The Iliad and Odyssey existed as oral performances passed on over centuries before someone we now know as Homer thought to write them down. In Scotland and Ireland, the filidhean and the makars were elite performance poets, honoured guests of the Chiefs and the clans. Even slams today are nothing new.

The Scottish tradition of flyting dates from the 15th century, in which two makars would combat in a poetic joust, a furious contest of verbal abuse which combined extraordinary verbal dexterity with the most vulgar of insults. The most famous of these, the 16th century flyting between William Dunbar and Walter Kennedy in front of the Court of James IV of Scotland brought eye-watering new insults to the language.

Now the Red Roomers and the Craigmillar Poets are reviving for the second year running the Flyting for World Community Arts Day on 18th February at the Constitution Bar, Constitution Street, Edinburgh. The day before we will have presented the StAnza 2015 Preview on World Community Arts Day at Craigmillar Library. Sean O’Dee was our first ever 2014 winner.


There are FOUR RULES.

1) The insults must be in poetic forms.
2) You don’t deliberately insult your opponent as a person anyone should hate.
3) You do not insult their body of work as being of bad taste or workmanship.
4) This is for FUN. Please remember that at all times. This is NOT a battle of badness but FUN!

There are limited places, so sign up NOW. All names will go into a hat and pulled out on the night so you do not know whom your first opponent is. Subsequent rounds will be by the winners.

A panel of Judges will be on hand with a timekeeper to decide and whittle things down to the top two. The winner will receive a prize and the title: Edinburgh Flyting Champion 2015 and have the opportunity to enter the GRAND SLAM 2015 (still to be confirmed).

“You’ll need pencils and paper to make notes on your opponents as the rounds go on, so get practising with horrible insults, epithets and general slagging-off.
Be inventive … or may the offspring of a thousand fleas enter through your front door! And YOU can do better than that!” – Johnni Stanton.

Come and join our regulars and let’s have a great Flyte!

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