Spoken Word All Stars

Charity Poet in the City, working with Apples & Snakes, the leading performance poetry organisation, has created Spoken Word All Stars, featuring some of the best spoken word artists in the UK in a fabulous live show. We’ve taken five poets and one globally acclaimed musician, and given them free rein to create a spectacular evening of wall-to-wall words backed by an addictive mix of musical loops, beats and melodies.

Before becoming Poet in the City’s website manager, like a large number of our audience, I hadn’t been to a poetry event before.

After helping out at quite a few events covering a broad range of themes and poets, I didn’t think I’d find anything as exciting, vibrant and fresh on the poetry scene as performance poetry.

My first exposure to it was when viewing the videos by Sky Arts especially the documentary from the tour’s first date at the Latitude Festival. However after watching the documentary and comparing it to my own experience of the show I realised there was something missing.

It was missing the energy and physical connection with the poet that is provided when you are watching the performance. The connection with the audience is a vital component of poetry but even more so with performance poetry. The connection allows the audience to feel the poetry as well as experience it. In order to appreciate performance poetry at its best, you need to see it performed first-hand.

Each show also gives a slot to a local performance poet. Joolz Denby’s more traditional reading of her poetry provided a good juxtaposition to the musicality of the rest of the performance.

The level of audience participation towards the end of the performance showed how well the performers connected with the audience. It felt like everyone had connected with the show when El Crisis brought us into the show during his mermaid song. It was great for us and for them.

Catch it if you can. There are two dates left in Cardiff on March 31st and Bristol on April 15th.

For more details check out the Spoken Word All Stars website.

The show at Bradford University’s Theatre in the Mill featured El Crisis, Jason Yarde, Joolz Denby, Kat Francois and OneNess.

5 thoughts on “Spoken Word All Stars

  1. I was at Latitude last summer too and the poetry tent was incredible. All sorts of different poets and performers, and it was nearly always crammed. Just shows how much demand there is. Having previously been a bit snooty about performance poets I was stunned to find myself enjoying John Cooper Clarke on the last night almost as much as anything else over the weekend- everybody winding down, reflecting on the previous days, and laughing- a lot.

  2. Performance poetry live is amazing, I’ve not been to anything massive like All Stars, but I’ve been to Poet’s Corners where poets have stood up on stage and performed their pieces out with full drama in the way they voice their poetry.

    From the other perspective, having been on a (small) stage myself, it feels quite exhilarating when you’re engaging the audience and involving them in your poetry, and seeing them really get in to it.

    I would definitely recommend anyone going to spoken poetry performances.

    1. I’ll have to keep an eye out in the listings and check out some other Spoken Word events to compare them.

      I definitely want to see more. It’s almost addictive.

  3. I really enjoyed the London one at King’s Place. I was surprised by it. I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much.
    Are there any plans to repeat the tour in London?
    Are there other similar events with spoken word poetry?

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