Slam poetry nights, festivals and competitions

Press play to listen to a BBC Radio 5 podcast featuring poet Mark Grist and MC Blizzard, whose YouTube rap-battle video recently attracted almost two million hits. Here, both performers talk about their individual poetry style and getting young people interested in poetry.


Farrago Poetry Slam

Monthly poetry slams and open mic, the Farrago Poetry has an established tradition of presenting well-known poets alongside new, emerging writers. In regular poetry slams, new and veteran writers alike compete for prizes with their original poetry and performances. Farrago also regularly presents non-English language writers to support London’s broad cultural life.

Location: RADA foyer bar, Malet Street, London Wc1
Frequency: Monthly, 7.30pm
Prices: £6, £5 concessions
Contact info: 07905 078376


Hammer & Tongue

The biggest promoters of slam poetry in the UK – and they are hosting the biggest slam yet at the end of March 2012. Across six regions, including London, Brighton and Bristol, H&T provide a stage for aspiring artists to try out their work, which is then judged by the audience. The event will descend on the East End’s oldest surviving Victorian Music Hall to decide the national champion.

See the website for the programme of Hackney events, and the finale on 31st March.

Location: Wilton’s Music Hall, Graces Alley, London E1 8JB
Frequency: Annually
Prices: Check website
Contact info: 0207 7022789
Website: /


Breakin’ Out

Featuring poetry, music and comedy acts with a limited number of open mic slots. Audience participation is guaranteed on the occasional poetry slam nights where you get to compete and vote for the best acts.

Location: Masque Bar, 1-5 Long Lane, London EC1A 9HA
Frequency: Once a month, 8pm (check website for details)
Prices: £3
Contact info: / 07946 830 082
Mailing list:


Word4Word and Word Up

Two spoken word artists and to singers with enough space for willing audience members to take up the mic. Once a month, W4W turns into Word Up – a slam competition open to all. Hosted by BBC slam champion Kat Francois.

Location: Foyer Bar, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN
Frequency: First and third Sunday of the month, 7.30pm-10pm
Prices: Free
Contact info: 07961 313 557
Website: /

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