Royal Albert Hall
7th + 8th Jan ’17
Buy your tickets here: http://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/events/2017/hammer-and-tongue-uk-poetry-slam-finals/
Who is the UK’s greatest performance poet / spoken word artist / verbalised mind / master of spit and wit? Poetry slam champions from all over the UK will compete for the title in individual and team events during a two day literary extravaganza.
A poetry slam is a live democratic spoken word competition where random audience members judge three-minute scripted spoken word pieces from contestants.
This year we feature special guest artists: Luke Wright, Rob Auton (and more TBC) in a two-day extravaganza of spoken word.
The Hammer & Tongue National Slam Final is widely recognised as being the premier event in the UK poetry slam calendar with the highest profile slam title.
The National Final recruits qualifiers from its own network and invites champions from slams run by other organisations in the UK such as the BBC and Glastonbury.
There are two titles that will be up for grabs at The National Slam Final:
- The Individual National Slam Champion
- The Team National Slam Champions
The Individual Slam Title will be decided over the two days as winners progress from three staggered rounds. The weight of the slam title will dictate which round of the competition that the artist starts in:
Winners of one-off, one-round slams, e.g. Edinburgh Free Fringe Slam
Winners of significant slam titles that have involved more than one round or a very large field of artists e.g. Genesis Slam, or Glastonbury Festival Slam
+ The runners-up of Hammer & Tongue Regional Finals
The Hammer & Tongue Annual Regional Champions 2016
The draw for the order of each group will be made in advance of the event.
The Team Slam will this year take place between teams selected by The Regional Coordinator of each Hammer & Tongue and by this year’s guest team from the University Slam.
Each team have been asked to prepare two team pieces. A team piece is one that is performed by 3 to 5 performers on stage at once each of whom must have a spoken role in the piece.
Usual slam rules apply.
There will be two semi-finals, a final, and a plate final.
The team slam is in its infancy, we hope to grow it as Hammer & Tongue increases its year round programmes in more areas of the UK.
Best of luck to all that take part. May the artist who connects with the audience on the day best win!
The poetry slams that Hammer & Tongue organises follow the PSI rules:
- 3 minute rounds (10 seconds grace)
- 5 randomly appointed audience judges*, Olympic-style scoring system (compound sum)
- No props
- No backing tracks or musical instruments
* A key tenet of a poetry slam, and one that is a core belief of Hammer & Tongue is the notion of an absence of expertise. At Hammer & Tongue slams, the people decide who is their champion, the people that turn up on the night and have scorecards thrust in their hands.
The effect of maintaining this format is that the progress of artists is independent from whims, prejudices, and preconceptions of commentators, academics or artists.
Hammer & Tongue is happy to offer a place in the national final to the winners of “juried slams” but serves notice that future National Finals will only offer places to winners of slams that follow the same rules and appoint random members of their audiences as judges.
Hammer & Tongue was founded in 2004 in Oxford by Steve Larkin and is now a Community Interest Company that runs a year-round programme of touring guest artists and qualifying slams with regional finals in Brighton, Waterloo, Hackney, Cambridge, Oxford, and Bristol, as well as one-off festival slams such as the nightly slam that takes place at The Edinburgh Fringe.
List of slams represented at the Hammer & Tongue Slam Final 2017:
- Hammer & Tongue:
- Other Slams and spoken word events:
Glastonbury Festival Slam
Cheltenham All Stars
Bang Said the Gun Golden Gun
Word 4 Word Slam
Northern Ireland Slam
Off the Shelf Festival Slam
List of Winners
Individual Slam Champion
2016 – Soloman O.B
2014 – Vanessa Kisuule/ Layla Josephine (joint champions)
2013 – Stephen Morrison Burke
2012 – Adam Kammerling
Team Slam Champions
2016 – Brighton Hammer & Tongue – Captained by Michael Parker
2014 – Hackney Hammer & Tongue – Captained by Angry Sam Berkson
2012 – Oxford Hammer & Tongue – Captained by Steve Larkin