This now regular event was created a few years ago, and the national champions of performance poetry will arrive from all over Europe to battle against each other.
The organiser, the Slam Poetry Hungary Association, expects to see more than 20 national slam poetry champions from across Europe between 26 November and 1 December 2018, culminating with the finals of the tournament held at Trafó on 30 November. The Guest of Honour will be none other than the founding father of the genre, Marc Kelly Smith, an American poet from Chicago, along with his spoken word team, Chicago’s Speak Easy Ensemble 2018.
They will hold a 3-day workshop with poets from the Visegrád 4 countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary), along with young slam poets representing Serbia, Macedonia and Ukraine. Other VIP guests of the championship include poet, professor and “Slam Master” Bob Holman from New York, whose previous appearance on the Hungarian slam stages was a huge success, as well as the US champion of the 2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam festival, Mwende “FreeQuency” Katwiwa from Kenya.
The American-European collaboration will present a separate workshop entitled “Bridging Barriers” also at Trafó, on 29 November. The presentation will be accompanied by workshops, debates and public discussions, thereby offering a great opportunity to gain some insight into the origins of the genre, its current status overseas and in Europe, as well as its jointly-shaped future. The organisers aim to showcase a week-long international slam poetry festival, highlighting the artistic nature and movement of the genre.