Tag Archives: Swindon Slam

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

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

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

Erotic cupcakes – Swindon Slam! in Swindon Festival of Literature

12 May

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So it was Swindon versus love tokens in the final of the 19th Swindon Slam!, on Saturday night.

Bit of a brave decision, dissing the hosting town in your bid to be crowned King of Slam. I’ll admit I quite liked Robert Garnham’s* rhyming of ‘Billie Piper’ and ‘hyper’ and comparison of Swindon to Philip Scofield. I can see where he’s coming from. But whether this counted against him or whether Tina Saderhome’s* domestic tale of love tokens was better, I’m not sure. In case you were wondering, love tokens are those things which really test a relationship – not when your spouse/daughter is kidnapped to ensure you commit a presidential assassination**, no we’re talking about leaving the toilet uncleaned after, ahem, a bowel movement: ‘I didn’t realise you’d literally leave your shit lying around’.***

And – in the bit I was there for anyway – there was *breaking news* no poetry about sex. Unless you count the erotic way cupcakes were described in one stanza, and Fozzie Bear in another (‘Wear the Hat!’). Okay, these were the two poets that slammed in the final. So, actually, if you do want to win a slam, make sure your poetry is loaded with smut.

*This spelling is probably utterly wrong.
**Sorry, been watching all eight series of 24 again.
***This is an appalling paraphrase.

Words by Louisa Davison. Photos by Calyx Pictures.

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