Poetry slammin’ for the big bucks

The Australian Poetry Slam 09 is happening all around this wide, well-versed land and our local regional heat will be held this Saturday, November 7, at Lismore City Library.

The library is calling all poets, hip hop artists and other outspoken wordsmiths to polish their rhymes and lyrics for this annual national slam contest, which offers over $20,000 in cash and prizes.

This Saturday at 2.30pm, Lismore City Library will host one of 10 slam heats being held across the state. Slam sign-up is 30 minutes before the heat – and there’s a limit of 20 contestants per heat.

All contestants are given a mic, a live audience and just two minutes to impress the judges (selected at random at each heat) with their spoken word, poetry, hip hop, monologues and stories.

Two finalists from each heat will battle spoken-word style at the NSW final, to be held at the State Library of NSW on November 13.

The NSW winner and runner-up will take home $500 and $100 in prize money respectively, and compete for the Australian Poetry Slam 09 title at the national final in Sydney on December 3. The overall winner will receive $5000 and a gig at the Ubud Readers and Writers Festival in 2010 (in Bali).

Now in its third year, the Australian Poetry Slam has unearthed some amazing talent and enhanced the career opportunities of two previous winners.

2007 winner Marc Testart became the first Australian to compete in the Individual World Poetry Championships in America last December. Last year’s winner Omar Musa recently released his first music video, Hemingway.


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