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City’s first Doric poetry slam to take place

16 February 2019 (The Press and Journal)

A new event to promote Doric among younger audiences has been launched. Jo Gilbert, 43, will host the first ever Doric Poetry Slam next month, and hopes the event will attract people from all backgrounds.

The competition will be judged by a panel of local creatives, including writer Shane Strachan, spoken word artist Mae Diansangu, Aberdeen University Literature Society’s Rebecca Clark and Scots Language advocate Alistair Heather.

Each entrant will prepare three poems either in or influenced by Doric – in a bid to make the slam inclusive to all, whether performers are familiar with Doric or not.

Ms Gilbert, herself a writer, said “I’m half-toonser, half-teuchter. When I’m writing, sometimes the words just come out in Doric. I love bringing a north-east voice to slams and poetry nights all over Scotland and it’s always well received.

“I wanted for the competition to have a younger feel to it. Part of writing in Doric for me is to keep the language alive. Most Doric writing is archaic and twee, so I began writing about more contemporary subjects."

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