Roundhouse Poetry Slam 2013 – the final!

Last week was the final of the 2013 Roundhouse Poetry Slam, and it was an even higher standard than my heat the week before. And that was high! Like, don’t-look-down high. Honestly. If you don’t believe me, here are the names of every finalist. Go and check them out and then tell me they aren’t excellent. Look me in the eye and say it. See, you can’t. They were (and hopefully still are) Charlotte Higgins, Maria Ferguson, Laurie Bolger, Alastair Gray, Nicola Williams, Georgina Norie, Christopher Lawrence, Damilola, Jamal, Antosh Wojcik and Ronak Patani. Everyone smashed it. Then they took the broken pieces and ground them into a fine dust, which, like faeries, they sprinkled magically over the heads of an entranced audience. And it was live-streamed too, so a little bit of that magic dust made its wicked way into eyes and ears and innocent people’s homes the world over. If you want to watch the whole event and pretend it is about 7:42pm on Wednesday 28th August 2013, then you can, here:

Or, if you don’t have a spare two and half hours to watch and admire Polarbear‘s sparse compering style, then the Roundhouse were kind enough to make one poem each of both winners and me, the runner-up, into individual videos. Here’s one joint-winner Antosh Wojcik doing his fantastic thing:

And here’s Ronak Patani, the other joint-winner, doing his brilliant thing:

And here’s me doing my thing (a thing called ‘Gravity‘, if you’re interested):

Congratulations and love to Antosh and Ronak, and to all the other finalists. I had a ball.



19 thoughts on “Roundhouse Poetry Slam 2013 – the final!

  1. So many poets seem to perform poems based on themselves and their own lives. How refreshing that yours was not one of these.

    • Thanks Brenda. Although of course in some veiled way it is indirectly about my own experience, as, I suppose, everything is. And writing about one’s own life isn’t necessarily synonymous with writing badly, by any means. I’m only conscious that I can’t say anything against it because a lot of my stuff is personal or in some way autobiographical! But I agree it’s important not to be trivial, self-important or inaccessible, which a lot of personal writing inevitably becomes, and also to have some range.
      I really appreciate your nice words, and, indeed, the fact you even read the post, let alone commented on it.

  2. i really liked your poetry. i think the best indicator for me that is that i return to something few weeks after i first heard it, which i just did (if only for the last line).
    unfortunally, i’m not a native english speaker, so i keep missing out words here and there. any chance you could upload the text itself (i know it’s against the spoken word idea but still 🙂


  3. I was wondering if you have the poem “gravity” published?? I want to perform it in my English class for my senior presentation!!

  4. Ben, I loved both of you poems. You did a great job in the competition and congratulations on winning the third prize. Have you recorded more of your work? I would love to hear or read more if I can. Thank you.

    • Hi Yukti,
      Thank you very much for getting in touch, and for your kind words about my work! There are quite a few videos on the ‘Videos’ tab on this site, which you could check out if you haven’t already. I’ve had a handful of poems published across a range of small online or print magazines, but nothing I can link you to that’s all in one place, unfortunately. However, if you can wait a few months, I’m publishing a pamphlet with Nasty Little Press this summer, which should be available to buy online (it’ll only be around £3!). I hope that’s helpful?
      My best wishes,

  5. Hi Ben, so I stumbled upon you performing ‘Gravity’ on YouTube and instantly fell in love with the poem. I have been sharing said video to my friends and family and of course, they all loved it. Even my mum almost forgot to keep driving when I played it for my siblings in the car, she was that enchanted haha! So I was wondering if you could be so kind as to send me that PDF file of the poem too. Because I would really love to read and truly understand the whole thing. 🙂

  6. Hi. Ben. Daughter’s doing some assignment in EnglIsh, where she have to choose a poem they like and feel connected to, and she picked your “gravity”. Been trying to translate the poem word per word into text, but we’re afraid we might missed a word or two. Pls help. Tnx.

    • Hi Marilyn,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I’m really glad to hear that your daughter feels connected to ‘Gravity’. Happy to help; I’ll email you a copy of the poem’s text now. Let me know you receive it.

      Best wishes,


  7. Could I please have the PDF of Gravity as well? I really love it. The YouTube video of it all of the sudden became unavailable, as did all of the Roundhouse Slam videos. It said it’s no longer available in my country(USA). So I’d love to be able to read it since I can’t watch anymore. Here’s my email address:

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