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Poetry Slam

Poetry Slam Hits Forbes Kalari-Lachlan River Arts Festival

Imagine two minutes in the spotlight. No props. No music. Judged by the audience. Just you… and your story.

The Australian Poetry Slam is not a poetry reading. It's more like a howling literary campfire with verbal voodoo, breathless rhythms and sweat breaking nerves. Think Hilltop Hoods mashed with Obama, a line of Paul Kelly, a few pinches of Judith Lucy, and a test tube of Les Murray all vying for audience love.

Writers need to perform well in their regional heat and place in their state final. Two finalists from each state and territory will meet in Sydney to battle with their words on the main stage of the Sydney Theatre for the Australian Poetry Slam Final National Final. One will be crowned Australia's Slam Champion.

Come and find out what it is all about at the Australian Poetry Slam Workshop:

Kalari-Lachlan River Arts Festival,
Reading and Writing Tent,
Lake Forbes Foreshore along Buck Bentick Walk,
Sunday 4 September at 11am,
Please book your place at Forbes Library on 6852 1463.

Then perform your poem, story, hip hop or whatever at the Australian Poetry Slam Forbes Heat:

Kalari-Lachlan River Arts Festival,
Lake Forbes Foreshore along Buck Bentick Walk,
Sunday 4 September,
1pm on the main stage, please sign up from 12.30pm,
Hosted by Miles Merrill.

Check out these sites for more details:
www.australianpoetryslam.com and/or

Finale Event and Poem from Cafe Poet

Join our Cafe Poet Diana Bell Brooks and special guest Deb Westbury when they read their works at Cafe Latte on Thursday 7 April from 5.30pm. Cost is $5 payable on the night and includes a glass of champagne and snacks. Please RSVP to Orange City Library on 6393 8132 or Cafe Latte on 6363 1855. This is the finale event for our Cafe Poet program supported by Australian Poetry, Cafe Latte and the Central West Writers' Centre.

And here is a poem inspired by memories:

The Flood


The creek beyond the Molong railway track

rises in rivulets I can't contain.

My father's ghost floats by the platform,

in his old white armchair.

There are people from the town's long past

leisurely seeking pleasure

in the creek that's now swollen,

taking their ankle boots off

and wading.

When my parents travelled to Australia,

they knew they were going to settle:

I didn't.

I'm packing cases of books

and wound my arm

on the rough metal staple

of a tea chest

and I'm supposed to be ironing a


of thin white cotton, for the journey

across the ridge to Orange.


Now I'm going somewhere

even more uncharted,

where the light glances off the sea

in a curtain of coloured streamers

from the fingers of my loved people

holding the other end.

Where I can hardly part

the way of the crowd

leaning from the handrail of the ship.

People swarm past me

scooping me up with them

and draw me

into the lacquered bosom of the lounge and

where the light-roof is.

All the stairs of the ship

centre round us,

and we encounter

the feel of an ark.

I feel the old railway building rising,


on the breast of the flood.


I pack up my papers

in the old ticket room of the station

where I've been writing

Down the pine-needled track

I walk for the last time

Kangaroos peep shyly from the shadow.

Bunches of lavender

are piled on a cottage veranda

and the flies lash

old, rich pasture.

By Diana Bell Brooks
Cafe Latte, Austrlian Poetry Cafe Poet Program, March 2011

Poetry Slam uncovers new poets

About 30 poetry fans enjoyed a night of witty and amusing poetry by spoken word artist Tug Dumbly (pictured) at the Australian Poetry Slam heat held last night. They also heard contemporary poems from local poets. Tug's poems “I Like it Strong” and “Ordinary Australians” received great reactions from the crowd. There were five contestants for the Poetry Slam – Patricia Stevenson, Alan Fragar, Darrin Yates, Joshua Simpson and Wolfgang Kline. They performed a range of poetry from traditional rhymes to lyrics about love, nature, life, garbage and storms. The winner, judged by the audience on the night was Darrin with a poem commenting on people taking the time to connect with their inner self – titled Beautiful Mind. Joshua Simpson of Bathurst, and Alan Fragar of Cowra, also won the opportunity to be at the Regional Final to be held at Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre on Saturday 7 August at 8pm during their Cabaret Kite event. For tickets contact BMEC.

Poetry Slam in Orange Thurs 22 July with Tug Dumbly

Imagine it's just you and your words for two minutes with a mic in the spotlight.
Orange City Library is calling all poets, hip-hop artists and other outspoken wordsmiths to polish their rhymes and lyrics for the Australian Poetry Slam on Thursday 22 July – at 6pm for poets to sign up and from 6.30pm to perform. Host Tug Dumbly (pictured), one of Australia's greatest spoken-word artists, will host this electric live event. An initiative of the non-profit literary arts association, Word Travels and State Libraries, the Australian Poetry Slam is the nation's largest and richest poetry slam with cash and a gig at Ubud Writers & Readers Festival in Bali up for grabs. All contestants have just two minutes to impress the judges (selected at random at each heat) with their spoken word, poetry, hip hop, monologues and stories. We need people to get up and have a go and for others to be in the audience – so come along for a fun night out.

Alan and Josh in Poetry Slam State Final Friday Night

Good luck to our regional poetry slam heat winners Alan Fragar, of Cowra, and Josh Simpson, of Bathurst. They will be performing their original poems on Friday night at the State Library of NSW, Sydney, in the Australian Poetry Slam 09 State Final. Then the NSW winners will perform on 3 December, battling against state and territory winners for the coveted national title at the Sydney Opera House. All heat contestants are given a microphone, a live audience and just two minutes to impress the judges with their original spoken word poetry. Five judges are picked randomly by the MC throwing gifts into the audience. Whoever catches the gift is a judge. The judges' decision is final! So it is up to the audience to decide who wins. Good Luck guys!!!!! Wish them well everyone.