What a year it’s been! We’ve been to UniSlam in Leicester, we’ve done free spoken word workshops in Tower Hamlets, Islington and Angell Town, and of course we had our SLAMbassadors Showcase on 18 November 2018 at King’s Place, London.
Across the weekend of 17-18 November, eight young poets selected by the legendary Joelle Taylor took part in a writing and performance masterclass. They then performed brilliant new work created in the masterclasses at Sunday’s Showcase. Big up this year’s SLAMbassadors Aaisha Alfathi, Precious Olisaokafor, Matt Sowerby, Joshua Eyakware, Destiny Adeyemi, Noah Jacob, Beth-Ellen Hollis and Jaeden Koshoni!
Congratulations too to the seven commended poets: Aisha Ali Aqiil, Esther Gbadeo, Fionn McCloskey, Haroun Butt, Lucy Gardner, Suli Scatchard and Viveka Xeolontia Penera Patel.
Our 2018 SLAMbassadors shared the stage with four emerging artists, chosen from applications by Joelle Taylor for their raw talent: Katie Walters, Matt L.T. Smith, Aoife O’Connor and Bex Gordon. They performed powerful, emotional sets that brought tears to the eyes of many of our audience members.
This year’s SLAMbassadors Showcase was an extra special – and sad – one as it marked the end of Joelle Taylor’s time as SLAMbassadors Artistic Director. She spoke about the history of SLAMbassadors, starting as the Rise Slam in 2001, and the impact and legacy it has achieved since, including all the lives the programme has touched over the years. Former SLAMbassadors Anthony Anaxagorou and Ollie O’Neill also took to the stage and spoke about how SLAMbassadors changed their lives and performed inspirational pieces. The night was headlined by Joelle, who received a standing ovation and a huge thanks from SLAMbassadors past and present. Stay tuned for what’s next in The Poetry Society’s spoken word programme for young poets, rappers and MCs.
You can also listen to The Poetry Society’s recent podcast featuring sam saxx, Joelle Taylor and our incredible 2018 SLAMbassadors, recorded over the weekend.
Huge, huge thanks to everyone who performed, participated and applied. You’re all brilliant and we can’t wait to hear from you again soon. Stay tuned for what’s next in The Poetry Society’s spoken word programme for young poets, rappers and MCs.
To keep up-to-date on all we’re offering young poets and to find out about our next spoken word opportunities, join our Young Poets Network mailing list for free.
Photographer: Hayley Madden for The Poetry Society.
17 December 2018