We interviewed Paris Kaur, winner of the Superheroes of Slam 2015
Tell me about you, as a writer and performance poet
I've always found myself more able to express myself through my writing. I used to write letters to my mum when I was upset with her, or poems about my brother when I was angry at him and poetry just seemed like fun to me. I started Leeds Young Authors in 2009, and until then I was more of a drama queen than a performer, but over the years working with on various projects and with the different mentors that come to the workshops, I found my style and my confidence. I love to tell a story. But, I find the impact of slam poetry and the story combined with so much emotion to be the most hard hitting performance approach.
Why did you choose to enter superheroes of slam?
I chose to enter because I love slam. I'd placed third in Superheroes of Slam 2011 when I was 14, and I really just wanted to see how I'd do and if I could do better this time round.
How did you feel during the time between the Leeds heat and the final?
Honestly, I didn’t think much of it. It didn’t really hit me that I'd won the Leeds heat. At the start of October, I was just focusing on not psyching myself out. The less I thought about it the more confident I was.
Tell me a bit about the poems you performed in the Leeds heat and the final. Why did you choose those particular poems?
The two poems I did at the Leeds heat were on two topics I felt passionate about. They were very emotional and quite hard hitting pieces on topics that could leave someone feeling uncomfortable, but they were my story. I chose the first one because it’s the piece I am most proud of myself for being to perform. It’s a personal achievement for me. The second piece was something I'd written, but never intended to perform. I just made myself do it.
How did you feel when you found out you’d won the title?
I was shocked. I was hoping to place in the top three and when I wasn’t second or third I felt kind of disappointed. Then, I heard my name called as the winner and I just didn’t know what to do with myself. My year has been made.
How does it feel to be the youngest winner in the history of Superheroes of Slam?
I feel incredibly proud just to be called the winner. Everyone there had won their heat, regardless of their age, and it doesn’t matter how old you are, if you have a talent or a passion and you work at it, you can become brilliant.
Have you thought about what you will do with your prize? Which course you might like to do?
I've had a look through the courses and honestly there’s so many that sound appealing, I’m considering doing one of the poetry courses.
Do you have any upcoming performances?
I have a few local performances with Leeds Young Authors, dates tbc
What was your highlight of the whole experience?
I actually think the venue of the final and particularly the arrangement of the stage was a huge highlight - I thought it was a really beautiful space.
Would you encourage others to participate in the competition?
What does the future hold for you in your performance poetry career?
Only the future knows, I have no intention of giving up but I’m hoping to be able to continue into a career of artistic direction.
Could you sum up your experience in one word