Wednesday, February 02, 2005

the 4 nations slam

great night last night. after an early evening speaking engagement i headed down to a packed Zodiac nightclub in Oxford for the 4 nations poetry slam. for those unfamiliar to the world of poetry slams (last night was my first time but they weren't very gentle with me), let me explain. it's a bit like a performance poetry version of Pop Idol. teams compete by entering individuals (tho there were some group poems last night) who perform a poem (within a set time period - 3 mins i think). The poem is then scored by pre-selected judges in the crowd who hold up score cards. last night there were 4 teams from 4 nations - UK, USA, Canada and Ireland. there are 2 semi-finals (which last night were USA v Ireland, and UK v Canada) and the winners of each heat go through to the final. last night the final was between the USA and Canada. It was a rockin night - some great, poignant (and often hilarious) poems by some great characters. the BBC carried a piece on it here. Tho I stayed for the whole slam i left before the result was announced so perhaps someone could enlighten me - it looked like a very close call between the two teams in the final.
One thing that struck me was how many of the poems seemed to be searching for a re-enchantment of the world. asking and pleading with us to stop and notice the wonder of the world that we live in. cajoling us to see tired and familiar things with a sense of awe and almost reverence. people in hOME like Naomi have blogged before about how they wished church could be more like this sort of gathering and on last night's evidence i think i can see why.

Originally uploaded by Matt Rees.

1 comment:

richard said...

The US won.

It's gonna take me a while to process a lot of what I heard last night. It was stupedous. But sooooo much information. Feel like I'm going to take a while before I pass comment on it. And I feel like I need to retire from slamming for a while... So good, but so draining.