What is a Poetry Slam?

The concept of Poetry Slam originated in Chicago in 1984 to move poetry recitals from academia to a more popular audience. Open microphone venues offered the opportunity for contestants who are randomly selected to recite original works with an introduction allowed. The Poetry Slam Kanturk style allows the recital of a favorite poem with a brief introduction as to why it is selected or the recital of an original work and its background.

Previous judges have been Gabrial Fitzmaurice, Philip Egan, Anthony Keating, Iggy McGovern, Marie O’Halloran, and for 2018 we are pleased to announce a special guest back to his previous chair Michael Pattwell. This is a treasured night of the Arts Festival with wonderful diversions and discussions. There was a very memorable rendition of a Yeats poem “Down By The Sally Garden” which by order of the sitting judge Gabrial Fitzmaurice was sung with the effect of everyones hairs standing on end, such was the acoustics and atmosphere.

We have also had a social of Kelly’s Beefcakes and the power of the pensioners’ voice. We have had touching stories about past characters of Kanturk. It is a space that has allowed tributes paid to Don O’Reilly and acknowledgments of John Dillon’s contribution. We have had songs recited as poems, animated recitations and powerful performances from our younger participants who in a congenial setting can take their time to continue after a slight slip. There is always a warm welcome for those who take the stand and share and indeed the heckling from the other contestants is comedic as some participants try to curry favour!!!

So come along and enjoy the evening, why not throw in your name to the hat and maybe become part of the festival lore.


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