SLAMbassadors UK is now officially closed for judging! In spite of a turbulent year at the Poetry Society and a severe lack of funding for the project as a whole, we battled on with bruised microphones and dodgy camcorders – and the results are now available to see online on the Poetry Society’s YouTube channel. There are almost 400 films to wade through in time for the big judging day in February, so please be patient. We are slowly gathering all the threads together to create playlists – but in the meantime, simply write ‘Slambassadors 2011’ in the YouTube browse panel and scroll through the films. Some of these films will be available with exercises and teacher’s notes in the next month – downloadable from this site.
I want to send a massive shout out to all the spoken word artists who have contributed to the project this year – Louise Hill, Kayo Chingonyi, PACE, Chris Preddie, Naga MC, Badaboom Tee, Hussain Manawer and Frisko. And even harder shout goes out to all the young people who have taken part – from the spoken word summer camp, to the schools across London and the residency in Buckinghamshire.
ANNOUNCED AS JUDGE
SLAMbassadors Artistic Director and poet Joelle Taylor will be joined on the judging day by the incredible Dizraeli – spoken word star, alternative hip hop guru, Radio 4 Slam winner, poet and songwriter with The Small Gods. Check out his credentials at www.dizraeli.com. Dizraeli will not only be co-judging but will also feature live on stage as our spoken word icon for 2011.
The SLAMbassadors UK Showcase gig will take place at none other than The 100 Club, at:
100 Oxford Street
1 April 2012
The 100 Club is one of the UK’s most iconic music venues, hosting the original blues parties, northern soul stomps, the punk explosion – and, back in the day, the infamous LitPop Festival of 1997, which featured one of the most eclectic lists of poets and rappers on the same bill up to that time. Backai.
CHRIS PREDDIE OBE
In 2006 a young man took to the SLAMbassadors stage and delivered a searing piece about gun and knife crime in the city. When I interviewed him later he expained that he was using spoken word and music to develop a focus away from the gangs that claimed his younger self and the life of his brother. That young man went on to win the championship that year, and quickly became a core member of the national team. He still performs with SLAMbassadors and facilitates workshops for the project, and last year formed his own company, Make Dreams Reality. On New Year’s Eve, he called to say that he really had managed to achieve his dreams – he was awarded an OBE for his work with young gang members. That young man is Chris Preddie. SLAMbassadors UK is proud beyond words; watch out for the party….
You see? Poetry really does change worlds.