Most recently I have run slams and judged them rather than participated in them. So I was a bit nervous about competing in the Wenlock Literary Festival Slam. I don’t get anxious performing on stage, but after several bad experiences, I had stopped going to slams that were part of a literary festival programme.

For those that don’t know a slam is a competition for performance poets where numerous hopefuls recite a poem and the judges select the best ones to go through to a semi-final then a final before crowning a winner. The aim of slam isn’t to win (though that’s nice), but to make poetry entertaining for the audience. A secondary point that is often missed is that slam should also be fun if a bit nerve-wracking for the competitors.

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