigman, who took the 2018 trophy with her poem, Hell Is Empty; a political poem documenting an encounter that Joy had with a Tory MP who advised ‘disability cuts will not affect you’. This statement promoted her pennings and sign off – it will affect you, maybe not, you are a Tory.

Fellow finalist Chris Osman, meanwhile, competed with his poem, Even Daily Mail Readers Die. Continue reading

You! Me! Slamming!

7 May

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The tone for the 21st Swindon Slam! was set by Swindon Arts Centre technician Ben. Hot Stuff blared out as hosts Sara-Jane Arbury and Steve Rooney danced their way onto stage. Revelling in her finger-pointing authority, the mistress of the mic stoked an already humming audience with the measures of applause: Cheering! Wooping! Stamping! Clapping! Whistling! Winking(?)! Kissing(??)! Hearting(???)!

After the rules had been explained and the judges calibrated with Steve’s ‘sacrificial poem’ concerning the joys of the work sickie, the draw for the first of four heats that comprised the first round was undertaken. The resulting draw put out three Swindonians in consecutive order: Heather Still followed by Stephen Daniels and Nick Lovell, with experienced slammer Peter Wyton rounding out what transpired to be blisteringly close first heat. Continue reading

Poetry, Swindon Slam-style – Swindon Festival of Literature

12 May

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The decision of the judges was final. The decision of the referees were even more final. We gave orgasmistically abandoned appreciation. Yes, it was the 19th Swindon Slam!, a poetic performance of epic proportions. Continue reading