Four members of DSU’s Creative Writing Society took on the cream of the country’s university writing crop when they took part in a national Slam Poetry competition last Sunday.
Uni Slam, held at the University of Leicester, saw 16 teams compete to be crowned champions, with individual poets performing pieces of their own work in strict three-minute timeslots.
DMU’s team consisted of Society Chair Claire McGowan, Taylor-Louise Rowley, Elizabeth Gough and Jeevan Kaur and were placed in a group of four, along with Nottingham, Goldsmiths and Bath Spa universities.
Despite being knocked out before the final, Claire said that with it being their first Slam – and with Nottingham and Goldsmiths both making it through – the team could be proud of their efforts.
She said: “Unfortunately we got knocked out in the first round, but the standard of competition was amazing.
“As a team we’ve never competed before, so we really did well for our first time.
“We got to speak to the judges afterwards, and they were giving us advice on what we could improve on, which was nice. With so much helpful advice, we know what to do next time.
“The atmosphere was incredible and everybody was so supportive. Everybody at Uni Slam did a fantastic job, and well done to Edinburgh for winning.
“We’d love to do a similar thing again, and the University of Leicester have already mentioned about doing Varsity with us.”
DMU were coached by former Creative Writing and English Language student Corey Bedford, who co-founded the society along with his course mates.
He added: “It was a great experience to be surrounded by the writers and many like-minded people.
“The team themselves were great and worked really hard to get to that point.
“To go from not only performing on stage, but to performing three minutes of constant poetry about a certain topic is a really difficult task and I couldn’t be more proud of them."
In the lead-up to the event, Claire and Corey were invited on to BBC Radio Leicester to talk about Uni Slam, the wider writing community in Leicester, and to perform some poetry live on air.
Claire said: “It was good fun to do that and really interesting.
“I wasn’t really nervous, but I wasn’t sure how my voice was going to sound. I know now I need to be a bit louder!
“But it was great fun, and something I’d like to do again.”
Corey said: “It was really nice to get the opportunity to go there and represent Leicester a little bit on the radio, and talk about poetry.
“We made good contacts with BBC Radio Leicester and they’re looking to get more poets on the radio in the future, which is nice.”
The society, now in its third year, is continuing to grow, and Corey said: “There are a lot more new members coming in this year, a lot of fantastic writers, and it’s nice to see that community start over again with new people.”
The society holds weekly workshops and hosts regular Open Mic nights, the next of which is at The Font on Thursday 25 February, and anybody is welcome to go along even if they don’t want to perform.
For more information about the Creative Writing Society visit their society page here. You can also find them on Facebook and on Twitter.