Tag Archives: spoken word

Chickens win the 16th Swindon Slam!

13 May

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Today I witnessed a poetry slam for the first time. I’ve been aware of them for about 13 years, so it was about time I got my finger out and went to one.

But what a great performance! Seasoned hosts Sarah-Jane Arbury and Marcus Moore have been doing this a long time – Swindon’s is the second longest running in the UK – but both are as fresh as a daisy, warming up the audience with an introductory clap along to Donna Summer’s Hot Stuff. Continue reading

Toothill Long Poem

13 May

Disappointed I didn’t get to see / hear this one.

I spoke to organiser Hilda Sheehan (as herself this time, not Domestic Cherry Mabel) in between FLIT 180 and Swindon Slam! and she was very pleased with how the world premiere of the Toothill Long Poem turned out. Continue reading

The poetry of battered moons

12 May

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Swindon’s poetry competition, just turned national, attracted 300 entries. And has a great title.

Winners and commendeds came from across the country to the celebratory event at the Swindon Festival of Literature last night, held at the Swindon Art Gallery and Museum. It was judged and special guested by well-regarded poet Michael Symmons Roberts, with lovely Spanish guitaring by Robert Jacks and uplifting songs by Serene Boulton…

But…

It was all just a bit, well, quiet.

I don’t know. I like a bit of showbiz. Not the silly extremes of vote-athons like X Factor where they take 5 minutes and an ad break to reveal the winners. But, more of a performance. More anticipation. More excitement. Continue reading

Are you there?

10 May

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Are you there? Good.

So I went to Alex Horne’s Word Watching at the Swindon Festival of Literature last night, a tad concerned it might be a bit Radio 4, you know, cosy in a Louis Theroux sort of way. And yes, I guess it was. No agit-comic Mark Thomas-style clashes with authority or Frankie Boyle controversy for Alex.

That’s not to say he didn’t get some sound tellings-off. During his quest to get an Alex-original (or rather: re-appropriated) word into the Oxford English dictionary he was nearly banned from Wikipedia for repeatedly changing Natasha Kaplinski’s entry to describe her height as 6’2” tall and removing all references to ‘hands’ and replacing them with new word ‘paddles’. And his knuckles were virtually rapped via email by Only Connect presenter Victoria Coren for being responsible for a deluge of emails to the BBC which insisted that ‘honk’ is a bona fide word for ‘cash’. 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