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If you Google ‘anti slam’ you get a bunch of information about a pretentious-sounding poetry movement which took place in the Lower East Side of Manhattan a few years ago. Happily this event is absolutely nothing like that. The inspired idea behind this particular type of anti slam is a simple one: bring together a group of talented performance poets, and then challenge them to write and perform the worst poem they can possibly come up with. A jury then confers, and the lowest score wins.
The concept was dreamt up by a bunch of (presumably quite drunk) slam poets in a bar in Berlin back in 2009, and like-minded events have since been popping up all over the place. London’s first taste of the so-bad-it’s-good was last autumn – sample couplet: ‘oh sensitive soul that’s hurt by images of people who suffer / It irks me, like a YouTube video which won’t buffer’. The whole thing went down so well that the brains behind it all have decided to host another one this coming Valentine’s Day at Artch in Bethnal Green, East London.
Separating the chaff from the wheat this time around are literary types Shane Solanki, John Paul O’Neill and Comfort Cydelle. If past events are anything to go by, the victor may be decided by volume of audience laughter alone…
The Anti-Slam London: Anti Valentine Special is being held the Artch arts venue on the 14th of February. Tickets are £5 and doors open from 7:30pm. A sister event will be taking place in Berlin on the same date. You can find out more by visiting their Facebook page here.