Paddington Arts Poetry Slam: Wisdom from the mouths of Babes
Many local talented youths come out to participate in Paddington Art’s Poetry Slam. Eighteen courageous eleven to seventeen year olds stood in front of an audience and recited their original poetry. The event hosted by Slambassador Ambassador and OBE, Chris Preddie was an exciting showcase. In case you are not familiar with the art of a slam, it is a competition in which multiple poets read their poems live, either to a beat or just flat out, impacting the audience with their words. It was amazing to see how strong the poems were for these students, some as young as twelve. Topics of these poems ranged from low self esteem, racism, gang violence, love, and of course, a falafel sandwich.
The competition’s three judges consisted of Dernel Gabriel, Sheromie Brewster, and Jack Kelly. The judges admit, it was very difficult narrowing down which student deserved to win, seeing as all of the kids did such an great job translating their thoughts into words. First place went to seventeen year old Pelumni Oyesanya, of William Morris Sixth Form College. Close behind was thirteen year old Mohammed Blaaza of Bales College in second and twelve year old Ayoub Nadri of St. Augustine Church of England Secondary School placing third. The contestants were judged based on the content of the poem as well as how it was performed. Surprisingly, some of the younger kids burst on to the stage with more confidence than the older students. The slam showed that it didn’t matter what age the poets were or how long they had been writing for, but that each student had something to say and poetry was their outlet to be heard.
Aside from the student poets, we were also lucky enough to have professional poets Baddaboom Tee and Anthony Anaxagorou perform. Baddaboom Tee rocked out with her awesome poetry and beatboxing and Anaxagorou’s words hit home, both performers causing a series of snaps to fill the room
Though this was a competition, every student truly was a winner. The confidence and creativity that was displayed Thursday afternoon was inspiring to all ages, and proved that when given the opportunity for their voice to be heard, kids will take advantage of it. Paddington Arts felt very privileged to host the event and looks forward to more like it in the future.