Friday, 19 November 2010

Comedy Poetry Slam!

The Manchester Literature Festival event took place at the Northern pub in- unsurprisingly to Mancs- the Northern Quarter. On the evening of 21st October, Julian Daniel hosted the sell-out event, which he described as “like the X-Factor without the threat of deportation.” The slam offered a cash prize to the winning poet. Other participants won a recession-busting stint in a Chilean mine.

Julian got us to practice clapping and laughing- literally- before the poets took to the mic.

Mark Edmondson’s poem “Denise” featured a fat, depressed, female double amputee.
Dave Till’s “Take a bath” ended with a scene of suicide. Ho ho!

Julian read a poem- also hygiene-related- in which he advised us not to “dump someone in a bath with a huge erection.” Noted.

Poets reeled off their work in quick fire- Alex Helan gave us “Call Centre” and “Last Chance Saloon.” Machak Prenchet read out an unnamed piece about bowel movements and CO2 emissions. Jack Regan’s poem “I Like Girls” was funny but not PC. He raised a few disgruntled eyebrows and I thought the black woman next to me was going to kill him.

Marvin Cheeseman took the mic after this, who- if I remember rightly- was not part of the slammers. In his intro, he describes Wayne Rooney as “a piece of shit.” He was promoting his book Full Metal Jacket Potato, a comedy poetry anthology. He read out a series of shorts, including “Primark- the Rumble in the Jumble”, “Love Poem to Sophie Ellis Bextor” and “If”. Impressive stuff.

Among other slammers was Tony Walsh, who I marked as the best of the night. His poem “No Room at the Burnie Inn” described the worst Christmas party ever. His performance melded smutty words with wolf-whistles, yawns and some skillful rhyming couplets.

Ed Kanghi followed Tony. “What I do when I’m not writing poetry,” said Ed, “Erm, I went to an orgy.” He then reads “Parlour Across the Road” and a series of other twisted, graphic shorts. Good work, Ed.

After a second-place tie and a one-on-one slam-off between two poets, Ben took silver with “Poetry’s Worst Enemy”, about alcohol. He won a Manchester Literature Festival T-shirt. My prediction was accurate- Tony Walsh took the metaphorical comedy golden medal: a bottle of bubbly, an MLF T-Shirt and a wad of cash.

So don’t overlook poetry- it is not all Seamus Heaney and painful GCSE English Lit flashbacks. Keep your eyes peeled for more events.

Here’s Rowena Forbes’ official MLF write-up.

Here’s the venue- a very modern pub:

1 comment:

Julian said...

Hi. Nice write up of the event. Hope all is well with you.