17 Sep

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Last night I enjoyed an evening out at my first ever Bookslam. I have never, to my knowledge, been to any kind of slam before (poetry or otherwise) but I thought it was brilliant. A few bookclub members and I timidly entered the Clapham Grand, not knowing what to expect. What we got was miles away from the traditional poetry slam, where groovy cats get up on stage and battle with their verse, inciting the clicking of fingers instead of applause (at least, that’s how I imagine it). Last night’s show was more of a mixed bag, with short performances from authors, poets and musicians, interspersed with lenghty interludes of music, during which guests could grab another drink and a Thai takeaway from the bar or pop out for a smoke. Perfect for a generation characterised by short attention spans and eclectic appetites. On the bill was poet and author Joe Dunthorne, novelist Hanif Kureishi and singer Milly Blue. All three were great fun to watch. I’ve read The Buddha of Suburbia and seen My Beautiful Laundrette and I’m a big fan of Kureishi’s writing; his readings were typically droll and insightful, centred on the intricacies of human relationships. Milly Blue was also good, a beautiful voice and lovely little songs, accompanied by her lovely little ukulele. My favourite however was definitely Joe Dunthorne and his extremely funny, satirical poems, particularly his very innovative multiple choice poem, whereby the audience were responsible for choosing the outcomes of the reading. Brilliant!

All this has left me wondering if such a event could be held at Nomad sometime…I rather like the sound of Nomadslam…

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