Simply put, poetry slam is the competitive art of performance poetry, which originated in the US. Originally established as a means to heighten public interest in poetry readings, it's now evolved into an international art form.
A kind of open-mike competition, poets are given a three-minute slot to either read or perform their poem, although improvisation is not allowed. The judges then score what they have seen and heard.
Slammers at the slam
Headlining this poetry slam will be New York hip hop poet Mahogany Browne, the Oxford slam master Jim Thomas, and Poetry Life Editor-in-Chief Adrian Bishop.
|Jim Thomas is one of the headliners|
John Paul O'Neill, one of the UK's leading new poetry performers and MCs, will be hosting the night.
His poetry, short stories and articles have been published extensively and he's been MC at numerous events around the UK including shows at Glastonbury, and the studio space at the Hackney Empire.
Dem's da rules
The competition is open to any poet, reading or performing, in any subject or style. This year, slams have been won by poets from 16 to 72 years old, and if that's not incentive enough, every poet who enters will win a prize.
The winner of the event will be the Slam Champion of the West of England and will qualify for the UK Poetry Championship Finals to be held in London in December.
The West of England Slam Championships have been organised by Farrago Poetry who first brought poetry slams to the UK 10 years ago.
They're being held as part of the Wells Festival of Literature, which you can get more info about by clicking on the link at the top of this page.