Arts Review: Scottish Poetry Slam Championships

Tron Theatre, 13th February

The Scottish Championship is the biggest event on the slam poetry scene in Scotland. Every year, regional winners compete for the chance to represent Scotland in the world championships. Robin Cairn, a poet and performer himself, talks us through the evening. For the uninitiated among us: each poet has only 3 minutes to perform their piece or the horn will cut them off. While all the performances were of incredibly high calibre, and here’s a couple of my particular favourites.

Elise Hadgraft started the night off and set the bar high with a poignant poem about being asked for money by the homeless on the streets of Glasgow. In the final she had the most risqué performance of the night, removing her dress to reveal a striking combination of suspenders and yellow y-fronts as she declared her desire to wear her lover’s clothes.

The poetry of Katharine Macfarlane’s was stunning, dealing with the subjects of rape and domestic abuse, and the consequences on survivors and their family. Her semi-final poem on immigration drew imploring parallels between her family’s beach photos and the pictures on the news of children such as Alan Kurdi, the little boy who was found dead on the shoreline.

The wildcard, chosen at random from a hat, was given to Ben Rodgers, who made it through to the semi-finals. His idiosyncratic delivery of poems on his upstairs neighbours non-stop sex-drive, and his belief that removing his testicles would lead to world peace, were some of the funniest whilst strangest of the night.

The winner, Daniel Piper, only arrived in Glasgow a month ago but won the judges over with his rap style delivery on the struggles of being vegetarian, the perils and social judgment of the university icebreaker that is ‘Never Have I Ever’ and making a dick of himself on ecstasy. Whilst other poets were perhaps more profound in their choice of subject matter, he certainly had the most showmanship.

Overall, the night was excellent and I would urge you to check out Glasgow’s poetry scene for yourself. Here’s just a few of the nights on offer: ALOUD at the QMU, The High Flight at Nice N’ Sleazys at Poetry at Inn Deep.

[Rose Jackson]

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