Went along to the Scottish Poetry Slam Final at Glasgow's Aye Write lit festival on Friday. Loved it.
I've been to a Poetry Slam ... show before. Not a proper slam, it was a showcase put together for the Edinburgh fringe a few years ago made up of some really talented US poets/performers.
I wasn't sure a Scottish event could possibly live up to the energy of that event, or be of the same standard. But the performers last Friday really surprised me. I particularly loved the competitive element.
We aren't talking professionals here. I doubt any of them are full time writers or musicians, they are enthusiasts with day jobs. But I'd say at least half of the 14 taking part were well worth the ticket price on their own (just £4!). Once the evening got going and the audience warmed up I really enjoyed the spectacle and ended up staying to the end - even though I'd promised my wife (who couldn't come due to our son not being well) that I would cut out early.
It was worth it though. My son is fine, my wife was chilled, and the three finalists were great to watch. The outright winner was Young Dawkins, a 62 year old American who might have stepped out of a movie about Allen Ginsberg. He was wonderful, quite breathtaking, and I'd recommend him to anyone.
The group meet regularly in Glasgow at the Rio Cafe.