If you think that poetry belongs in the days of Wordsworth, then prepare for a re-education. The Roundhouse‘s event returns to air the UK’s hottest contemporary talent in spoken word. There is a cash prize up for grabs, as well as the accolade of being crowned poetry slam champion – and stars of the art will be present to judge the young newcomers, including Inua Ellams, Kat Francois and the mighty grammar-man, Polarbear (pictured below).
Originating in the US back in the 80s, the poetry slam event draws on a variety of influences and styles. It may have all begun in a Jazz club in Chicago but performances range from Hip-Hip rap deliveries to dub poetry and unrhyming narrative formulas. The content of the performances can be anything from politicised verse to current events (could there be some olympic references in there too?). Last year Zia Ahmed took the prize and it’s not hard to see why. Since the performers will be aged between 16 and 25 the subject are likely to be more politicised than ever, just like the days of Alan Ginsberg and the beat poets. So it’s sure to be a great event at the Roundhouse – a place that always concerns itself with pushing the boundaries – and we just can’t resist that! (Words: Laura Thornley)
The Poetry Slam kicks off on August 15th. For more info, visit http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/productions/roundhouse-poetry-slam-2012
Words: Laura Thornley