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City’s first Doric poetry slam to take place

Jo Gilbert performing at Spin Aberdeen
Jo Gilbert performing at Spin Aberdeen

A new event to promote Doric among younger audiences has been launched.

Jo Gilbert, 43, will host the first ever Doric Poetry Slam next month, and hopes the event will attract people from all backgrounds.

The competition will be judged by a panel of local creatives, including writer Shane Strachan, spoken word artist Mae Diansangu, Aberdeen University Literature Society’s Rebecca Clark and Scots Language advocate Alistair Heather.

Alistair Heather.

Each entrant will prepare three poems either in or influenced by Doric – in a bid to make the slam inclusive to all, whether performers are familiar with Doric or not.

Ms Gilbert, herself a writer, said ““I’m half-toonser, half-teuchter.

“When I’m writing, sometimes the words just come out in Doric.

“I love bringing a north-east voice to slams and poetry nights all over Scotland and it’s always well received.

“I wanted for the competition to have a younger feel to it.

“Part of writing in Doric for me is to keep the language alive. Most Doric writing is archaic and twee, so I began writing about more contemporary subjects.

“Celebrating our heritage is wonderful and needed, but you’re not going to engage young people with poems about fields, ferms and bothies.”

Each entrant in the upcoming competition will read one poem, then judges decide who goes through to the second round.

The final round will consist of just three performers, who will all win a prize.

The overall winner of the Doric Poetry Slam will also get a spot to compete in the Scottish National Slam in January 2020.

The competition is funded by Aberdeen City Council Creative Funding, and there will be workshops in the run-up to it.

The competition will be held on March 27 in Spin on Littlejohn Street.

Workshops on a variety of creative topics will be held at Aberdeen Arts Centre from 6.30pm to 8.30pm on various dates between February 26 and March 19.

E-mail jogilbertwriter@gmail.com for more information or for tickets.

 

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