Slammin’ It

Yaman Thapa slammin' it at the QC Awards Youth Poetry Slam 2017

Written by Yaman Thapa, Participant 

Right from the beginning, this whole experience has been AMAZING for me. The QC Awards Youth Poetry Slam 2017 was the biggest platform for people like me who love poetry but do not want to limit words just on paper. After the initial selection, two workshops were held on 15th July 2017 at Thames College in Battisputali and at Kathmandu Model College in Balkumari. At Thames College, Pramod dai, Larisa didi, and Samip dai were the instructors who taught us how to write, edit, and perform poems on stage. The workshop gave me a clear view of the poetic devices that would come handy when writing and tips on how to make our performances stand out.

At first, I thought the workshop would be somewhat like an English lecture, but to my surprise, it was different. We were introduced to alliterations, metaphors, similes, sensory devices, cliché concepts and phrases, and tips on how to present ourselves on stage.

The audition was held on 22nd July 2017, and we were judged by a panel of five judges, who were spoken word poetry enthusiasts themselves. The 120 shortlisted participants from the workshop were divided into four groups of 30 each, and top five participants were selected from each of the four audition groups, making a total of 20 finalists. A small gathering was also held at QC bookshop, where some of 20 finalists got a chance to know each other, the organizers, the mentors and also understand how slams work. After getting selected for the finals, we were actively in touch with our mentors, who trained us and helped refine our skills.

The people at QC treated us like family. The informative informal talks with our mentors helped the finalists feel more at home in the gathering. In addition, the organizing committee was always there to help us. We got to know each other better, and our friend’s list continued to grow. Personally, I always wanted to meet the whole team of Word Warriors; getting their contact numbers was something on a whole new level. Being able to meet, talk, and share ideas with people who have a similar passion for poetry is very comforting. Seeing Yukta didi in person was a dream come true for me. I must say, I was over the moon when I got to know that she would be my mentor for the Slam. She helped me correct my unclear phrases and enhance my work.

The final slam happened at Nepal Tourism Board on 28th July 2017.

The final slam was both inspiring and intimidating to a certain level. I was really nervous as all the participants had highlighted social issues, and I was unsure as to how the audience would perceive my not-social-issue poems. However, I was amazed at the appreciation. Little did I know that the point is not the point, the point is poetry. For me, the point wasn’t social issues. I understood that all genres are equally appreciated. I got to see 19 different ideas in 19 different styles. I must say that each poem was amazingly put together, and every participant got a chance to share their story. I am very happy that I got to share my punny, little poem with the audience. Through the slam, I got to know amazing people and share ideas with them. I am glad that I got a chance to tell my story and make my voice heard. I’m ending my entire entry with an alliterated phrase: it was an EXHILARATING EXPERIENCE!

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