It’s a less-than-three-minute performance of spoken word, one full of expression, emotion and visuals. In a nutshell that’s what slam poetry is about. A short performance of original work where its delivery on stage is almost as important as its content.
Around the globe, slam poetry championships have been taking place for years with dedicated followers and recently a similar move has reached Cyprus as well. An upcoming spoken word competition in Nicosia gives an opportunity to young poets between 14 and 19 years old to share their talent.
The Youth Poetry Slam Championship, organised by the IPoet Project, takes place on January 31 at Yfanturgeio, though applications to join are open only until the 20th. During the event, young poets are to perform an original three-minute poem on any subject.
“We encourage poets to speak in any language they are comfortable with,” says the IPoet Project team, “however, if the language is not English or Greek, they will need to provide a translation for the judges or contact the iPoet team to ask if we can provide one.”
In true slam poetry style, the performances will be judged based on the content of the poem and the performance. And not much else is allowed as the essence of spoken word is to focus on its passionate delivery and well, the words.
So, participants will not be allowed to use props on stage, besides the provided microphone. The three-minute benchmark is a strict rule in these competitions so competitors are encouraged to make sure their at-home in-front-of-the-mirror practice rounds are under three minutes. There will be a timer on the night so poems that exceed the three-minute mark (with leniency of 30 seconds) may be eliminated.
To register, poets must send either an email ([email protected]) or a message through the Facebook page (@ipoetcyprus) together with their name, age, school, contact details and the name of their poem.
Participating costs just €5 but for the audience, it’s completely free and remember, if you hear something you like, don’t forget to snap your fingers. Clicking your fingers during poetry readings is what applause means to a dance performance, so listen, watch and snap.
Youth Poetry Slam Championship Cyprus
Spoken word competition for teenagers aged 14 to 19 years old. January 31. Yfanturgeio, Nicosia. 7pm Registration deadline: January 20. Organised by IPoet Project