For the first time ever, The Australian Poetry Slam will be held this year in Guyra, with a heat to take place on the 16th of August at the Australian Poetry Hall of Fame, a dedicated poetry space in Bradley Street.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of poetry slams, essentially it’s performance poetry where poets have two minutes to perform an original poem in front of a panel of judges randomly selected from the audience. Participants are scored not just on the quality of their words but also on the merit of their delivery.
Australian Poetry Slam (APS) is a live literary performance program where the audience chooses the champion. APS is run by Word Travels, a Sydney-based not-for-profit literary arts organisation that creates literary and literacy programs for festivals, private companies, libraries, schools and cultural institutions around the Asia Pacific, focusing on developing performing writers.
Two poets chosen from the Guyra heat will go on to compete in the 2023 New South Wales Final. The national final will be held at the Sydney Opera House where state champions from all over Australia will compete for a book deal, an international tour and the title of Australian Poetry Slam champion of 2023.
Australian poetry slam began in 2005 and has grown into an internationally- renowned poetry slam. APS has presented over 1000 spoken word artists, bringing their words from all corners of the globe to an audience of over 20,000 within the Asia-Pacific region.
2022’s APS winner was Joanna Yang, a high school teacher from Tennant Creek who penned a passionate piece about Australia’s education system, you can watch her poem here.
Ms Yang won a prize worth more than $20,000 which included mentoring and having her works published.
A workshop for slam poetry is being held the day before the slam event (on the 15th of August) at the Australian Poetry Hall of Fame and is being hosted by James ‘Thundercloud’ Arthur Warren.
The workshop offers a chance to refine some poetry-slamming skills before the heats the following day.
Word Travels are bringing an experienced slam poet to the workshop to offer advice, guidance and slam poet writing tips for those looking to perform.
‘I’m excited to give rural poets the chance to perform their work on the big stage,’ says Thundercloud.
‘It’s amazing for writers in a regional area to be given an opportunity like this to showcase their work and potentially compete and perform in the city with writers from all around the country.
Poets must perform in their residing state or territory to be eligible. Full APS 2023 rules here: www.australianpoetryslam.com/rules
Early Bird online tickets are $7 and tickets at the door are $10. Doors open and sign up begins from 6pm on August 16.
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