SWINDON FESTIVAL OF LITERATURE, REVIEW: FROM Dutch caps to Tupperware, suicide to war, no subject was taboo at the full frontal, no-holds-barred, Poetry Slam which brought the Festival to a jubilant end.

Fiercely competitive, and as far from the dusty image of poetry as it's possible to get, the Slam has become an unmissable highlight.

Among the nine contestants, possibly the bravest was the Adver's own Victoria Tagg who was called up when a contestant dropped out late, and duly appeared, having composed the requisite three poems iin the space of a few hours. Her Hamlet-style ode to fashion, To Gucci or Not to Gucci, brought a deserved 211 points.

A Swindon poet has not won this contest in six years, but Annabel Banks, who beat Victoria in the first round by confessing a weakness for green-eyed men, came close this year, beaten partly by her humble expectations. Having come through the first two rounds with flying colours, she had not prepared for a third, and was forced to a halt and the runner-up prize by the strict three-minute whistle oh cruel slam!

David Johnson, from Bristol, deserved his victory. Humour was his vein, whether it was poetic policemen in Hull or the household transition from Tupperware Party to Ann Summers titillation.

'Slam' in journalese means to dismiss as awful. But on the last night of the 10th and best Festival of Literature it meant just the opposite to go out with a great bang. Sue Anderson