The Head of School for Media and Performing Arts, Esther Sonnet, was recently invited to be a judge for the first ever Poetry Slam held by the National Museum of the Royal Navy.
On Thursday 9th October poets and guests gathered at the National Museum of the Royal Navy to listen to and recite poems as part of the HMS – Hear My Story exhibition. The event was part of the Museum’s community engagement, led by Daniel Ball and Deborah Hodson, and aimed to bring aspiring poets in the city together to focus their creative work on the Museum’s Navy collections around the themes of memory and remembrance.
In her introductory welcome to the evening, Esther stated ‘as a Pompey girl with deep family connections to the Navy, I am fascinated to maintain a dialogue with the past through creative practices such as poetry and to see how new stories keep history alive through personal remembrance and commemoration’.
Ten or more poets performed their poems to a live audience while a panel of judges had the very difficult task of selecting the winning poem. The range of styles, formats and content entered provided a challenge to the judges as the quality was very high though a stand-out winner was found.
The highly personal poem written by Joy Dean, the widow of a sailor who died in the Falklands conflict in the 1980s, won with her poem ‘Two weeks from home’. This was closely followed by Carolyn King with ‘Fall and Rise’ and Liz Neal and Elizabeth Davies with ‘War’.
The event was also filmed by a small group of BSc (Hons) TV and Broadcasting 3rd Year students from the University of Portsmouth, who recorded the proceedings and interviewed some of the poets and audience members. The resulting film will be shown on the Big Screen in the Guildhall Square.
Images from CCI TV and CCI student Jack Johnstone.