Grzegorz Bruszewski at the Dice Slam

Top international performance poets and an absurd set of rules


Part of the Birmingham Book Festival 2011

Thursday, 13 October, 7-9pm
Fazeley Studios
191 Fazeley Street,
Digbeth, Birmingham B5 5SE
£7 /£5
Book online / Box Office: 0121 446 3232

Is it a serious competition? Is it absurdist comedy? No, it’s the Dice Slam, a truly unique event bringing together an astounding number of top international performance poets and an absurd set of rules.

The poets perform, we throw some dice, the result becomes their score and a hand-picked jury of quick-witted experts attempts to justify it. The audience gets to vote for their favourite critic, and in the end, poetry wins. Not to be missed!

Featuring poets from seven nations including Germany, UK, Poland, Sweden and The Netherlands, this is an evening of international poetry not to be forgotten.

Poet Bios

Abby Oliveira is a writer and performer based in Derry, N. Ireland. She has co-written two performance poetry shows with the Poetry Chicks. She was a finalist in the All Ireland and Glastonbury poetry slams (2009/10), as well as a finalist in the BBCRadio4 Poetry Slam (2009). Abby also has extensive experience as a creative writing facilitator, and holds a BaHons degree in Theatre Studies from the Universityof Ulster.

Grzegorz Bruszewski started performing in March 2004. Together with Wojtek Cichoń established the Teges Szmeges project, promoting poetry slam and delivering performance poetry workshops. In 2007, he was 26th on a list of the fifty most culturally active Warsaw citizens. In 2010, he represented Poland in the annual Poetry Slam World Cup in Bobigny, France.

Henry Bowers is one of Europe's leading slam-poets. He is also known and acclaimed as one of Sweden's best hip-hop acts. Henry's poetry is intelligent, sharp and to the point. He breaks down the wall between high culture and mass culture; his influences range from horror films and children's stories to classic masterpieces and great philosophers, with a strong dose of humour.

Bas Boettcher was the first German speaking rapper to perform his lyrics and putthem on stage. He developed a new form of poetry, dynamic, rhythmic, and very direct, driven by the sound and melody of the language. Bas Boettcher has also gained reputation as an outstanding text poet. He has won numerous slam competitions and was crowned the "Poetry Slam King" at the 1st German National Poetry Slam competition in Berlin in 1997. He was also commissioned by the Goethe-Institute to give guest lectures on Rap-Poetry.

Bernhard Christiansen is a writer, performer and comedian. He won the 1999 Utrecht Parnassos-Try-Out Stage, in 2005; Flemish Poetry Slam in 2005 for best performance; and in 2007 won the NK-Poetry slam. He has performed at various festivals, such as Oerol, Limburg Festival, Lowlands, Ghent Festival, The Nights, Winter Festival, and many more. Bernhard is the creator of the slightly absurdist literary events Poëzie-entiteit Blauw (since November 2003) and Vorlesebühne (since June 2008), and was also the first to run a Dice Slam.

Indigo Williams is a dynamic performer that commands the stage with gripping presence and powerful poetry. With both substance and passion, her work is emotive and thought provoking. She has performed at The Big Chill festival, iTunes Festival, Camp Bestival, The RoundHouse, BBC Radio 4's 'Bespoken word', The Royal Shakespeare Company and many more. She is an associate artist of The RoundHouse and is fast becoming known as a name to watch out for.

Lisbon-based Hip Hop "B-boy" Biru has known international success over the last fifteen years. The rapper describes his style as an "ancestral Afro descent with an experimental jazzy approach". He has worked with UK producer K-Delight and collaborated with the US's Existereo. Biru is currently developing his solo career, more focused on live performance. 

Judge Bios

Luke Kennard is a Birmingham based poet and lecturer at the University of Birmingham. His first book of poetry, 'The Solex Brothers', won him an Eric Gregory Award.

Kimberly Trusty is a Canadian writer who now lives and works in Birmingham. Kimberly has toured England with her work and believes good writing tells truths that leave third degree burns on lips, eardrums and fingertips.

Jonathan Davidson is a writer and promoter of literature development, running writing projects and book festivals. He is a Fellow of the RSA, a member of the National Association of Writers in Education, The Poetry Society and the National Association for Literature Development.

This event is presented in partnership with Apples & Snakes and sponsored by The Polish Cultural Institute, The Dutch Foundation for Literature, The Ordsprak Poetry Festival, Arts Council Ireland.


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