KIT Rayne and Lily Luty are the joint 2018 Say Owt Slam champions after "defying maths" to both receive the top score in the Clash of Champions in York.

The war of words took place at The Basement, City Screen, York, last Saturday. "The slam was a super success, with the biggest audience we’ve had for a Clash of Champions yet," says York performance poet Henry Raby, who co-hosts Say Owt with Stu Freestone.

"People defied the sunshine and football fever to see eight slammers battle it out, as competitors travelled from Leeds, Hull, Peterborough, Bristol and London to take part.

"Each one brought their unique energy, fuelled by the audience, and we were delighted to have an all-female finale for the top four slammers. Samra Mayanja shared an insightful piece about the writing process; Katherine Waston talked about her experiences of ableism, but the night was won by joint champions Kit Rayne, who is a co-ordinator for Umbrella Press, and Lily Luty, from Todmorden."

Say Owt also presented two special guests. "We had the superb Rose Condo, from Huddersfield, sharing her poetry about hope and York writer and musician David Jarman performing part of his new solo show, Made Of Nowhere, about doing the coast-to-coast walk," says Henry.

"We're super proud of our events; this Clash of Champions was such a stellar evening. We had laugher, camaraderie, tears and real beauty. People who had never been to a slam before were overwhelmed with how much they loved it."

Now supported by Arts Council England, Say Owt has been hosting "sizzling spoken-word slams" since 2014 in York. "The nights are full of excitable energy, " says Henry. "Poets have a maximum of three minutes each to wow an audience with funny, sharp, heartfelt and lively spoken word. Each slam has a winner, someone who the audience members have voted their favourite act of the night, and the next one will be held on September 29 at The Basement."

Say Owt will be taking part in York's Great Yorkshire Fringe too, hosting a Say Owt Showcase in The Tea Pot, on Parliament Street, on July 25 at 7pm. Tickets cost £7 on 01904 500600 or at

Charles Hutchinson