Henry Bowers, who is better known by his Swedish stagename Kung Henry (King Henry), is one of Europe’s leading slam poets and spoken word artists. He is also nationally known and acclaimed as one of Sweden’s best hip-hop acts. Henry’s poetry and music can best be described as sharp social commentary with a dose of humor and irony, with an emphasis on blurring the boundaries between high culture and mass culture. A former student of philosophy, his influences are wide-ranging: horror films, childrens’ stories, classic novels and philosophers, and literary role models such as Franz Kafka and Paul Auster. He was crowned Sweden’s national champion in Poetry Slam in 2004, and has regularly competed or been featured as guest poet in many Scandinavian and international competitions. He has performed in South Africa, Germany, the U.K., Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Botswana.
Niklas Mesaros, two time Swedish national Poetry Slam champion (2010, 2012), is a celebrated performer at venues such as the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, all around Sweden and abroad. He is becoming a well known face around schools in Sweden as he also gives lectures and holds workshops on creative writing and spoken word. He always finds intimate pressure points, through lyrical playfulness and intense presence. Niklas poetry holds an athletic aesthetic yet points to the vulnerable moments in relationships. He is a member of the poetry/performance art collective Krigstribunalen (The Wartribunal), blending spoken word, videoart and music.
Laura Wihlborg was crowned Sweden’s national champion in Poetry Slam in 2008. She has performed her special blend of spoken word and sound art in both Swedish and English at numerous festivals and poetry readings all around Sweden and Europe. In 2009 she participated in the World Cup of Poetry in Paris and awarded best poetry act at Berlin International Literary Festival, and in 2012 she represented Sweden at the international poetry festival Poetry Parnassus in London, an event held in conjunction with the 2012 Summer Olympics. She studies radio production at the prestigious Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Henrik Karlsson is a student of political science at Uppsala University. He has competed in the Swedish Championship in Poetry Slam since 2008, when he won the regional Poetry Slam in Uppsala. His poetry, like the essays he often writes for Swedish magazines, is known for its wits and analytical inventiveness. He is active organizing youth poetry events through Nutidsretorik, a youth performance and debate organization, and can be found performing at local venues in Uppsala and Stockholm throughout the fall. He is also a member of the poetry collective Krigstribunalen (The Wartribunal).