Poetry Slam

Image for Poetry SlamNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 40 minutes

Lemn Sissay comperes as three of Britain's best-loved poets wage verbal battle.

  • Watch now

    The full episode, on the Scottish Book Trust website.

  • What is a poetry slam?

    A slam is a knockout performance poetry competition in which poets perform their own work to a time limit and are given scores based on content, style, delivery and level of audience response. Over two or three rounds, poets compete until one top scorer emerges as the winner. Slams can encompass heartfelt love poetry, searing social commentary, uproarious comic routines, and bittersweet personal confessional pieces. What unites slammers is their attention to the dual skills of writing and performance.
    Slams began in the United States in the 1980s. The slam scene quickly spread from cities like Chicago and New York, and is now thriving all around the world. There are hundreds of regular slams run in clubs, bars, pubs, theatres and at festivals all over Britain every year; the very best contemporary slam talent from the current scene will be highlighted in our three programmes as slam winners from all round the country pit their skills against each other.


Derek Farrell
Neil Scott
Vision mixer
Adam Spencer
Camera Supervisor
Pete Kelly
Camera Operator
Paul McFadyen
Camera Operator
Johnny Laville
Production Secretary
Irene Bain

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