The Canterbury Slam

The Host and The Number Cruncher

If you were there you know it was great and if you weren’t, it was great! A packed room, dynamic talented young poets, entertaining judges and not a piece of paper in sight (apart from the Host’s list of stuff not to forget). Yes, I was Harry Bailey for the night of 30 October, host of the Canterbury Slam. Wasn’t The Canterbury Tales the original slam, a storytelling competition with the first prize of a pub lunch and pint at the Tabard Inn in Southwark? I thought it fitting that Canterbury should have a showcase slam to take the competition back to its roots. It’s not the first slam to take place in the city but certainly the first for the Canterbury Festival.

Runner-up Dan Simpson

Thanks to Peter Hunter aka The Number Cruncher and Peggy Riley’s hard work behind the scenes, and brilliant communication with me, everything ran smoothly. It was the kind of evening I’d love to have gone to rather than hosted, because it was such fun. Hosting was full on, always challenging to do it on your own, so I roped Peter into explaining all the scoring and timing stuff. He did a very good job. The winner was Christian Watson (below) whom I’d never seen perform and again, would be nice to catch him again some time.

The icing on the cake was to have Kate Fox (below) as guest poet. I’d heard great things about her but never actually experienced a live set so it was a real treat. As host, I was able to sit back for 20 minutes or so and enjoy. Very funny. Must catch her again when I’m not MCing.

So thanks Canterbury Festival, Apples & Snakes and East Kent Live Lit for putting this on. May it be the first of many…


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