Slamovision is the Eurovision of spoken word, an annual international poetry slam hosted by the UNESCO Cities of Literature network! In 2022, Nottingham played host to Slamovision for the first time. We teamed up with WRAP, Nottingham Trent University’s free creative writing and reading programme for students and staff, and UNESCO Cities of Literature around the world, to:

  • Promote and celebrate Nottingham’s talented community of poets on a global stage.
  • Provide opportunities for aspiring poets and creatives to share their work in an inclusive and supportive space.
  • Strengthen partnerships and friendships with other UNESCO Cities of Literature by collaborating on a fun, creative project.

We were overjoyed that Nottingham-based poet and teacher, Abíọ́dún Abdul, made it back-to-back Slamovision victories for Nottingham in 2022! You can read our interview with Abíọ́dún here and check out her award-winning poem, Strong Tea, below.

Following Slamovision victory for Nottingham-based poet Cara Thompson in 2021 with her poem Islands Scream, Nottingham had the honour of hosting Slamovision for the first time in 2022. After several years of online-only slams, we were keen to bring the competition to life with two in-person slam poetry events: our Local Heats and the Slamovision Grande Finale.

Local Heats

To protect Cara’s Slamovision crown, we first needed to find a world-class slam poet to once again represent Nottingham at the Grand Finale. We put out an open call to Nottingham’s poets, inviting them to our Local Heats at Nottingham Playhouse, hosted by Abigail Hutchison and Connor Brown from the Speak Easy Collective.

We were privileged to have entries from over 15 inspiring poets, who took to the open mic with the aim of representing Nottingham on the prestigious Slamovision stage. Young and old, experienced and upcoming, the heats were a treat in themselves for our live audience and esteemed panel of judges: Becky Cullen, Elle Jacobson and Leanne Moden.

To our delight, Abíọ́dún ‘Abbey’ Abdul was declared Nottingham’s 2023 Slamovision Champion for her performance of Strong TeaAbíọ́dún is a Yorùbá-Nigerian who grew up in Scotland and now lives in Nottingham working as a writer and lecturer.

Hear from Abíọ́dún about her experience of taking part in the 2022 Slamovision Heats:

Grand Finale

Then came the global Slamovision Grand Finale, hosted at Metronome in partnership with NTU WRAP. Poets from a total of nine Cities of Literature entered the 2022 competition: Exeter (UK), Iowa City (USA), Kuhmo (Finland), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Manchester (UK), Nottingham (UK), Quebec City (Canada), Tartu (Estonia) and Vilnius (Lithuania). Click here to take a look at all the 2022 finalists.

The global finale was streamed live to Cities of Literature all over the world. Watch the action as it unfolded:

After all poets had performed and, in true Eurovision style, the scores declared by each of the competing Cities of Literature, we were overjoyed to find out that Nottingham had secured back-to-back Slamovision wins! Many congratulations to Abíọ́dún for her incredible live performance of Strong Tea.

Abíọ́dún Abdul, Crossing Poetic Lines:

“It turns out Strong Tea had the right blend of flavour to rouse me from my poetic stupor and waft Nottingham to worldly heights.”

Slamovision finale viewer:

“Wow. Learning that poetry is also performance not just words and all the artists tonight have left important messages with me. Love the mix of humour and dealing with important social issues too.”

Slamovision 2024

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