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Frequently Asked Questions - a Guide to Poetry Kapow! 10
(The Festival Special...)

When and where is it?

Friday 23rd July, 2010, 7pm for 7:30pm start, MADCAP Centre for Performing Arts, Creed Street, Wolverton, Milton Keynes

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Will there be a slam?

Yes - the format will be dependent on however many want to take part, but the rules are the same as usual: three rounds, time limit on the first two (to be dependent on number of participants), then one poem to rule them all for the final round. If there are more than three slammers, the first two rounds will be elimination rounds. (Exciting, isn’t it?!) Prizes will include: poetry books, poetry gear, poetry magazine subscriptions, and anything we can dig up. To be confirmed closer to the time.

Is there a theme?

Festivities and summertime - breathless moments in the open air, dancing the sun up, pot noodles, wet socks and warm beer in plastic cups; glorious moments on verdant hillsides or under damp canvas, where music and performance came alive and lodged in the memory forever... However, anything goes, as ever!


Is there an Open Mic?

But of course! It wouldn’t be Kapow! without one... :) Again, dependent on the number of participants, there’ll be a time limit on the night, just to make sure no-one bogarts the stage!

Okay, this performance poetry thing is new to me - what’s the difference between “Slam” and “Open Mic”?!

A ‘slam’ is a performance poetry competition. You get up on the stage with a limited amount of time in which to deliver your poem, You then get judged on the content and structure of the poem as well as your actual performance.

Open Mic is devoid of (explicit) criticism - a chance for you to get up, do your thing, and receive no more judging than the polite and enthusiastic (yeah, we’re optimistic, but a Kapow! audience hasn’t failed us so far!) response and kudos from the audience. No, really. Again, there’ll be a time limit, but we’re nice. Honestly.

Will there be flapjack?

Oh yes! And cookies, if we can persuade our cookie chef sufficiently...


Is there an age limit?

We suggest an age limit of 15+ as some of the language and/ or themes explored may turn out to be a little ripe, nay mature. This is not just to protect the innocent ears of tiny bairns, but also prevent being off-putting to our feisty performers!

Is the venue wheelchair-accessible?

Yes - the Madcap is completely accessible, but we’re on the ground floor this time, so you needn’t worry. But still... they’ve a proper lift and everything to the main auditorium... Gawd, we love ’em!

Can I read my poem about my dog?


Can I bring my friend?

YES! The more the merrier.

Do I have to compete in the slam?

No - you can read in the Open Mic or just sit, chill and enjoy the poetry, music, art and random other happenings. If you sign up in advance or on the night to read, you get reduced entry and free biccies. If you sign up but don’t perform, we get sarcastic on your yellow self and demand our biscuits back.


Will there be other “mini-events” like before?

Yes - the written competition(s) will return, and we’re hoping to get back to the “interactive art” events, which proved so popular before.

Do you have to perform ‘proper’ poems and know all about ‘form’ and ‘structure’ and historical literary...?

We’ll stop you right there - no. All forms of poetry accepted. The nights have so far proved to be incredibly eclectic, broad, deep, wide-ranging and generally extremely variable. Everything from limericks and haiku/senryu, to sonnets, villanelles, free verse, beat poetry and rap. Bring it on.

Is it just performance poetry?

The Open Mic and Slam are both performance poetry, but there will be featured performers who mix poetry and music, our acoustic musician(s), and lots of other Spoken word and music surprises. And there’ll also be renderings, art to look at and play with, and all sorts of other things to see, do, hear and trip over (not really the latter, though, you know, what with Health and Safety and all that...).

Do I need to sign up to perform in advance of the night?

No, but it’s to your advantage as it guarantees you a slot and a poetry goody-bag.

Who gets the money?

All profits go to MADCAP. They’re a registered charity (RCN: 298086) and just incredibly cool so we’d be giving them the money anyway.


What’s the parking like?

There’s plenty in the surrounding area - e.g. in the shopping car park over the road from the venue, or round in the main part of Wolverton itself, or even in the Tesco car park!

What are public transport links like?

Wolverton train station is an easy walk (10 mins tops)/ bus- or taxi-ride (3 mins at the outside!) from the venue. Trains to Northampton and London run until early into the following morning. The numbers 7, 2, 4, 5 and possibly a couple of other MK buses stop just round the corner next to the Agora and MADCAP is signposted from there. Check the website for the venue map.

I can't/ don't want to drive and public transport near me is rubbish/ grinds to a near-halt after 9pm... I really want to come but what can I do?!

Let us know in plenty of time if you'd like to consider “liftshare” options as there are more than likely people coming from your area who'd be happy to oblige for the company/ something towards the petrol. We'll be having performers and audience members coming from various parts of MK, along with Northampton, Cambridge, possibly Aylesbury, and other nearby towns and villages. Just get in touch!

Where can I find out more?

Go to http://www.poetrykapow.co.uk/ or email us at info@poetrykapow.co.uk or phone/ text us on 07904 488009.

Can I forward this to...?

YES! To anyone and everyone you can think of who might possibly be interested!


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