Lars Ruppel,Germany-based poetry slammer doesn’t stick to a single genre and writes on anything that triggers his interest
As a poetry slammer,he has performed for thousands of people at several events,written three books on poetry slamming,won a televised national competition on the subject and was even part of a popular poetry slamming German boy band. As far as the unusual art of poetry slamming is concerned,Lars Ruppel has almost done it all.
Considered the youngest professional slam poet in Germany and perhaps in the world,27-year-old Ruppel is in the city conducting a poetry slamming workshop at Fergusson College between July 2 to 4 for the students of PASCH Group of Schools. Organised by the Max Mueller Bhavan,the workshop travels to Mumbai after Pune.
Explaining the concept of poetry slamming,Ruppel stresses that slamming is more about performing and not just reciting. “I pick 15 poets from the group of students and they write and perform their poems. Their performance is then rated by the judges on a scale of 1 to 10.” But what does performing poetry mean? “Performing poetry could mean reciting what you have written,it could mean giving it a rhythm,performing it with expressions or even music. There are so many different ways to ‘perform poetry’; what it really means,is bringing poetry to life,” he elaborates.
Poetry slamming is a popular culture in the West,especially in Germany,which even hosts national competitions like the German TV Poetry Slam. Ruppel has won several of these competitions,including the TV slam and is very well-known in Germany as one of the top performers in this art form.
In the past,Ruppel has performed at theaters,clubs,bars and other events on numerous occasions in places England,US and Russia. Sometimes even for an audience of over five thousand people. His works have been published in three different books – Piglet,Lemonade and Glasses. “These books cover poems I’ve written over five years,” says Ruppel. “They’re not written to earn money though; I don’t write poetry for it to just sit in print. I write poetry so I can perform it,” he emphasizes.
Ruppel was also a part of poetry slamming boy band SMAAT until two years back. “There were four of us and we loved poetry slamming. We would do all sorts of things and act like a regular boy band with all the groupies and the scandals!” he recalls.
Ruppel writes about anything that catches his eye and triggers his interest. “For example,right now,I could really use a smoke and I just can’t find a lighter. I could write a poem about really wanting to smoke and not being able to. This is what poetry should be about – whatever strikes you as different,or even funny. It’s not just serious stuff,poetry can be fun!” he says.
Apart from participating in future competitions and performing commercially,his future projects include poetry writing and performing for Alzheimer’s patients in Germany.