We’ve run some wonderful poetry slams over the years – it’s something we get a huge buzz out of doing – and yesterday’s slam in Shrewsbury was up there with the best of them. It was the third slam we’ve co-ordinated for the Shrewsbury Literature Festival, and possibly the first one we’ve ever put on where any one of the fifteen poets who took part had a genuine chance of winning. The standard was incredibly high, we were treated to work which was thoughtful, honest, impassioned, and hilarious by turns, and the scores were very, very close. On another day, poets who didn’t make it past the first round would have sailed into the semi-finals, while the three poets who got knocked out at the semi-final stage could just as easily have been contesting for the winner’s prize. This was an afternoon of poetry at its best, and everyone played their part.
At pandemonialist slams, all three of our finalists go home with a scratchcard, an incredible work of literature, and some of Poundland’s finest confectionery. Yesterday was no exception. It’s entirely possible that all three poets have woken up this morning £100,000 richer, in chocolate-stained bedsheets, still weeping over the emotional impact of devouring the biographies of Lewis Hamilton, Posh & Becks, or Vera Lynn. We know how to treat our poets. Oh yes, we do.
Our congratulations to Nick Lovell (who came 3rd), Manjit Sahota (2nd) and our overall winner Colin Wells, who bagged himself a gig at next year’s festival as part of his prize. Each of you was a joy to listen to. Thanks.
P.S. Our next slam is the hometown poetry extravaganza. Wolverhampton, 25th January 2020. This one is huge, and we’ll be putting out the call for slammers in a couple of weeks.