Since its inception in 2010 the Word N Sound Poetry and Live Literature Company has cultivated a steady following for its Word N Sound Slam. What initially started out as a non-competitive platform soon progressed into the competitive stage that it is known to be today.
The format is similar to that of a football league. The slam is presented on one Saturday afternoon every month from February right through to the finals in September. It is held in the afternoons to cater to the target audience and performers who have to use public transport to get around. This and the Word N Sound Slam’s open door policy make it accessible.
Over the years the Slam has been held at various venues in Newtown; at the University of Johannesburg and most recently at the Joburg Theatre. An extension of the Word N Sound Slam is the National Slam For Your Life competition which has been held in different provinces including a showcase at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda.
From the start, Word N Sound had established a tradition of filming their work for reference and as archival material. During pandemic restrictions, the slam goes digital which, according to founder, Thabiso Afurakan Mohare, feels like a natural progression, with poets adding a technical dynamic to their creative output.