Beau Williams Represents Ireland in the 2019 World Poetry Slam


Ellen Murray speaks to Irish representative Beau Williams before he travels to compete in the upcoming World Poetry Slam in Paris.

From May 28th, Belleville Paris will welcome an array of innovative and accomplished spoken word artists from all over the world as they prepare to compete in Paris for the world title in “La Coupe du Monde”.    

With representatives travelling from as far and wide as Vietnam (2019 Vietnamese SLAM champion Thuy Linh Nguyen) and Madagascar (slam poet and musician Tokyo Harem) Grand Poetry Slam promises to be a unique cross-cultural experience. Each piece is simultaneously translated into both French and English for the audience as it’s being performed. In their own description of the event, the festival organisers indicate their hope that each performer “break with the silent and solitary reading of the poem” and “transgress the borders of the language and of the imaginary.”

Among them will be Ireland’s own representative, twice-published poet and 2018 All-Ireland Poetry Grand Slam Champion, Beau Williams. Based in Galway but originally from New England, Beau’s accomplishments in recent years include the running of Galway’s Glasshouse Poetry Open Mic, a stint as Artist in Residence at the Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan, and the publication of his collections Rumham (2014) and Nail Gun and a Love Letter (2018)

When asked about his upcoming performance in Paris, Williams expressed a deep gratitude at being singled out as Ireland’s representative. “In a country renowned for its literature, it is an honour to represent Ireland Poetry on an international level. This country's support and trust in my abilities is a gift I don't take lightly. I will do my goddamn best to show Paris, and the world, what Ireland can really do.”

The world cup will take place from May 28th to June 1st as part of the National and International Poetry Festival, which will run from May 27th until June 2nd.

Written by Ellen Murray