Literary Event Review: Inklight Poetry Slam

It was Tuesday night in Sandy’s Bar, and there was a line around the corner to get in. No, it was not a Topless Tuesday event – although it was just as revealing. It was the Inklight Poetry Slam, the society’s first one of the year.  Just £4 for non-menbers, and £2 for members, the Slam was an incredible night of unlimited wine (both red and white) and pent up, inspiring poetry performances. The eleven performers of the evening (down from twelve after one did not turn up) varied from first years to fourth years, from newbies to memorised performance, and from theatrical performances to personal poetic presentations. All of the performers were incredibly brave, and I thoroughly enjoyed each one. They were all so different and fantastic in their own way, and focused on a variety of themes: family, alcohol, race, gender, love, and – of course – sex.

While all of the poems were great, sadly ‘Slam’ means that it was a competition, and thus there had to be a winner. Although it is nearly impossible to judge poetry against other poetry (unless you are Don Patterson or Robert Crawford), Inklight had to decide who should move on to the Semi Finals.

After a short break for more drinks and a performance by Eddy Martin and Alexandra Julienne (Inklight‘s president and VP, respectively), the semi-finalists were announced: Doug Hickey, Carla McGarahan, Hannah Raymond-Cox, and Jessica Yin. The four performed, with one winner from each pair moving on to the next round. It was a tough call – and was decided democratically, if not a little awkwardly, by counting the audience’s raised hands. And thus it was that Doug Hickey and Hannah Raymond-Cox were to compete head to head. For this one, they both decided to risk it all and to bare their souls even more than they already had. After their heavy poems, they both left the room. It was time for us, the audience, to decide the night’s winner. The hands went up, our mouths went shut, and the Slam Champion of the night was decided.

They both re-entered and sat down in their chairs. Eddy took the mic and declared that, though all the poems were fantastic, there had to be a winner: Hannah Raymond-Cox. The victor received a bottle of Cava while Doug got a box of chocolates (a secondary prize so splendid that it is difficult to say who the real winner was). Then Hannah, in her congratulatory piece, performed what was my favourite poem of the evening: a rant about Vaginas!

With that last Slam, the night came to a close.  Now we have to wait for the next slam (probably happening at the end of this month) and for more souls, more wine, and more great poetry.

Overall, Inklight put on a fantastic event and created a wonderful and positive atmosphere for the Slammers to perform in. The talent was fantastic, especially for a school where performance Theatre and Creative Writing is not a specific major. It was a night of wine and poetry; I’ll definitely be at the next one.



Samantha Evans



Image Credit: Yelim Lee