Saboteur Awards 2017: Spotlight on the Best Spoken Word Performer Shortlist

Next in our spotlight feature of all the categories in the Saboteur Awards: the Best Spoken Word Performer shortlist. Check them out and don’t forget to vote before 30th April.

Dominic Berry

Thrilled to have this honour. Nice one. Makes each and every one of my queer vegan atoms buzz with a glittery whoosh

Dominic Berry is an internationally award winning performance poet. He works with children and adults and has toured his verse across USA, Canada, India, New Zealand, Australia and Europe . His awards include winning New York’s Nuyorican Poetry Cafe Slam, UK Superheroes of Slam and, as of 2017, seven Arts Council England Grants for the Arts awards.

He is currently touring two shows, his adult verse ‘No Tigers’, and a family retelling of ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’, in collaboration with Big Imaginations, Action Transport Theatre and Arts Council England. Dominic has performed his poetry on BBC’s Greg and Celia’s Festivals Highlights, Channel 4′s My Daughter The Teenage Nudist and BBC’s Rhyme Rocket.

Why voters think he should win:

  • Dominic is a poet/performer on the rise, at home and internationally. I’m excited to see what he does next and think this award would be great for his star trajectory. I am not related to Dominic Berry, just a fan and co-worker.
  • Dominic’s ferocity, honestly and integrity as a performer is extraordinary. But more than that, he makes it his mission to use his platform to change lives around the world.
  • My daughter, her whole class, in fact all her friends, her parents, her parent’s friends, his sister, her sisters friends and her dog………..think he is amazing! Captivating for children, adults …..and felines!

Caleb Femi

Very honoured share a list with such great poets.

I write, it helps me stay sane, it helps me begin conversations I would otherwise let fade into the ether.

Why voters think he should win:

  • I competed against Caleb in the Roundhouse Slam, and he was very nervous, and it was clear he was fuelled by that, so when I saw him, I knew I was listening to a winner. His poetry is momumental and his delivery is loud, soft, and everything in between.
  • Kills it all the time.
  • He is doing a lot of work to encourage young Londoners from deprived parts to express themselves with the poetry form than toe wrong paths.

Salena Godden

Thank you

Poet and author of literary memoir Springfield Road (Unbound) and poetry books Fishing In The Aftermath Poems 1994-2014 (Burning Eye) and Under The Pier (Nasty Little Press) Salena Godden was shortlisted for this years Ted Hughes Award for new work in poetry with her spoken word album LIVEwire released with independent spoken word label Nymphs and Thugs. She has been shortlisted for ‘Best Spoken Word Performer’ in the Saboteur Awards 2017. The short-fiction Blue Cornflowers was shortlisted for the 4th Estate and Guardian short story prize in 2016, this work will be published in The Bare Lit anthology with Brainmill Press in April 2017. Her essay Shade was published in The Good Immigrant, which was championed by JK Rowling and crowd funded and published with Unbound. It featured as a Radio 4 ‘Book of the Week’ and won the Readers Choice Book Of The Year Award. Most recently The Good Immigrant has been shortlisted in the non-fiction category of The British Book Awards.

Why voters think she should win:

  • Consistently pushes performance. Brings poetry to protests and many settings where it isn’t always present.
  • Every time I’ve seen her live she’s proved she can delight from the page and improvise as well. Her workshop at Word! really helped me, she’s a living legend.
  • Salena really performs, she brings different voices and tones to her poems and her live work is electric and unpredictable.

Lisa Luxx

Seeing my name shortlisted alongside artists that I respect so deeply is absolute life force. What a boost it gives! I’m stoked to witness the public engaging in the arts like this too, and sharing in dialogue about what resonates with them.

Photo credit: Robert Norbury

Lisa Luxx is a poet and performer concerned with spiritual and political activism. She has collaborated with brands like Selfridges, and The Numinous, plus written the voice over for a short film starring Sean Penn.

Her poetry has been published worldwide by Tribe de Mama, New River Press and the Society Club, plus her articles have been featured in i-D, Sunday Times, Telegraph, Elle, Tank, Diva and so on.

Her latest book & live show, The 4th Brain, is a collection of poems and essays about a millennial finding identity and spirituality in the internet – illustrated by Elizabeth Clough, with live accompanying music by Rico.

In 2013 she founded post-net magazine, Prowl, and critically acclaimed parent company Prowl House – home of podcasts, art parties and activist clothing.

She was shortlisted for Poetry Peace Prize and her stage style has been likened to Kate Tempest by BBC Arts.

“Her writing is revolutionary” – Guru Jagat, in Well + Good NYC

Why voters think she should win:

  • Her performances are raw, passionate and entrancing. She activates people in times when people need activating.
  • Lisa Luxx manages to bring fire and tenderness to her performances. You feel luminous and less alone in the presence of her work.
  • Poetry spoken from the heart, incredible writer, prolific performer there for her community and the environment around her and a beautiful soul.

Hollie Poetry

Thanks so much!

Hollie McNish aka Hollie Poetry, is a spoken word poet, who recently won the Ted Hughes Award. Her poems have a tendency to go viral. You can buy her debut collection CherryPie from Burning Eye Books, or her more recent one Plum here.

‘She writes with honesty, conviction, humour and love. She points out the absurdities we’ve grown too used to and lets us see the world with fresh eyes’ Kate Tempest

‘Her rhymes have a driving quality, urgent words pinning down fleeting feelings’ Observer

Why voters think she should win:

  • She’s just plain fabulous in every way. And her work helps all women.
  • Inspirational over a range of diverse topics. She needs to be heard because she can change the world.
  • Realist without sinking into the averageness of reality, truth told as if from a good friend