The battle-style Poetry Slam, first popularised in the US during the 1980s, is now becoming increasingly popular in the UK. It’s easy to see why the typical Slam attracts not only good performers but frequently very large and enthusiastic audiences, too. Slams are exciting, vital – not to mention tremendous fun. Performers compete against each other in fixed time slots and are judged by selected members of the audience on both their delivery and the content of their material. Such is the growth of the Slam that in 2007 BBC Radio 4 ran its first nationwide Poetry Slam. But slams continue in the main to be run at the local and regional level. Slam performers are generally distinguished by their quality and confidence, so before you progress to slamming, you would be advised to immerse yourself in the spoken word scene and to cut your teeth on open mike. As far as is practically possible - do seek development in the workshop or writers’ group setting to hone your poetry. Remember it’s not just in the delivery. And courses – many of which now specialise in working material up specifically for performance – can be absolutely invaluable. The Academi lists details of poetry slams and other events of interest to spoken word artists in Wales on its What’s On pages.