Tag Archives: Joy-Amy Wigman

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

There can be only one – Swindon Slam!

8 May

First off, a massive congratulations to all who took part in the Swindon Slam! this year (and every year). Everyone who took part wrote a credible piece of poetry and for some it was pouring their souls out on stage. In competitions if you win, or come in the top three, it’s the best feeling in the world, but if you lose it can be very demotivating. So I’m going to say, keep going! You are fantastic, want to hear more!

There were 15 amazing competitors this year, which equalled 29 diverse poems under three minutes or less – including those by comperes – mostly performed with aplomb.

Yes there were poems about beverages and love and references to dead famous poets, and poems about poems or not writing poems or taking part in competitions with poems (like this one).

There were also poems about war, bombings, addiction, the environment and Professor Brian Cox (of course). Continue reading

Goodness knows I’m staying away from prose

20 Apr

The last event in my excursion to Cheltenham Festival of Literature event was Poetry and all that Jazz, Slak Bar, night time.

After Mab Jones’ collective came five poetic performers. In the end, I sat on a bar stool in Slak for over five hours. Not good for the back but sure beats a night in with the TV, especially as mine doesn’t work. Continue reading