Unislam 2020

The next UniSlam tournament and festival will be held in Birmingham Friday 6th - Sunday 8th March 2020 and is set to be our largest tournament to date.

The UniSlam Festival holds many events that are open to the public. Below is a preliminary schedule of festival events which are open to the public.



Competing poets and coaches only

9:30am - 11am

Team Registrations

2125 Frankland Building, UoB Campus


11am - 12:30pm

Official Welcome & Artists Panel

Watson Building Lecture Theatre A, UoB Campus


1:30pm - 5:10pm 


Various locations, UoB Campus


6:30pm - 7:30pm

Coaches meeting

Lloyds room, Birmingham Hippodrome

Open to public

7:45pm - 10:45pm

Apples & Snakes: Hit the Ode x UniSlam Welcome Party

Patrick Studio at Birmingham Hippodrome

Tickets here


Open to public

All preliminary rounds will be held in the Patrick Studio, the PwC Suite and Lloyds room at Birmingham Hippodrome and are free and unticketed. Seating is limited in some of the rounds so arrive early to avoid disappointment.

11am - 12:30pm

Prelims A - A1, A2, A3


1:15pm - 2:45pm 

Prelims B - B1, B2, B3 

5pm - 6:30pm

Prelims C - C1, C2, C3 


7:15pm - 8:45pm

Prelims D - D1, D2, D3 


Coaches Slam


Open to public


10:30am - 12:15pm

Semi-Finals 1

Patrick Studio, Birmingham Hippodrome


1pm - 2:30pm 

Semi-Finals 1

Patrick Studio, Birmingham Hippodrome

3pm - 5:30pm

National Youth Poetry Showcase

Patrick Studio, Birmingham Hippodrome


3:30pm - 5:30pm

Poetry Practitioners Roundtable

Gowling Suite, Birmingham Hippodrome

Limited capacity. Reserve a place here

Click here for more information.

6:30pm - 9:10pm


Patrick Studio, Birmingham Hippodrome

Book tickets here

Registered poets and coaches only

9:30am - 10:45am

Youth Collectives registrations

Birmingham Hippodrome Foyer


11am - 11:45am 

Official Welcome & Cohort activity

Birmingham Hippodrome lower Foyer

12pm - 1pm

Workshop Block 1

Location details at registration


12pm - 12:45pm

Facilitators café meetup

Location details at registration

1:10pm - 2:10pm

Workshop Block 2

Location details at registration


3pm - 5:30pm

National Youth Poetry Showcase

Patrick Studio, Birmingham Hippodrome

Open to public


We are excited to announce that the judges/workshop leaders for the 2020 year’s Grand Finals are  Caroline Bird, Rachel Long, Vanessa Kisuule, Bridget Minamore, Bridget Hart, Sierra DeMulder, Second City Poets and Romalyn Ante.


UniSlam has worked with some of the most celebrated and exciting voices in contemporary poetry to deliver the highest quality range of workshops, talks and masterclasses for our participants. These industry experts and professional artists also host and judge our slam rounds, giving quality feedback to our competing poets. Over the years, they have included the following:


Inua Ellams  –  Andrew McMillan  –  Jacob Sam-La Rose  –  Kayo Chingonyi  –  Hannah Silva  –  Joelle Taylor  –  Luke Kennard  –  Bridget Minamore  –  Aliyah Hasinah  –  Jenny Lindsay  –  Rachel McCrum  –  Vanessa Kisuule  –  Bohdan Piasecki  –  Yomi Sode  –  Maria Ferguson  –  Rob Auton  –  Roger Robinson  –  Jess Green  –  John Berkavitch  –  Deborah ‘Debris’ Stevenson  –  Aliyah Hasinah  –  Spoz  –  Liz Counsell  –  Amerah Saleh  –  Khadijah Ibrahiim  –  Laurie Bolger  –  Bridget Hart  –  Ben Norris  –  Erin Bolens  –  Sophia Walker  –  Gabriel Jones  –  Sophie-Louise Hyde  –  Akshay ‘Mr Shay’ Sharma


Registrations for UniSlam 2020 are now closed.

Youth Collectives

Registrations for the National Youth Poetry Showcase 2020 are now closed.

Schools/youth groups

Subsidised tickets for the Grand Finals will be available for school groups and youth organisations. A reduced ticket cost of £5 per ticket (full price £12) is available, with a free ticket for group leaders with group of 8 young people or more. Tickets will be available on the Hippodrome website soon.

Poetry Practitioners Round Table on Higher Education

As the popularity of spoken word has grown over recent years, the visibility of poetry performance in university settings and academic discourse has also begun to increase. Dynamic and genre-pushing courses, modules and programmes exist at universities across the country but cross-working between institutions often remains limited. In addition to the teaching of spoken word as an artistic practice, performance poetics are a growing area of research and publication. Several new books on UK spoken word are about to be published and this is the perfect time for the academics involved in this area to share experiences and ideas for collaboration


As part of UniSlam 2020, the UK National Inter-University Poetry Slam & Summit, we are hosting an event for poetry practitioners who work in higher education settings, specifically those who consider performance within their practice or research, to come together, develop networks and share best practice. The event will be hosted by poetry educator Pete Bearder and begin with a reading from his latest book Stage Invasion: Poetry & The Spoken Word Renaissance (Out-Spoken Press, 2019), followed by a guided round table discussion addressing issues in researching this area and what it means to be a spoken word facilitator in university settings today.


The event will be held on Sunday 8th March 2020 at the Birmingham Hippodrome between 3:30pm - 5:30pm. Attendance is free of charge but spaces are limited so please RSVP to uni_slam@outlook.com by Friday 21st February to confirm attendance. Participants are also invited to attend the UniSlam Grand Finals at 6:30pm following the event.

© 2019 UniSlam. The National University poetry slam & summit.

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