Hey everyone. As I write this post I am one very happy lady. You see on Monday morning I received confirmation from Glasgow Women’s Library that I am an entrant in the Harpies, Quines, and Feichters, all female poetry slam which takes place at Edinburgh’s Forrest Cafe this evening with a half past five start.
I am it’s fair to say already thinking ahead and have started to think about what poems I may or not want to use on such an auspicious occasion. So far I’ve changed my mind at least a dozen times and will probably change it at least that amount of times again before reverting to the original set I thought on at the beginning of the selection process.
You see picking a selection of poems is a bit like selecting the right lipstick to wear to a special occasion. If you know the occasion and whose all going to be there then it should be easy but somehow there is always something crops up and it’s never quite as straightforward as you think.
This I think will be a very tough decision to make partly because I don’t know who else is competing and that means taking a leap of faith in both yourself and your poetry. This is never easy but in the atmosphere of an all woman slam believe me I want to impress. This is important to me for a number of reasons not least of which is the fact that I may be the only transsexual woman in the contest.
It is also important for me not to let myself down, so it isn’t about winning the traditional sense of the word though believe me I would love to win the title it’s about winning the respect of my peers by giving the best performance I am capable of giving. It is that and that alone which will in my eyes decide how well I’ve done on the night.
This to my knowledge is only the second all women poetry slam ever to have taken place in Scotland and if I am correct then I will be keeping up my 100 percent appearance record in these events as I performed at the first such event which was held in Edinburgh’s Banshee Labyrinth as part of the celebration of International Women’s Day 2012. Indeed it was the organiser of that event Claire Askew who gave me the heads up on this one. In the three years since that last all female slam which was won by Rachel McCrum I have not only become a more polished performer I have I believe become a better writer and I have done it by working hard at my craft and in the process of doing so I have found my own unique voice. This is a strong female voice with something to say on the issues that matter to me. I hope to make that voice heard tomorrow in Edinburgh tomorrow night and for once I believe the format of the slam may actually help me and work to my advantage.
With regards to the format for this inspiring event, I like the fact that instead of cutting two-thirds of the field after the first round half of all entrants will progress to round two before we get down to the serious business of judges selecting the final three and eventually deciding on our winner. This is what I call female democracy in action and I have to say I am thrilled to be invited to take part in it.
As we women are allegedly the chattier sex we obviously have more to say than men do or so the theory goes. Personally I’m not sure I subscribe to this theory but what I do believe that we value each others words so may be that’s why the rounds in this slam are slightly longer than usual. Instead of the usual two minutes for the first two minutes and three minutes for the final this slam gives participants three minutes for the first two rounds and four minutes for the final. I have to say i think this is a brilliant idea as gives me and the other participants a chance to perform poems we wouldn’t normally get the chance to do at events like this unless we reach the final .
I also like the idea that the slam is being held in the late afternoon/ early evening as this could be a great benefit to women who have to travel a considerable distance to compete in the event. This start time could have some significant benefits for with regards to increased participation as it may well be better for those participants who may need to think about arranging childcare and personal safety issues which are among the hidden factors many women have to factor in before making any arrangements factors which so often result in exclusion from events not because we don’t have the talent compete with men but because circumstances often prevent us from doing so.
To say I am really looking forward to pitting my wits against some of the best women poets in Scotland would I think be a wee bit of an understatement and I look forward to an occasion which I am sure will be memorable for all the right right reasons. I hope I can rise to challenge and perform to the best of my ability if I can manage that then I will be more than happy with myself . You see it matters not where I finish in the pecking order, nor whether I am a first round causality or the winner of the title. What matters most to me tonight is I prove myself a poet and get lippy on the stage and I do it with style amongst a crowd of harpies, quines, and feichters.
Love And Best Wishes