Slam Poetry: Shoot from the Lip – OurWarwick
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Slam Poetry: Shoot from the Lip

Sophie Miller
Sophie Miller | English Literature and Creative Writing Contact Sophie

After a final push in the last few weeks, I have finished second year!! I didn’t have any exams this year, so I’ve finished quite early compared to a lot of people – and boy, does it feel good!

I officially submitted my last assignment on the 14th, which gave me just a few days to prepare for Shoot from the Lip…

Shoot from the Lip is a spoken word poetry competition held in Leamington and currently organised by one of the creative writing tutors at Warwick. Anyone can compete, no matter your experience with this kind of thing: the only stipulation is that you must have three poems in order to perform. There are four heats held throughout the year, culminating in the final which is held near the end of Term 3. I’d been to watch several heats before and always been so impressed by the variety of poetry and the sheer talent of the performers. It’s also really good because lots of people who perform don’t study English so it’s great to meet other people with similar interests. A few of my friends had been persuading me for months to perform: I’d wanted to for ages, but was also absolutely terrified of doing so, so I kept chickening out. However, it was coming up to the last heat of the year and I knew this was my final chance unless I wanted to wait until November (by which point I knew I would definitely have backed out again!) so I promised my friends – and myself – that if I got my assignments done with a few days to spare, then I would perform.

Well, I did! I submitted my last assignment on the Sunday evening, and Shoot from the Lip was on the Thursday, which left me just enough time to get my poetry in order and prepare myself for getting up on that stage!

Usually, the heats work by beginning with 8 entrants who all perform a poem, followed by everyone voting for their favourite. The top 4 then go through to perform a second poem, then the voting leaves a final 2 poets who perform once more and the audience then votes for their winner! However, as it was the last heat of the year and there were several people with a similar philosophy to me of realising that this was their last chance, we actually started with 11 poets, which got narrowed down to 7, and then brutally down to 2! I went with the aim to perform two poems – I thought if I got through to the second round, that would be enough for me for a first go and I would be able to leave proud of having got up there and performed my poetry for the very first time. After I’d finished my second poem, and I was sitting back watching the others, I knew that that was it for me – the competition was so strong! But I was completely happy with that as I’d done what I came to do.

But by some miracle, I got through to the final two and came second! What made me even prouder is that the person who came first has competed multiple times before and is really experienced so I didn’t mind losing to him at all! It was such an amazing experience – I used to be a really forward person who loved being on stage, but as a teenager I lost a lot of that confidence so this was actually my first time back on a stage in quite a while, and I’m so glad I did it! The feeling of the audience laughing and cheering along to your poetry is incredible, and I had so many lovely comments from people that this was, without a doubt, the highlight of my year!

Sophie Miller
Sophie Miller | English Literature and Creative Writing Contact Sophie

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