The Sacrificial Poetry Review: The Road To The Scottish Slam

the sacrificial poetry review

D’you know what’s a little absurd about performance poetry? Poetry slams.

D’you know where you’ll find some of the best poetry you’ll ever hear? Also, poetry slams.

D’you know what time it is? It’s Slam Season!

Scottish performance poetry is gaining momentum and hype on the road to its biggest event of the year. Rivals will meet, friend will turn against friend, cities will fall, poems will happen and time limits will be enforced as we enter the final stretch of qualifiers for the Scottish National Slam. So, if you’re looking to dive straight into the fray of words and hand actions, stunts and intensity, let me catch you up with who is in so far and what to expect on the night.

If you’re unsure of what to expect from a poetry slam, then a very simple explanation would be it is competitive poetry with time limits, judges and the best of the best going up against each other to be crowned Scottish poetry royalty. If you need a little more explanation, check out an intro to slam poetry I wrote early in the year here.

So, all caught up? Great! Now, where do we stand as we reach the most hectic season of qualification?

Already looking ahead to the final battle, a spot on the big stage in the bag, we have a collection of Loud PoetsJoe with the Glasses, Katie Ailes, Doug “Dark Horse” Garry and Kevin McLean.

The too-young-to-be-this-talented Liam McCormick.

The Captain of the victorious Team Glasgow at the first ever Four Cities Slam, Kevin Gilday.

The winner of the most Scottish of qualifiers, The Drinking Slam, Cee Smith.

The political, the comical, the undefeatable Tracy S. Rosenberg.

QMU’s very own, the Young Prince himself, Calum Bannerman.

A bright light in comedic and intellectual poetry, winner of the Luminate Slam, Colin McGuire.

The winner of the Brave New World Slam, and lauded page poet, JoAnne McKay.

A true niceman of the Glasgow poetry scene, the Sma’ Shot Bigshot Slam Champion, Chris Young.

And last, but by no means least, the cool and satirical Iona Lee.

And then. And then. AND THEN… there are all the slam winners yet to come! If that wonderful line up wasn’t enough for you, then there are still many a slam to come, and many a possible champion still to qualify. And who knows. It might even be you. Yes. YOU!

So, if you’ve been following some of the previous posts here on The Sacrificial Poetry Review, but have yet to make your way along to one of the biggest cultural phenomenons Scotland has to offer, well, what the fuck! Just do it already! And also, a slam is a great place to start. The competition is friendly, the poets bring everything they got, and the atmosphere is electric.

Coming up in the next month, we have three slams, all of which will send someone along to the National Slam in February, so make time and make your way along to:


The November EU LitSoc Slam – The Pleasance Cabaret Bar, Edinburgh – 12th of November @ 19:30 PM- FREE ENTRY

The Aloud Slam – Queen Margaret Union, Glasgow – 16th of November @ 19:00 – FREE ENTRY

The Intergenerational Slam – Tron Theatre, Glasgow – 22nd of November @ 14:00 – £7

And if you want to see the calibre of performance on the night, check out the playlist for this week’s column here, filled with performances from previous Scottish Slam performers.

[Ross McFarlane – @RossDMcFarlane]

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