Press release: 2005 

Respect Poetry Slam 2005: You can't keep it quiet!

The Mayor of London and the Poetry Society are once again calling all young poets and performers to take part in a London wide poetry slam. If you are 12-18 years old and got something to say on the theme of respect - they want to hear it!

Now in its fourth year, the respect poetry slam, part of the Mayor of London's Annual Anti-Racism Festival is an exciting opportunity to take part in one of the most vibrant and energetic forms of poetry. As well as a chance to voice their opinions this is a unique opportunity for young performers to work alongside the UK's leading performance poets - Crisis, Dorothea Smartt, Steve Tasane and Joelle Taylor - and to experience the thrills and excitement of appearing live on four leading London theatres.

The Arts Depot, Finchley, the Bug Bar, Brixton, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Soho Theatre in the West End are all host venues for the quarter finals of the respect slam 2005. Having won the audiences' vote here, the winners of the quarter finals then face off at the semi-finals at City Hall to earn their place on stage at the Mayor of London's annual free festival celebrating London's diversity on Saturday 16 July 2005.

Over the last three years these young performers have been wowing audiences, poets and even musicians such as Ms Dynamite with performances that demand respect. Past participants have gone on to appear on a youth programme for the BBC, become the voice for the McDonald's radio advert, perform with Apples and Snakes and Express Excess, two of London's leading performance poetry promoters, perform at Trafalgar Square and appeared in the Guardian weekend magazine with their photograph taken by David Bailey. All of which stand as testament to the quality of work produced by these young performers and why the Poetry Society is delighted to invite 12 previous respect poetry slam participants to be our Poetry SLAMbassadors - a nationwide tour of young performance poets launching in 2005.

Individuals, schools, youth groups and theatres and young offender institutions who want to register should contact [email protected] or telephone 0207 420 9893. Due to limited space and high demand, schools and organisations are only allowed to enter up to 2 entrants.

The closing date for registration is 15 April 2005.

The Respect Poetry Slam is supported by the DfES.

- Ends -


Notes to Editors

  • Dates of the quarter finals for the respect poetry slam 2005 are - April 20th at Arts Depot North Finchley. April 25th at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Stratford. April 27th Bug Bar, Brixton. April 29th Soho Theatre, West End.
  • For Further information about the Poetry Society visit The respect festival is a free music, dance and comedy festival organised by the Mayor of London to celebrate London as a great multi-cultural city with an active commitment to eliminate racism. For further information about the Mayor of London's annual free festival celebrating London's diversity visit
  • Live DJing at quarter finals and semi finals provided by Peng Sound System - a new raw act mentored by Carl Loben from DJ Magazine.

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