This Saturday, September 24, at 7 pm, De Stroate is once again the battleground for the West Flemish Poetry Slam championship, where word artists bring their self-written texts without any decor or other attributes, except for a microphone. It is the only West Flemish preliminary round for the Belgian Poetry Slam Championship on 26 November in the Beursschouwburg in Brussels.
The West Flemish Championship was first organized in 2015 during Sinksen by De LetterSETTER during Bart .’s mandate Bardthesque Jaques, a renowned poetry slammer who twice made it to the finals of the Belgian Poetry Slam Championship. During an interview with Quindo, he then described poetry slam as the ultimate combination of word, recitation and competition, a literary sport.
From the following year, the West Flemish Poetry Slam Championship was organized together with vzw De Stroate, which took over the entire organization in 2018. “We noticed that De Letternemers is not involved in stage poetry, they focus on words in the book, so a collaboration became less meaningful after a few years,” says Siebrand Craeynest, coordinator of De Stroate.
The Belgian Poetry Slam Championship was previously organized by Creative Writing vzw. They asked local organizers to contribute the concept at provincial level. Over the years, many talented word artists have been delivered to the Belgian championship, including Infinite Joy, Vorre, Marjan De Ridder, Teddy Bair and Loeke Vanhouttegem.
“The finalists are often creative jack-of-all-trades who are also active in the world of rap, theater and music. That also brings us to what poetry slam is: word on stage, in what form it does not matter, so a background in other artistic arts is an advantage,” says Siebrand.
Last year Glenn . won Dumo Dumortier from Wervik the sixth edition of the West Flemish championship. He is on the jury this year. “I entered without much expectations, but still won the title. For me, my lyrics are therapeutic and an opportunity to release my emotions.”
“I also try to make my stories as universal as possible to connect with the audience and not turn it into personal therapy. I advise anyone who has doubts to just do it and put aside the fear of standing on a stage. Bringing your texts and releasing emotions can be beneficial in these stressful times”, concludes Glenn.