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wordfringe 2008

Wordfringe: artwork by Shade Wizard


Wordfringe 2008
Pushing Out the Boat
Everything but the Truth
Shetland Night
All Said and Dunne
Poetic Off Licence
Exploring Narrative Voices
New York Dialogues and Island Blethers
Four Paris Poets
Open Poetry Night
Building a Character through Dialogue
How to move your work forward
Ron Butlin with Aberdeen Writers' Circle
Poetry Scotland on the Road
Writing and Performing in Practice
Spirit of the Deveron
Poems of Quality
AB24: Poems from a Postcode
Poetry and Music of All the Faiths
Hooked by Emerald Froth
Demented Eloquence & Wordcraft Slam
Banchory Young Poets
Family Snaps
A Celebration of Childhood

Demented Eloquence & Wordcraft Slam

Sharp and comic performance poetry from Ash Dickinson, Milton Balgoni, and Rapunzel Wizard, plus a poetry slam contest

Monday 26 May 2008

Musa Art & Music Café [Venue 6]

It's ironic that performance poetry is often accorded fringe status when so many of its technical features — rhythm, rhyme, the speaking voice, intense engagement — are the things so many poetry-lovers find missing from mainstream contemporary poetry. All these things and more were on offer at Demented Eloquence. The night began with a mini-Slam featuring StAnza finalist Harry Giles, newcomer Jake Vollrath and latecomer Rick Ghastly, and, winning in fine and controversial style, Hilda Meers. After the break, longer sets from the headliners showed us the reach and scope of performance poetry at its best: from the blistering and uproarious Scots of Milton Balgoni to the sidelong observations and sharp commentary of Rapunzel Wizard and the intense, deceptively softly-spoken visions of Ash Dickinson. All human life was here, and then some, and a capacity audience at Musa enjoyed every minute.

Judith Taylor

Demented Eloquence

L to R: Milton Balgoni, Ash Dickinson, Rapunzel Wizard

Photo by Roger Barnett

Demented? Oh yes. Eloquent? Of course — and that was just hotly-contested Slam-winner Hilda Meers, 84 years young but with fervour enough to kindle our wilting passions! As promised, Demented Eloquence gave the eager Musa audience no daffodils, nor fluffy clouds, but an evening packed with powerful, poignant, persuasive performances, inspired, articulate, expressive, yet fluent, moving, elegant.

OK, so you've sussed the thesaurus in our worthy praise; but this really was a night to test any critic's verbal dexterity. Aberdeen's ‘own’ insurrectionist wordsmith Rapunzel Wizard ably facing up to some stiff outside form: Milton Balgoni, a fiendish Fife Rabbie Burns for the new millennium, in your face (literally) and straight into your head. And the amazing Ash Dickinson: seemingly laid back, this poet wields words like wicked weapons, his vivid surrealism now overlaid with darker, more challenging subject matter, bravely questioning accepted belief. And still those remarkable rhyme forms to astound your senses.

Did we love it? Those stamping feet urged — more, more, more!

Freda Hasler

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Musa Art & Music Café


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