Calm Slam Winner and Runner-Up

The Calm Slam 2020 winner is Ruth Marshall for ‘Instructions’

The Calm Slam 2020 runner-up is Kirsten MacQuarrie for ‘Weeding’.

When we began work on Open the Door 2020 we knew we wanted to create a Digital Slam but, being GWL, we also knew we wanted there to be something for poets who were just beginning on their writing and performing journeys – and so, the Calm Slam was born.

The Calm Slam aims to encourage and inspire those who write but aren’t used to sharing their work, don’t feel comfortable at live events or aren’t able to take part in spoken word events. We want every woman – whatever her situation –  to know that her voice matters.

The entries to this, the first ever GWL Calm Slam, have been extraordinary. Our shortlisted women had much to say, and all the skills to say it with lasting impact. We’ve been moved by your words, and hugely honoured to have shared them.

Winner Ruth’s poem, Instructions: Preparing for Dark Times, is a perfectly delivered piece where words dance with and away from the listener, calling them to action and reflection in a timely poem whose relevance with remain for decades to come.

About Ruth Marshall

Ruth Marshall is a Scottish poet and storyteller, living in rural Co. Clare, Ireland.

Ruth’s poetry has been published in journals and anthologies in Ireland and UK, broadcast on local and national radio, and used in schools. Ruth gives poetry workshops for children and teaches adult creative writing and personal transformation classes.

You can find out more about Ruth on her website.


The Open the Door 2020 Calm Slam was judged by a panel of three poets. Huge thanks to them for their time and energy judging the first Calm Slam.

Beth Cochrane: Beth graduated with an MSc in Creative Writing (distinction) from the University of Edinburgh in 2015, where she also completed an MA in English Literature, 2014. In 2017 Beth’s spoken word night, co-directed by Ricky Monahan Brown, won the Saboteur Award for Best Regular Spoken Word Night, UK. Beth was awarded a New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust in 2018, and she is currently a Trustee on the Board of Directors at Wigtown Book Festival.

Giovanna MacKenna: Giovanna is a poet and writer, and a co-coordinator of this year’s Open the Door festival. Giovanna has previously volunteered her time at GWL, providing content and editorial support for the 2019 festival and other GWL projects. Giovanna has a background in journalism and her prose and poetry has been published in several publications.

Morag Smith: Morag Smith is a writer, poet and National Development Worker for Glasgow Women’s Library. She studied Literature and Sociology in Glasgow then lived in Germany for some years before returning to Scotland where she worked in community learning and development, adult literacies, creative writing and literature development.

One Comment

Post a Comment

Your email is kept private. Required fields are marked *


You may use some HTML tags and attributes.