After two frantic months touring London and Liverpool schools seeking emerging spoken word talent, the SLAMbassadors UK 08 championship has now screeched to a halt!! The championship is no longer open for entries as of this very minute. Not all of the poetry/ rap/ emcee dvd’s have been uploaded to the site yet but they will all be active for you to enjoy and shout along to by Christmas.
We have had an incredible time on tour, met some dynamic writers and inspiring performers – and are now ready to get judging. The poet Dorothea Smartt will be viewing our shortlists from her Barbados base, and making the final cut. Twelve new London acts/ poets will be selected to spit it out at the prestigious Royal Festival Hall stage on 4 February 2009. Twelve Liverpool slammers will be invited to a semi-final in their own city at the beginning of March.
Thank you to all the teachers, youth leaders, parents and supporters of the young poets and spoken word artists who took up the challenge to create an original piece of writing in a day and film it. Most of all, we want to thank the young poets/ rappers themselves for taking a risk – and showing their cultural and artistic courage.
You will see some incredible material on the site – ranging from pieces about gun/ knife crime, to normal every day life, to the tracing of roots and on through to sexual abuse – in short, anything that fixes a person’s identity and their sense of themselves.
Sadly, some of the films have not been permitted on to YouTube. This has been for no other reason than to protect the children in the films, and it is not a decision that The Poetry Society has taken lightly but at the request of the school.
So: big up to all of you from the both of us. We hope to see London slammers on the 4 February whether you’re on the stage or in the auditorium. You have our attention now.
Joelle Taylor and Chris Preddie x