Judging day

Judging Day to select the new SLAMbassadors UK solo slam team is tomorrow!

I will be joined on the judging panel by the incomparable slam poet Holly McNish and literature events producer from the Southbank Centre Bea Colley. Between us we will try to whittle down the films from over 400 to just 6 poets and spoken words artists.

This will be extremely tough. Having already watched each of the films I can assure you that we could easily end up with a team of over 100. All of the spoken word arts are represented – from free verse poetry through to rap and polyvocal pieces. A huge number of identity issues are also represented, with pieces about body image, institutionalised racism, love and the right to wear niqab and burkha.

For the first time in the 13 year history of the slam we have more female than male entrants. Traditonally it has been more of a male dominated art form and so this is positive moment in the history of slam. Next comes equality.

If you have entered THANK YOU. Winning is not the point. The point is that your voice has been added to the cannon of emerging artists and your voice will be heard.

Winners will be notified immediately after judging via telephone. If your phone number has changed since entering we will try to email you. Please make sure you check both your phone and email after 6pm on Tuesday 24 September. It could well be either me or Holly McNish calling you…

And now for an open VIP invite. The winners slam will be held at the Royal Festival Hall on 1st November at 4 – 7pm. Please come and please introduce yourself after the gig.

Meanwhile, remember how good it felt to write that poem. It doesn’t really matter what anyone on a judging panel thinks: just remember that moment.

Good luck!