No rhyme or reason needed

For those interested in breaking out into the poetry world, the London Poetry Slam is the perfect opportunity. But it’s also great for Londoners who are just looking for something a little different to do on a Friday night.

“Poetry slam” is probably an unfamiliar concept to many Londoners, but London’s slam scene is hip-hop-happening and you don’t need to be a poet to enjoy it.

Every third Friday of the month London’s slam poetry scene comes alive at the London Music Club.

For audience members and poets alike these Fridays are an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, meet new people, experiment with different forms of expression. Slam poet TedO says spoken word poetry is like a glimpse into other people’s lives and how they see the world.

It can be fun whether you’re a poet or not.

What’s in a slam?

Spoken word and poetry slam are not synonymous although they are related. A poetry slam is a spoken word competition. Anyone can sign up and participate.

Each competitor is judged by selected members of the audience. At the end of the season in April, the top 10 competitors compete for a spot on the London’s poetry slam team. The team then rehearses for competition at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in October.

London Poetry Slam
All poets are welcome at the ‘Slam.
Photo courtesy of London Poetry Slam

According to Michelle Grove, Grand Slam champion, poem topics are all-encompassing and can range from love and heartbreak to political issues. There are even some who decide to take a musical and RnB approach.

In other words – Slam Poetry has got something for everyone.

“The points are not the point,” says London Poetry Slam Director Holly Painter, “It’s about creating a space where people can talk about their thoughts and feelings and their lives and share those stories through spoken word.”

Non-combat role

If competition isn’t your thing but you still want to dip your toes into the spoken word pool, don’t fret. Those who want to perform but aren’t interested in being judged still have the opportunity during the open mic portion of the night.

The open mic offers the perfect non-threatening atmosphere for blossoming poets, people looking to try out the spoken word scene, or let off some pent-up steam.

London Poetry Slam
No judgment necessary. London Poetry Slam offers everyone a chance to speak their piece. Photo courtesy of London Poetry Slam.

“It feels so satisfying to put so much time and effort into a performance and then get so much love and respect back after you do it” says youth poet and slam frequenter Eric Trudell.

If you’ve got a story to tell or feelings to let loose the London Poetry Slam is the perfect environment to do so.

Not sure how to get started?

TedO, a former stand-up comedian, says he first got into spoken word through an album put out by his favourite rap artists. Eric, on the other hand, first heard about the London Poetry Slam while scrolling through Google and decided to give it a try.

So pick up the pen and paper, pour out your feelings and get writing. Who knows, maybe you’ve got a little poet in you.



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