This Saturday, Benimaclet’s Kaf Café will host Valencia’s long-running spoken word event “Versonalidad”. The event will kick off at 8:30pm and will feature a wide array of performers. We were lucky enough to interview the event’s founder Nacho Lázaro on the origins of the event and his thoughts on poetry and spoken word…
24/7 Valencia: What is the event ‘Versonalidad’ and why was it started?
Nacho Lázaro: Versonalidad is an event in which any performance based on orality is welcomed, people can sign up freely until all the spots are filled up, and every performance has a ten minute slot. Versonalidad began six years ago. Myself and another poet who were participating in the Valencia Poetry Slam began to organise some poetic events. During a journey to Bilbao, my friend was at an event based on Spoken Word that was a bit more celebratory than what we were used to and she liked it. So we decided to do something similar and Versonalidad came from there.
Why did you choose Kaf Café as the place to host your event?
The truth is Versonalidad has had a lot of ‘headquarters’, but after the lockdowns we needed to move locations and by chance Kaf Café was opening a new and larger premises and it was the ideal option. It was a space we loved, open to poetry and music, multicultural, full of artists and with a very established culture of listening.
How do you see the Spoken Word scene in Valencia and Spain compared with other cities and countries?
I don’t know if I can give a clear answer, but on the one hand in Valencia there are very good performances by some artists and on the other, spaces and meeting places related [to Spoken Word], like the SLAM and the Vociferio festival, but it is certainly a more minor and unknown scene.
It has a bigger audience in the Basque Country and Catalonia and a bigger scene in Madrid, even though that’s only because of its size. Outside of Spain I don’t know very much but I think [Spoken Word] is bigger and better established in countries with an English-speaking tradition.
How do you see the position of Spoken Word in the world of poetry?
It is gaining ground bit by bit and it is getting more well known all the time, but the truth is that, at least here, the different poetic spaces are very endogamous or insular, and they don’t want to accept any new styles of performances. Therefore, although it is moving up the rankings, it is still far from being well appreciated
What are the next steps for Versonalidad after this Saturday’s event?
Right now we are very low on energy and time, so we will continue with just doing one monthly event, but we have a lot of ideas and once we regain our energy and find the time we will bring some new proposals to the table
24/7 Valencia: Make sure you get down to Kaf Café for an exciting evening of a new and up-and-coming style of Valencian poetry. See you there!
For more information:
Address: Plaça d’Emili Beüt i Belenguer, 7, Valencia, ES 46020
Phone Number: +34 663 70 29 60
Report by Danny Weller
Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’