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Review: Poetry Slam, Cheltenham Poetry Festival 2014

By citizenmike  |  Posted: March 30, 2014

Poetry Slam winner Peter Wyton

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Put a load of poets in a room and set them the challenge of entertaining a group of poetry lovers with their work no more than three minutes, and you know you are going to have an entertaining evening.

Poetry Slam, from the Cheltenham Poetry Festival, is back and what a fun night it was.

Just about the wackiest topics you can think of became subject matter for this band of writers – ranging from the downright filthy ‘My vagina is a toilet’ to a protest about the £40million cost of the Royal family to the taxpayer. Other topics included one about nature vs mankind from the obligatory leftie poet to a hilarious history of the world in just three minutes.

It was the history of the world piece by Longlevens poet Peter Wyton that won the X-Factor style competition, in which selected audience members scored each entry on the quality of the writing, performance and audience reaction.

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The 69-year-old is a pro, having performed at hundreds of slams all over the country since he first took to the stage in 1996. Peter was also due to feature in a number of other events at this year’s festival and it is hardly surprising. Slams, by his own admission, are quite a different kettle of fish to more traditional work. They tend to be a bit more raw, a bit naughty, or provocative – after all you don’t have long to impress the judges. But having read some of his other work since seeing him perform on Friday night, this is a man of pure poetic talent and a well-deserved winner.

Michael Wilkinson

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