2 Sep 2015


Today I'm pleased to be featuring poet, comedian and 2015 BBC Edinburgh Fringe Poetry Slam winner Scott Tyrrell whose book, Grown Up, which according to the Apples And Snakes site 

'provides a snapshot of a family man juggling the absurd demands of work and parenthood under the pressure of being normal' 

was published by Red Squirrel Press earlier this year.

Available from InPress Books here or from here at amazon.co.uk, Kate Fox writing for InPress Books has this to say ...

'Scott's poetry is as funny as the finest stand up comedy with razor sharp punch lines that hit just the right places. But it also has heart. The full warmth of life and love are in this book and it is guaranteed cheering up tonic for those who love poetry and those who think they don't but just haven't had the good fortune to encounter Scott's clever, down to earth wit and word wonder. One of the best stand up poets in the country live, but even if you haven't seen him perform (do), this books sings out from the page with a magical music all of it's own.'

But what of Scott's recent triumph at this years BBC Edinburgh Fringe Poetry Slam competition?

Scott Tyrrell


Newcastle-based poet Scott Tyrrell wins BBC Poetry Slam.

South Shields born Scott Tyrrell, a Stand-Up Poet and Graphic Designer, has just won the BBC Edinburgh Fringe Poetry Slam Grand Final. The BBC Slam is now the most diverse and most coveted Poetry Slam in the UK, with the widest national and regional representation of UK poetry. This year alone the competition featured a World champion, a European champion, 7 national champions and the Roadhouse champion. The competition has been running over the festival in a series of heats to decide which poets would make the final four competitors, who battled it out on Saturday night in a packed BBC Festival tent. The event was streamed live on BBC Arts via the iPlayer. The final featured excellent established performance poets Dan SimpsonPaula VarjackToby Campion and of course, Scott Tyrrell. The event was put together by Spoken Word artist and Slam host, Sophia Walker - herself a previous BBC Slam winner.

The Grand Final featured three rounds; in the first each poet had just 3 minutes to wow the judges (who comprised of five esteemed figures from the UK Spoken Word and poetry publishing scene). The judges scored the poets from 1-10 on performance, writing and audience response. In the second round the lowest scoring poet was dropped and the three remaining poets battled it out again, with another 3 minute poem. In the final round Scott and Toby Campion went head to head. It was close but Scott pipped it by just 0.3 of a point.

This has been a great year for Scott - winning both The Great Northern Slam at Northern Stage earlier in the year and the UK Anti-Slam Championship at The Roadhouse in London. (The Anti-Slam is a tongue-in-cheek national competition in which established spoken word artists battle it out to be the worst poet in the UK.) So Scott is now technically one of the best and worst performance poets in Britain!

Scott was also official Blogger for the poetry tent at Glastonbury this year.

The full 2015 BBC Poetry Slam on BBC iPlayer:

A Clip of Scott's performance from the BBC Slam:

About Slam and the UK Spoken Word Scene

The UK Spoken Word scene has exploded over the last decade, with vibrant scenes across the whole of the UK including Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Bristol, York and Newcastle, and is growing into a formidable poetry scene. The likes of Kate Tempest (Mercury Prize Winner) and huge talents Hollie McNish, Dizraeli and Luke Wright and Kate Fox have been among those leading the charge to establish Spoken Word as an art form that's here to stay in the UK.

Young poets from all over Britain and Ireland are finding an outlet for their talents as writers and performers, particularly in Slam competitions - an idea which started in Chicago decades ago and has become an international approach to inject real energy and competition into what has traditionally a very bookish art form. Anything to do with Spoken Word goes with Slam. So comedy, rap, drama, beat poetry and storytelling are all allowed - and encouraged - which is why slams nearly always feature a diverse range of literary talent. 

About Scott Tyrrell

Scott is a multiple poetry slam winner, award-winning comedian and graphic designer. He has been writing and performing poetry for 15 years and was a founding member of the legendary Tyneside poetry troupe, the Poetry Vandals. He has represented Newcastle/Gateshead in three major national Poetry Slams and won. He lives and works in Newcastle with his wife, stepdaughter and son.


Kelly said...

I've never actually attended a Poetry Slam, but imagine it could be great fun.

Thanks for an interesting and informative post. Have you heard him in person?

Natasha Hill said...

Slam poetry is amazing. My house-mate and good friend at uni did poetry as one of her subjects and she hosted, along with her class, a slam poetry evening and all of the different pieces were brilliant. Some were scary, others funny and some just really moved me. It's great how poetry can invoke so many emotions, especially when you combine them with humour too. I love it! Will definitely have to check this out. - Tasha

Tracy Terry said...

Yes, I have Kelly. Mr T works with his wife and we consider ourselves friends of hers. Scott did a wonderful piece in honour of her birthday at a party we attended.

Sherry Ellis said...

Poetry Slam sounds like an interesting event.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I've always wanted to go to one of these. Looks like fun.

Literary Feline said...

I got to experience my first poetry slam last year and it was so much fun. I wish I could see Scott perform.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Thanks for sharing! I really admire people that can write poetry.

Brian Joseph said...

I want to know more about Slam Poetry. I have only been remotely aware of its existence. It seems different and worth delving into.

Thanks for the link. I enjoyed Scott Tyrrell's performance.

Brandi Kosiner said...

I haven't attended a slam, but is nice to read a bit about him, thanks for intro

kimbacaffeinate said...

A poetry slam sounds like a cool event. I often find the mundane stories o raising one's family hilarious. I am off to watch the clip. Thanks for sharing!