By Molly Dowrick, Societies Editor for the Waterfront and Social Secretary for the English Society
On Sunday 31st January, three society members and two committee members from Swansea University’s English Society competed for the first time at ‘UniSlam’, the UK national university poetry slam competition.
The poetry slam, which was held this year at the Centre for Creative Writing at the University of Leicester, saw teams from 16 universities perform their own poetry in front of other competitors, judges and an audience. Swansea University’s team comprised of three first year English students: Lulu Thornton, Ulysses Kenneth Jones and Jack Knight, with second year student/social secretary Molly Dowrick, and second year student/society President Zoe Stabler, who coached the team. The morning started with a poetry workshop which inspired all UniSlam teams to consider their emotions, especially the impact of anger and sadness and how these feelings could be used when planning ideas and writing poetry and articles. There was also a group writing task based on the topic: ‘how I got here’, which inspired stream-of-consciousness style writing among the mixed university groups. I worked with students from Goldsmiths University London, Sheffield University and UCL and enjoyed exchanging ideas and working together on our comical piece about our journey to Leicester and where we are in life! After a short break for poetry rehearsals, the competition itself began with the 16 teams divided into sections and judged by professional writers and poets. The Swansea University team placed third in their round by just one mark, the winners of the section being a postgraduate team from Cambridge University and second place going to third year students from Manchester Metropolitan University. However, having never competed at the event before and not knowing what to expect, Swansea Uni English Society were pleased with their performance and look forward to competing again next year.