Monday, September 8, 2014

Poetry Monday: Sarah Taylor (slams it)

A few days ago a friend of mine sent me a link to this great motherhood poem by performance poet Sarah Kay:

I loved it and coincidentally had just been discussing the possibility of a Slam poetry session at the 2015 Newcastle Writers Festival.  Slam is such an interesting form - the poem created in the heat of the performance, sometimes never written down, and therefore always different in the play between audience and performer.  It's quite different I think (mostly) to a poetry recital which is meant to be an adjunct or support of the poem designed to be read on the page, in the quiet of a reader's head.  My friend's link to Sarah Kay put me in mind of another slamming Sarah - Sarah Taylor, the 60 year old who won the 2009 Australian Poetry Slam with her ribald "A Disgraceful Old Woman".  A poem that is part of a quartet gathered from "secret old woman's business". 

What can I say other than watch the performance below and feel yourself opening to new possibilities of the form.  I'm hoping I can get Sarah to talk to me about the way Slam breaks down barriers (not only between gender, race, and genre, but between audience and poet), and the utter fun (and perhaps terror) of performing to a scoring crowd.  If you didn't know what a slam was, you'll know after this brief video. 

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