Fresh Poetry Slam is a monthly poetry competition that takes place in the Dublin Food Co-op in Newmarket Square.
Spoken word and open mic style nights have been growing in popularity throughout the city over the last number of years. From established events like Slam Sunday (and hopefully soon again, The Monday Echo), to newer ventures like FiftyTwoWords, there is huge interest among the populace in these newer creative outlets.
The Fresh Poetry Slam is another such event that has attracted a loyal following. Held on the third Friday of the month, the event is hosted by Aidan Murphy and Edel Doran, in the Dublin Food Co-op in Newmarket Square. The competition is open to all. To enter, poets simply sign up on the night between 7pm and 7.30pm. The competition itself starts 7.30pm and concludes at 9.30pm. 12 poets get to take part — if more than 12 sign up, 12 names are chosen at random from a hat.
For the actual competition itself, poets are required to recite their poems strictly from memory — no pages or notes are allowed on stage. Poems must also be the original work of the performing poet, and may be on any subject and in any style, with the exception of flash fiction or prose poems. Another stipulation is that props, costumes, musical instruments or backing tracks are not allowed. Performances are also timed, limited to three minutes. Anyone exceeding the three minute time allowance is penalised. The final of the competition takes place between the four best poets as chosen by the judges, with all finalists receiving prize money.
The Fresh Poetry Slam is an all ages event, and also a free speech event. This may mean that the subject matter of some of the poems performed on any given night may be cause distress or offence to some members of the audience. However, the organisers are committed to safety in the community and they refuse to permit any act of hate, violence or bigotry on or off the stage and will ban anyone involved in committing these acts.
The next Fresh Poetry Slam event takes place on Friday, 21st August in the Dublin Food Co-op. Tickets cost €5 and may be booked online or you can pay at the door on the night. This event will also be one of the heats for the upcoming Lingo Festival slam. The winner and runner-up will go through to the Lingo Slam in the Workman’s Club on Saturday 17th October.
Dublin Food Co-op
All images courtesy Fresh Poetry Slam