Poetry with punch

Posted by pt91 at Jun 05, 2015 09:25 AM |
A word or two from Toby Campion from the College of Arts, Humanities and Law following his success at the Roundhouse Poetry Slam 2015

“I get inspiration from loads of things,” says Toby Campion, Administrative Assistant in the School of English, Modern Languages and History of Art & Film. “My family, experiences I have had in my life, things that annoy me. Frustration makes good poetry!”

Toby has just returned from a trip to Camden’s Roundhouse where, after a fiercely fought evening of eloquence and rhyme, he came away as the Roundhouse Poetry Slam 2015 runner-up.

His praised performance "Make Leicester British" pays homage to the integration and diversity of cultures in Leicester.

He adds, “I write about anything really, although quite a bit of what I perform tends to be political. I just try to be honest.

“I was really honoured to reach the finals of the Roundhouse Slam, especially since so many people entered. Coming second runner up was unbelievable.”

This week he will be representing the UK at the Capturing Fire International Slam in Washington, DC. It will take him back to the USA, where his interest in spoken word was first sparked: “I worked in New York for a summer in 2011 and that was the first time I’d ever experienced spoken word. I’d say about a year after that was when I really got into writing and performing it.”

Toby then set up Edinburgh University’s first ever poetry slam team, who went on to win the UK University Poetry Nationals (UniSlam) in 2013. “It was a really proud moment because we’d all worked really hard.”

“Spoken word poetry is not pretentious and it’s not boring (usually…); it’s really accessible and it’s taking off massively in the UK at the moment. There are lots of great spoken word events happening around Leicester.

“It’s given me a lot of confidence with public speaking and that side of my work. And sometimes I get inspiration from things that happen in the office or around campus.”

You can see Toby live every third Wednesday of month at ‘Find the Right Words’, a spoken word open-mic, which he co-hosts at Upstairs at the Western.

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