Blog: Poetry Slam - the spoken word counts

Bratislava's Poetry Slam gives people a chance to express themselves on stage, takes place on November 24.

(Source: Sme)

You finally realise that it is your turn, when the light blinds your sight, silence fills the room and you feel the people, looking at you and waiting for what you have to say. That is what Poetry Slam means to me.

But in fact, what is a Poetry Slam?

Poetry Slam is a unique literary competition. Poets share their stories, let us sink into their feelings and send you on a rollercoaster of sensations. In Poetry Slam, artists have got five minutes on stage to overwhelm the audience with their written words.

As a poet, one is free to choose from every kind of text category. Poetry, Prose, short-stories, diary entries, song lyrics or just an outburst of creativity.

The spoken word counts.

“The very word 'poetry' repels people. Why is that? Because of what schools have done to it. The slam gives it back to the people.... We need people to talk poetry to each other. That's how we communicate our values, our hearts, the things that we've learned that make us who we are,” said Marc Smith, founder of Poetry Slam.

It is important for our generations to bring more poetry into our daily lives.
Poetry can be much more than just an ancient love-poem.
Poetry is able to connect people, to connect their thoughts and feelings.
From a poet-age span of 10 to 80 years, nothing seems strange.

A Poetry Slam event is a competition, but from my experience it is more about connecting people than it is about winning or losing. Poetry Slams are inclusive, artists high-five or hug each other on stage after a performance and thanks to the identity as a member of the “Slamily” - (Slam + Family), no one is left out.

From my experience in Austria, I have learned that poetry is more than just Walt Whitman, Shakespeare, Robert Frost or Milan Rúfus. It also includes poets like Julia Engelmann, Maya Angelou or Michal Hvorecký. In German there is a saying, which goes “Stille Wasser sind tief.” -”Calm waters are deep.” As it says, one does not need to be the most active or loudest person, in order to be a poet. True Poetry is a unique way to express one's inner self and feelings.

Why Bratislava?

As my educational decision and interest in Slovak culture has brought me to Bratislava, I am thrilled with the thought of standing on new poetry-stages with new people to meet. After researching potential events, It appears to me that the Poetry Slam-Scene of Bratislava could use a kickstart, so I asked myself: ”Why not host a Slam-Poetry Event myself?”

With that, “Fountain Poetry” was born and we are set to host our first event on the 24th of November at LEAF Academy in Bratislava. I am sure that without the help of my teachers, who I rather see as friends, and the support of my colleagues, nothing from that would exist now. Thank you all for that and in case you would like to see the first sprouts of our young poetry-generation, come by and get inspired by words of poetry.

WHEN: November, 24 at 18:30

WHERE: LEAF Academy, Sasinkova 13, Bratislava.

Florian Niederseer is a student at the LEAF Academy in Bratislava and founder of Fountain Poetry.

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