When Kevin P. Gilday (pictured) emerged from the fabulous array of performances on the shortlist to be voted the winner of our inaugural Digital Slam, we were intrigued. It turns out that Kevin, who lives in Glasgow, is a relative newcomer to performance poetry, and he was both surprised and delighted to win.
In the first of our Digital Slam showcases, we've embedded his winning performance below, plus another, and we've asked Kevin to tell us a few things about himself and his work. As he explains, his background in music has been a great help in developing his poetry – and he has certainly been busy!
"I was introduced to the world of performance poetry by a friend just under a year ago, previous to that I had been performing some of my early pieces as a mid-set break during the live performances of an electronic band I was involved in. From there I made tentative steps into Glasgow's performance poetry scene and, I'm delighted to say, was greeted and embraced by the many talented veterans on the circuit. My poetry is still developing but already I feel as if my style has a myriad of recognisable traits. My subject matter is often the minutiae of working class life in modern Britain – the situations, relationships and thoughts that define a generation of directionless twenty-somethings. Stylistically I take as much from contemporary music as I do from established poets – the lyrics of The Fall's Mark E. Smith and Why?'s Yoni Wolf being especially influential.
"Since then I've released Graphite, a hybrid album of spoken word and avant garde pop, I've composed poems to be used in the screenplay for a film entitled Mother (due to be filmed later this year in Estonia by Factotum Films), as well as taking poetry to the live music scene – doing full length sets as support for established bands at such venues as The Captain's Rest and The Art School.
"I'm hoping that winning the StAnza Digital Slam will help build momentum and open up opportunities to take my work to a larger audience. Once again my sincere thanks to StAnza for including me amongst such an immensely talented shortlist and to everyone that voted for myself and the other artists listed."
Here is Kevin's winning Digital Slam performance:
And another of Kevin's performances:
Kevin's next live performance will be on the Spoken Word Stage at this year's Doune The Rabbit Hole Festival, which takes place on 24th–26th August.
Our thanks once again to everyone who entered the slam, and to all those who followed and voted. Look out for more on the Digital Slam in the next few weeks.