I am what I SLAM

A brave new word – SLAMbassadors UK goes LIVE across the nation today! Brrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaapppp!!

Some poets write on paper and some poets write on air and we want to hear from you! Get ready to wrap your lips round a microphone and spit your way to the top stages in the country.

The national championship is open to all 12-18 year olds living in the UK who write an original 2 minute piece around the theme of Identity – who you are, where you are from and where you are going (check out the rules and theme notes here). It gives you the opportunity to reclaim your voice, edit it and amplify it to the nation.

Workshops aiming to inspire, advise and film emerging young poets will take place across the UK taking in North Somerset to Tower Hamlets (in collaboration with Find Your Talent), Leeds to Liverpool, Buckinghamshire to Brixton and every stop in between. A team of established spoken word artists, rappers and poets will go into schools, youth clubs and theatres to root out young talent, working with aspiring artists to create a piece and filming it to upload to our SlamCam site. Entries will then be judged by respected artists – last year Benjamin Zephaniah and Scroobius Pip – and winners offered mentoring and the opportunity to perform live in London in December!

The poets taking to the road with me this year will include former slam winners Chris Preddie (aka Cashman), PACE, Louise Hill and Kayo Chingonyi alongside established artists Nikki Blaze, Khadijah Ibrahim, Glenn Carmichael, and Beyonder. Many of the previous winners of the Slam are now big names on the performance poetry circuit.

Any young person can enter – they do not need to belong to a school or to have taken part in one of the free workshops. Enter independently here or watch this space for details of workshops near you.

“It was great to see so many entrants,” said one of last year’s judges, underground alternative hip hop emcee Scroobius Pip. “The styles were so varied yet all shared the same passion. The use and willingness to explore language with such creativity was amazing!”

We are now entering a new era of political changes and uncertainly. But one thing will remain constant – young people’s dedication to speaking the truth, to having their voices heard and to wowing their audience with the rawness of their words.

Enter here now!

Joelle Taylor